Very! For decades renewable energy developers, especially wind farm developers, have faced widespread public opposition that has curtailed or slowed projects, costing untold dollars to the economy and untold cost to the environment. Last year, the Netherlands counterterrorism unit known as the NCTV declared anti-wind farm activists as a threat to public safety, having radicalized to such an extent they present a public risk to society.
Netherlands may be right. In 2017 protesters set a fire in front of police wearing riot gear, at the opening of the first offshore wind turbine in France. The protesters set wind turbines on fire and threw explosives at them.
The sheer number of wind farm opposition sites is mind boggling. While oil and gas corporate entities are behind many of these sites, the misinformation campaign against wind farms is staggering. A simple internet search of "wind opposition websites" yields multiple hits of sites devoted to projects that are being proposed worldwide, nationally and regionally. A few years back a website known as "Quixote's Last Stand" published a list of nearly 2,300 anti-wind groups worldwide. Were there even that many wind projects ongoing at the time?
Wind farm opponents are not low on money to spend either. Years ago it was revealed that people opposed to renewable energy used two trusts to finance a media campaign against both wind and solar proposals, and to block state agencies from planning for future sea level rise. The trusts spent almost $120 million to fight wind and solar farms.
Anti-wind groups stall European projects as well. Groups like the European Platform Against Wind Farms, which launched as a small group, has now blossomed into a launching pad of fighting multiple wind farms in the UK and Europe. Le Figaro newspaper has stated "From bourgeois people to militants of the far-left, anarchists, fishermen and rich landowners, opposition against wind power has become much more eclectic."
Even in Australia, the Nundle wind farm project has been delayed due to the call for extra studies and visual noise impacts. The opposition group, Hills of Gold Preservation, has over 100 members to date.
Wind farm opposition is truly widespread, however, the number of wind farm projects that have been approved is staggering. Wind farm development companies have become more savvy at public outreach and education, often holding forums, going door to door to residents, launching websites and digital pages and promoting these projects to not only deter opponents, but also to sway those voting on the projects.
Al Maiorino started Public Strategy Group, Inc. in 1995. His firm has developed and managed multiple corporate public affairs campaigns in a variety of industries such as gaming, cable television, retail development, auto racing, energy and residential projects. Additionally, his firm has worked on projects in twenty-six states and three countries.
We have a wind farm three miles from my home, they are amazing! over 30 of them up, always running, just knowing my community is making a difference out here in Texas is amazing!
Wow, why would anyone oppose the virtuosity of a technology that has no proven benefit to climate change mitigation?
Gee, where do you want to start? How about here, where $115M of US govt subsidy was spent on a wind farm that generates 1/2 of the advertised capacity factor, and impacted the living conditions of the nearby residents. https://www.facebook.com/OcotilloWindTurbineDestruction/