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Eco-blowback in Germany: Mutiny in the land of wind farms

Credit: gegenwind-starnberg.de

Credit: gegenwind-starnberg.de

Development of wind farms in Germany is becoming extremely controversial. Turbines are noisy, say those who live near them. Plus they kill insects and birds, mar landscapes, and may not even be cost-effective, especially when considering the huge transmission lines that must be built from remote wind farms to cities. ABC News details the ongoing battles in a translated article from Spiegel Online.

Germany plans to build 60,000 new wind turbines — in forests, in the foothills of the Alps and even in protected environmental areas. But local residents are up in arms, costs are skyrocketing and Germany’s determination to phase out nuclear power is in danger.

The underlying divide is basic and irreconcilable. On one side stand environmentalists and animal rights activists passionate about protecting the tranquility of nature. On the other are progressively minded champions of renewable energy and climate activists determined to secure the long-term survival of the planet.

The probable answer to all of this is offshore wind farms, where the turbines can be ginormous and are actually easier to assemble because parts can be transported by boat rather than on land, plus no one is around to hear them.

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