Impacts of wind energy assessed

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Abstract

By 2020, greater use of wind energy could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the U.S. energy sector by about 4.5%. However, greater effort is needed to address potentially negative impacts of this growing energy source, according to a new report from a committee of the U.S. National Research Council. Potential impacts of wind energy projects include deaths of birds and bats, reduced value of property located near a turbine, and habitat loss and fragmentation. However, because these are generally local projects, there is little information available to determine the cumulative effects of wind turbines over a whole region.The report makes several recommendations on how to improve regulation at the local, state, and federal levels. The report also sets out a guide for evaluating wind-energy projects, which includes questions about potential environmental, economic, cultural, and aesthetic impacts. The report,“Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects,” is available at http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php7record_id=11935

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