11 Reasons for wind energy (3/3)

8. Most inhabitants are happy with wind turbines

In Holland the citizens want more wind turbines! Although it looks like the Netherlands is divided between favoring or despising wind energy, mainly because the opposing side is quite vocal in their displeasure, studies show that nearly 78% of the Dutch population is in favor of wind turbines. The majority of the supporters of most Dutch political parties is of the opinion that we should generate more energy with renewable resources, according to research.

Research has shown that people who live within a five kilometer radius of wind turbines are extraordinarily positive about stimulating renewable energy in general. Most of the time they are also more prepared to make their own contribution to a renewable energy supply. (Source: Motivaction)

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9. Wind turbines help fulfill the EU agreements

In Europe we have come to an agreement that by the year of 2020, 20% of our total energy supply needs to be generated through renewable resources. In the Netherlands there is a minimum goal of 14%. In order to fulfill that promise, the national energy agreement states that around 40 % of our energy production needs to be from renewable sources. At the moment, this is only 10%. The energy agreement also states that we will fill that gap by building wind farms.

10. Wind turbines make inhabitants healthier

Less people will get sick and less people will die if we choose to invest in wind turbines. This might surprise you, but the numbers do not lie, In The Netherlands 137 meet their end too soon because of the pollution caused by fossil power plants. The fossil power plants also caused 31.000 days of sick-leave in 2013 in The Netherlands. Air pollution causes diseases like Asthma, and the air in The Netherlands is already relatively polluted. The physical and economical damage is not paid for by the polluters, and it is not included in the social costs of fossil power plants.

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11 Wind turbines save water

Water security is a major policy challenge: According to the OECD’s report ‘Water security for better lives’ (2013), 40% of the world’s population will face severe water stress conditions by 2050. Increasing water demand, water pollution and water stress will worsen water security in many regions worldwide. The OECD’s report called on governments to speed up efforts to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in water management.

Of all the water used in the EU, the highest amount – 44% – is used in power production primarily to cool thermal or nuclear power plants (EEA, 2009). Such plants are contributing to Europe’s water scarcity, and with more frequent droughts and the reduction of water resources in the south and east of Europe in the future, there will be an increasing need to minimize the European power sector’s water consumption. The water used by thermal electricity generation and nuclear is equivalent to the average annual household water use of 82 million EU citizens. To put that into perspective, that equates to the entire population of Germany.

Wind energy uses virtually no water. Replacing thermal and nuclear power stations with wind energy is therefore a key step in the fight to conserve and protect Europe’s precious water resource and hedge against future power shortages due to water-dependent electricity production. In 2012, wind energy avoided the use of 387 million m³ of water – equivalent to the average annual household water use of almost 7 million EU citizens, which saved a total of €743 million!

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18 October 2016

Wind Energy Solutions, Spanbroek

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