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Energy at a Glance: Wind and the Environment

September 12, 2022

Wind turbines require enormous amounts of rare earth elements like neodymium magnets, around 377 pounds of neodymium per MW capacity.

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Wind turbines do not produce any direct carbon dioxide emissions during operation, however, they do produce a variety of negative environmental impacts that merit attention.

When considering the environmental effects of wind energy, one must consider the space taken up by, or footprint of, wind power plants. Although individual towers have a relatively small footprint, studies suggest the total land use and environmental impact of wind farms throughout the county is significant. 


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Linnea Lueken is a Research Fellow with the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy.