The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

What You Need To Know About Energy

Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects (2007)

As wind energy development continues to expand, federal, state, and local agencies should adopt a consistent approach to evaluating the planning, regulation, and location of wind-energy projects. Although wind energy, which provided about 1% of U.S. electricity in 2006, is often considered an option for future energy development because it emits no atmospheric pollutants and is driven by a renewable source, other environmental factors need to be considered. For example, wind-energy facilities can have a negative impact on specific kinds of wildlife and whole ecosystems. In this report, the NRC proposes a framework that can help in evaluating tradeoffs between the benefits of new wind-energy projects and the risks of adverse environmental impacts before new facilities are constructed.

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