‘Wind farms’: old behemoths
Regarding the Jan. 30 cover story, “Wind power: clean but mean?”: Abandoned industrial-sized wind turbines already litter the globe.
To call them “wind farms” attempts to put a pastoral face on a decidedly industrial entity.
Filled with rare earth minerals mined in the most non-eco-friendly manner in China, these 500-foot-tall behemoths are inefficient to run, expensive to repair, and frequently abandoned when their tax credit has been captured by the corporation or municipality responsible for them.
These turbines require a constant input of electricity from other sources to keep the blades turning in times of low wind.
Their effect on the cultures of the developing world mirrors that felt by picturesque New England communities, populated by environmentally conscious citizens, frequently dependent on tourism and urban weekend homeowners.
No one escapes the city to gaze at a wind farm on fields that used to be inhabited by cows or woods once home to a fragile population of bald eagles.
In many states a “siting council” makes all decisions about where these wind farms will go, with no regard to local regulations or opposition.
One council member hoping to cash in on a career as a “consultant to the energy industry” can steer a decision away from the science (negative health outcomes from vibration, flicker, flying ice) and toward the illusion of clean technology and a cutting-edge solution for oil independence.
In fact, these monster wind turbines are the ghosts of an old technology. They are akin to using a giant, room-sized computer with minimal capacity or speed instead of the latest pocket-sized supercomputer.
Ground-level and roof-mounted devices exceed these large turbines in both output and efficiency.
Roy E. Hitt Jr., MD
Andrea C. Hitt
Winchester Center, Conn.
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