The hope that renewable energy will meet more of our energy needs is understandably on the rise [“Life in 2030,” summer]. Regarding wind, however, we can not overlook the fact that it’s a diffuse, highly variable, and intermittent resource, requiring massive installations, supporting infrastructure, and conventional backup to extract and deliver its energy to any useful degree. The balance of impact versus benefit is not in its favor.
Nevertheless, Senator Ellen Anderson’s vision of Minnesota using wind not only to provide its own electricity but also to export it is already well on its way to industrializing rural and wild landscapes worldwide. H. G. Wells described the result in his dystopian “A Story of the Days To Come” (1897): “And all over the countryside … the great circular shapes of complaining wind-wheels blotted out the heavens.”
Eric Rosenbloom ’82
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