With a 1976-legislated goal to generate 10 percent of California's electricity with wind power by the year 2000, and generous state and federal tax incentives, windfarms have been developed rapidly in California. Wind power is being promoted as environmentally benign. Benefits of wind power include relatively inexpensive construction, low operation costs, and a substantial net yield of energy, with no water consumed and no toxic chemicals or highly toxic wastes produced. The authors conclude, however, that realization of the legislated goal will cause degradation of substantial amounts of scenic lands, could increase air and water pollution from erosion, could degrade habitat for domestic and wild animals, could damage archaeological sites, and will result in only a modest offset of oil consumption at current rates. The paper details potential and actual impacts associated with construction and operation of windfarms, as well as the potential for saving oil. At 1984 production rates, 600,000 turbines occupying more than 685,000 ha would be required to supply 10 percent of the state's electricity.
Wind Energy Development in California, USA
Wilshire, H.; Prose, D. (1987). Wind Energy Development in California, USA. Environmental Management, 11(1), 13-20.