Renewable Energy is an extremely important topic in today's energy discussions. In Maine, with the motivation of Governor Baldacci, there was a rapid push towards utilizing wind energy, starting with the Wind Energy Act in 2008. While the theory of wind farms and wind energy seems intelligent at a first glance, it is not an energy source that lacks issues. Many of the Maine wind farms constructed in the last ten years have had a large impact on human health, altered the beauty of Maine, created a change in wildlife habitats, and completely torn apart communities. Every new energy source has both advantages and disadvantages, but it seems that in Maine, the societal costs of wind power may not be worth the amount of power they produce. The power output of the majority of wind farms is much less than the original models predicted. Furthermore, in most places in Maine, the wind is not ideal for producing power. Wind power cannot be stored, and therefore the best places for turbines are locations of constant, predictable wind as found, for example, in the Midwest: a trait that very few locations in Maine possess. It is extremely important that the Maine government, the Land Use Regulation Corporation, and the Department of Environmental Protection look at the many sides of the wind power issue and pass laws to ensure that wind farms are not constructed carelessly, too quickly, and in locations that harm society more than the power produced can help.
Sociological Effects of Wind Farms in Maine
Barthold, J. (2015). Sociological Effects of Wind Farms in Maine. Master's Thesis, Colby College.