Peat bogs, common in Scotland, are efficient trappers of carbon dioxide. Peat bogs can absorb and retain as much or more CO2 from the atmosphere as rainforests. These peat bogs are often selected to be home to Scotland's wind farms. Herein lies the crux of the problem.
As wind farms are built upon the peat bogs, large amounts of trapped CO2 is released. The amount released can be as high as four-times the amount of carbon saved over the life of the wind turbine. In addition to the individual wind turbines, roads and maintenance ways also need to be built in the often soggy bog lands. These projects release even larger amounts of CO2 into the environment.
Activists protesting wind farm development have proposed similar theories in the past, but lacked the scientific evidence to confirm their theories. This study helps support their claims of wind farms being hazardous to the environment in Scotland.
Many of these groups hope to end wind farm development, calling wind farms "eyesores." This study may not help that cause, but it may open a discussion about where to locate wind farms to best serve the community and the planet.