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Archive for February 15th, 2012

It’s been a windy week here for we SpinachHeads. We launched a new feature called “Food Fight” where we duke it out, all taking on the same issue from different perspectives. This week’s topic: how to square wind power’s clean benefits with it’s frequently noisy side effects that drive nearby communities mad.

Now, however, it appears we’ve stumbled upon a solution — a compromise to bridge the gap and appease those whiny townspeople delirious from the humming in their ears.

Pay them. Or better yet, give them ownership over part of the wind project. In 2010, Dutch researchers Fabian David Musall and Onno Kuik ran a study at the Amsterdam Institute of Environmental Studies on wind’s benefits and detriments. The research was based on a survey. One community, Nossen, owned by a major company and another town, Zschadraß, with local ownership. Here’s a quick snapshot of their findings:

The locally owned project had 45 percent of residents holding a positive view toward wind energy, and more of it, in fact. The absentee ownership only acquired 16 percent of residents’ approval.
No doubt easier said than done. But giving communities a share of ownership in local wind projects sure seems one way to make them tolerate those pesky sound effects.

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