Whether you love them or hate them, all agree that wind turbines elicit strong reactions, and the potential for conflict will only increase as wind energy's importance grows.
Wind Power in View, a new book by Academic Press, tackles the thorny land-use questions raised by the booming wind turbine industry in Europe and North America.
Wind Power in View: Energy Landscapes in a Crowded World is an authoritative international collaboration examining the aesthetics of wind energy and the place of wind turbines on the landscape. Wind Power in View is the second title in Academic Press' Sustainable World Series.
Edited by Martin J. Pasqualetti, Paul Gipe, and Robert W. Righter, Wind Power in View surveys where wind energy stands at the dawn of the new millennium, recounts some of the aesthetic objections leveled at the technology, presents case studies, and offers guidelines that could increase public acceptance of modern wind turbines.
Wind energy is one of the world's fastest growing sources of energy, with the manufacture, installation, and operation of wind turbines now a multi-billion-dollar industry. Literally thousands of new wind turbines are sprouting from fields and backyards across Europe and North America every year. With such explosive growth, questions naturally arise about what they should look like and where they should and should not be installed. Wind Power in View offers a timely discourse by leaders in the fields of wind energy, planning, and aesthetics.
Wind Power in View is illustrated with color photographs of the good, bad, and ugly of wind power development on two continents. Illustrations include orderly arrays of wind turbines in Denmark as well as examples of industrial detritus abandoned on giant wind farms in California.
Wind Power in View contains both American and European Perspectives, incorporating chapters by four American and five European writers. The thought-provoking text includes full citations to encourage further research by academics, planners, and policy makers.
In Wind Power in View architect Christoph Schwan asks whether wind energy is merely a false solution to environmental guilt. German researcher Martin Hoppe-Kilpper recounts the inauguration of a locally-owned wind farm where villagers celebrate with "bier, wind, and würstchen". Author Paul Gipe laments the toll wind development has taken on the California landscape while offering guidelines on how the industry can learn from its mistakes. English artist Lorry Short calls for a truly consultative process to incorporate the community in planning where wind energy is and is not acceptable. Award-winning architect Frode Birk Nielsen discusses the placement of wind turbines on the Danish landscape. Geographer Martin Pasqualetti examines the controversial development of wind energy near the resort town of Palm Springs, California. Historian Robert Righter reminds us that the thousands of farm windmills once dotting the American Great Plains in the 19th century were both reviled and praised. Only after their technological obsolescence, says Righter, have American farm windmills found near universal acceptance. Karin Hammarlund explores the degree of public acceptance of modern wind turbines in Sweden and what factors most influence the public's reaction. Gordon (Corky) Brittan calls for creative approaches to wind turbine design and argues for more local control in wind development.
As the world increasingly turns toward renewable sources of energy to avert global warming, what will wind's role become? Will it be welcomed as the "green savior" that some see, or will it be fought as vigorously as nuclear power? The outcome could well hinge on how the public views wind energy on the landscape. Wind Power in View takes a sober look at what people see when wind turbines appear in their midst.
Martin Pasqualetti, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Paul Gipe, Paul Gipe & Assoc., Tehachapi, California
Robert Righter, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
Gordon Brittan, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana
Karin Hammarlund, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden
Martin Hoppe-Kilpper, Institut fur Solare Energieversorgungstechnik (ISET), Kassel, Germany
Frode Birk Nielsen, Birk Nielsens Tegnestue, Aarhus, Denmark
Christoph Schwahn, Schwahn Landschaftsplanung, Göttingen, Germany
Laurence Short, Visual Arts Development Agency, Cumbria, England
Wind Power in View: Energy Landscapes in a Crowded World, Academic Press, San Diego, California, 2002, ISBN 0125463340, 234 pages with index, US$59.95. For more information, visit the following www.academicpress.com or www.apcatalog.com. Wind Power in View can also now be found on line at Google Books.