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A planet experiencing global warming needs alternative energy sources. One of them is wind energy. But are wind turbines so harmless and environmentally friendly?

Coal-fired power generation, natural gas fracking, oil drilling… These topics are increasingly bringing environmentalists to the streets today. But renewables can also be highly controversial – even from the perspective of environmental activists.

Talking about the plans to cut down the forest near her house for a new wind farm, Gabriele Niehaus-Uebel, in her own words, feels powerless, helpless, and furious. She is the leader of a civil initiative against the construction of a 20-turbine wind farm in the federal state of Hesse.

While plans to build the facility call for less than two percent of the forest to be cleared, Gabriel says it would still destroy « a previously untouched ecosystem. » She compares the forest area in Hesse to the unique Hambach forest near Cologne, which has been under the threat of cutting down for many years: the RWE concern plans to expand its coal mine. “Environmentalists and activists there are fighting for every tree, and this is constantly written about in the media. Here they want to cut down 200 square kilometers here, and they don’t say a word about it anywhere,” Niehaus-Jubel is indignant.

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