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Wind farms in Australia

Wind as a renewable energy source

Q&A answering concerns and advantages about wind projects

Manufacturers estimate that 85% (by weight) of a wind turbine can currently be recycled. This includes steel in the tower, concrete in the foundations and copper in the cabling and other electrical component. Blades are made of fibreglass, which is harder to recycle, but can be reused for public structures or blended into cement or plastics. Many manufacturers are committed to developing fully recyclable blades using new materials.


As part of European Energy’s commitment to active involvement with local stakeholders, benefit sharing strategies are carefully considered and implemented for each project. These are tailored to the wants and needs of the communities in which our projects are built. For example, EE provides employment opportunities as much as possible to local contractors and suppliers, thereby contributing to local development and capacity building.

The impact of noise from wind turbines is strictly regulated in Australia. While each state has regulations that differ slightly, all states monitor this closely. Noise must be considered during all phases of development, construction and operation. It is typically required that noise be monitored by an expert once the project commences operation to ensure that noise limits are not exceeded.

Modern turbines are often quieter than their predecessors due to the introduction of technology such as serrated blade edges. Larger capacity allows the same electricity to be produced from fewer turbines, meaning that the overall noise of the wind farm is reduced.

Wind turbines can impact birdlife, as birds may make contact with rotating blades during flight, however most birds fly relatively close to the ground, below the blades of modern wind turbines. The potential impact to birdlife from a project are detailed in the environmental studies undertaken in the development phase of a wind farm based on the species found on the site. This report will outline any appropriate risk minimisation measures that are necessary to protect the wildlife in the local area.

Studies have shown that the impact of traditional forms of electricity generation on birdlife far outstrip that of wind power. They estimate[1] [2] that fossil fuel generation results in 13 – 34 times more bird deaths to produce the same amount of electricity. This comparison does not discount the need to minimise impacts to birdlife from wind farm operations, rather it may offer some context to put this impact into perspective.

[1] Sovacool, B. K. (2009). Contextualizing avian mortality: A preliminary appraisal of bird and bat fatalities from wind, fossil-fuel, and nuclear electricity. Energy Policy, 37(6), 2241-2248. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2009.02.011

[2] Sovacool, B. K. (2012). The avian and wildlife costs of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, 9(4), 255-278. doi:10.1080/1943815x.2012.746993

If you have other questions not answered here, please feel free to contact our Australian project team below.

Contact the Australian project team

Catriona McLeod

Country Manager

Joshua Petrass

Senior Development Manager

Yannis Vasilopoulos

Head of EPC, Australia