Wind power, a safe source of electricity

The wind energy industry is built on a legacy of care and is dedicated to working with communities of which it will be part of for decades to come.


Wind energy benefits public health because it replaces other sources of electricity that pollute the air we breathe and the water we drink.

Claims that wind farms cause negative health impacts have been refuted by credible, peer-reviewed scientific data and a variety of government reports from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K.

In fact, a new report by Wisconsin’s Wind Siting Council, which was sent to the state Legislature last week agrees. This new, comprehensive report analyzed all relevant, peer-reviewed literature and found that “based on objective surveys near wind energy projects, it appears that … individuals do not experience annoyance, stress, or perceived adverse health effects due to the operation of wind turbines.” So why do a few local residents near turbines claim they experience health issues?

Residents who report health concerns may be assigning common symptoms to turbines when the cause is more likely to come from another source. Many of these claims can be explained by what has been identified as a “nocebo” effect, the opposite of the well-known placebo effect. The nocebo effect describes a situation in which individuals who are led to expect physical symptoms (for example, through the spread of misinformation) actually experience those symptoms, whether or not the supposed cause of the symptoms is actually present. In this case, misinformation about wind might actually be leading to health issues, even if wind itself is benign.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world work and live within or near wind farms without reporting ill effects. When given the facts, it’s easy to understand that wind power is a safe source of electricity.

John McDowell