How Ugly Are Wind Turbines?


My wife and I had dinner last night with fine friends, a married couple who never disappoint us with their conversation; they’re both extremely well-rounded and intelligent people who care deeply about the plight of their fellow travelers here on 21st Century Earth. But sure enough, the guy brought up a topic that I recalled from a previous conversation: wind turbines are ugly.

I’m always a little surprised when well-educated people carry on like this. To me, it goes without saying that our wide-open spaces are more attractive in their virgin state. But we need to understand that a wind farm of 1000-or-so machines provides as much electricity as a coal-fired power plant. As in most of our dealings, it comes down to the trade-offs we’re willing (or unwilling) to make. In my book, lung cancer is uglier than wind turbines. So are climate change, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, etc.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

1 Comment

  1. I agree. We were driving across Texas a few years ago and I was amazed at how many wind farms there are out there on the west Texas plains. They might not be as pretty as the flat prairie, Or at least not as natural, but they are certainly preferred to several of the alternatives. That is why I am a supporter of wind energy, and a REC subscriber. It helps the country’s economy, it certainly helps my economy and it helps promote clean energy.

    Enjoy your travels and the progress that wind energy represents.