Wind Farm Fact Check

Guest Blog | November 30, 2016 | Energy Policy, Wind

Simon Mahan, SACE’s Renewable Energy Manager, contributed to this blog.

Wind power is wildly popular. But, wind power hasn’t been as quick to catch on here in the South, so we get a lot of questions and comments about wind energy. Let’s clear the air on wind farms.

Americans overwhelmingly (83%) favor expanding wind energy according to Pew Research Center:

According to the American Wind Energy Association, “Texas, Maine and Vermont for the first time generated 10 percent or more of their electricity from wind. Those states join Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Minnesota, Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon in the 10 percent and up club. In total, eight states generated 15 percent or more of their electricity supply from wind in 2015, and 20 states generated more than 5 percent of their electricity from wind.”

Wind energy and birds can coexist. See SACE video here:

Wind power has among the lowest impacts on wildlife of any way to make electricity. Leading wildlife groups like the Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, and the World Wildlife Fund support responsibility sited wind turbines. Wind energy is the low-cost solution to carbon pollution in particular which threatens all wildlife. Unlike all other human sources, the wind industry works to minimize and offset the limited impacts it has on individual birds, building on a legacy of care for birds and environment.

All forms of energy have government incentives, most of them are permanent in the tax code. The only energy resources preparing to phase out their incentives are wind and the other renewable industries. The wind Production Tax Credit is set to phase out starting next year. Thanks to performance-based tax policy, the U.S. is number one in the world in wind energy production, supplying enough electricity to reliably power 20 million American homes.

Did you know? Wind energy creates manufacturing jobs for Americans. Over 21,000 U.S. factory workers make a majority of American wind farm components right here in the U.S. Learn more wind energy stats here.

A typical wind project repays its carbon footprint in six months or less, providing decades of zero emission energy that displaces fossil fuel energy. More info here. Wind power is one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways to cut carbon pollution and avoids 132 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year in the U.S. – or 28 million cars worth of carbon emissions. More info here.



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