WASHINGTON (October 31) – In recent years, the growth of wind and related energy technologies have provided numerous benefits to the broader economy. As with any new technology, however, wind has its detractors. In particular, there has been a growing trend to try to restrict wind development based on the purported negative effects it has on military base operation and functionality.

In a new policy paper, Dave Belote, a retired Air Force colonel and the managing partner of DARE Strategies, LLC; and Steve Bonner, President and CEO of SONRI, Inc. take a closer look at the emergence of wind energy and the history of military-base-related property disputes. In addition, they recommend several solutions that would encourage wind energy, address national security and economic concerns, and account for private property rights.

The authors argue that concerns about wind farms harming military base function are almost always overblown. Usually, any real issue can be accommodated through the use of technology and collaboration between the base and the property owner. In fact, there already exists a federal siting Clearinghouse to help identify and resolve issues.

In addition, the paper makes the case that restrictions on wind production are restrictions on property rights, and therefore need to be used sparingly and as a last resort; claims of national security shouldn’t become a pretext for anti-wind measures.

The authors argue, “the rare instance when a wind farm siting might conflict with military readiness does not justify broader restrictions on the deployment of wind power.”