Wind farms just don’t take up that much space

Wind farms sit lightly on the land, taking up 1% to 2% of the area they are spread across, leaving the rest available for cows, crops or hiking.

One wind turbine consumes about 45 to 60 square meters of land at its base. There are usually gravel roads that lead to them from the nearest road, 3 meters wide and 10 meters to a couple of kilometres long, to allow maintenance trucks to get to them. There’s a tiny bit of land taken up by substations and the like. When they are in farm fields or livestock grazing areas, the land use continues pretty much up to the tower base. When they are on forested ridges, openings are cut around them for construction and maintained for servicing and fire setbacks.  That’s a minimum of maybe 120 square meters per wind turbine or about 1% in farming and grazing areas and a maximum of 2% in wooded hill areas.

The land around the wind turbine is suitable for grazing cattle, growing crops, growing Christmas trees, riding ATVs, etc. In other words, just about anything it could have been used for before. Where wind farm companies have private land with no other access allowed, the land is usually green, providing a carbon sink. People have snowmobile routes and running tracks among them.

Arguing that wind turbines take up too much land is like saying that parking meters take up all of the space available on roads or that dandelions prevent you from seeing the grass. You have to be hunting hard for an argument to make against wind turbines to take it seriously.

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