Letter: The wind may not blow ‘green’In a time when jobs are scarce, the temptation to flow with the current of wind blowing from turbines ... seems promising.
By: Catherine Huisman, Red Wing, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
In a time when jobs are scarce, the temptation to flow with the current of wind blowing from turbines, promising jobs, injecting money into economy while being environmentally green seems promising.
Let’s look at contributing elements; the manufacture, transport and construction of the giant 400-foot stalks of steel topped by 56-ton turbine and 36-ton blade assembly. The Nacelle (gear box) are housed in a bus-sized container contribute sizeable amounts of carbon based emissions.
Towers are planted in concrete the size of three buses (1.5 pounds of mercury from limestone in raw materials per ton of cement), the concrete and rebar (as deep as 30 feet deep) weigh up to 1000 ton.
Area for each tower with 100-plus footlong blades requires just under an acre clearance for sweep of paddles.
Can surrounding land continue to be used?
Besides the unpleasant noises and distracting motion which cause physical problems for people, consider they are high-voltage electrical devices with large moving parts. Estimates are that for every 100 turbines, one blade will break off.
In the winter, heavy sheets of ice can build up and then fall or be thrown off. Access to the land around wind turbines is usually restricted, even to the landowner.
Jobs are few and short lived, boost to local economy ends soon after construction, contracts typically provide for maintenance during that period - but then what?
All this plus the unsightly view, and more tends to muddy the greenness of wind energy.