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The problem with current wind power projects is that they attempt to adapt environmentally friendly power generation to a legacy system of centralized generation in large power plants and distribution through a grid. The only way to do this is to set up farms of these giant wind turbines. The result is all kinds of ecological problems, starting with disruption of migratory birds to noise pollution and degradation of view sheds and scenic resources. They may be improving output by locating a large number of turbines where the most wind is but this may be offset at least in part by the loss associated with overland transmission.

The bird issue is vastly overblown. There is only one windsite that I'm aware of with a documented birdkill problem, and that is Altamont Pass. Wind farms are not sited now where there are such issues, turbines design also causes less bird death than those early ones, and studies find very little little bird death associated with modern wind farms. The studies have been linked here before. A single skyscraper kills far more birds than the average large wind farm.

I expect that the cost savings by grouping large turbines together in windy areas easily leads to a lower cost of power production, even after transmission losses. The power company engineers aren't stupid.

I agree that distributed energy production is desireable, don't get me wrong. But the cost of power production from putting up a couple of dozen 2MW turbines is going to be way cheaper than a thousand 20 KW turbines. The big ones are just so much more efficient, and their height gives them access to more constant and stronger wind than the small ones reach.

Most complaints come down to asthetics once you get over the bird red herring. I agree there are places they shouldn't be installed, but people go overboard. I think it's ridiculous to protest over an off-shore installation that you can barely see on the horizon from shore.
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