Energy generation using the power of wind has been touted as “green” energy.
Unfortunately, such claims have some wide gaps in credibility. Has our money been spent on ideas based on facts, or on the ever-present motivation of reaching for tax money and not much else?
Calling anything “green” is done to make it sound like it is good for the environment. Are the monstrous, spinning wind towers any better for the environment than other sources of energy?
Before looking at anything else concerning wind power, consider what is to be gained. Most reliable sources have stated that the maximum potential of wind generation would make a very minor contribution to our energy needs. Assuming this is true, why are we depleting tax money on developing wind power?
Complicating every aspect of energy generation are sources of information. For everything that is stated as fact, there is a contrary viewpoint also stated as fact. This makes it all but impossible for the general public to make well-informed decisions on which side of any energy issue they should support. It becomes more a matter of who makes the more convincing argument than who is right or wrong.
The opposing sides of the wind power debates disagree on the amount of damage done by wind generation. What is apparently undeniable is that those huge, spinning blades kill a substantial number of birds and bats. How many are killed and whether threatened or endangered species are killed depends largely on where the wind towers are erected. Then there is the matter of whether people care about the animals that are killed.
Aesthetic consideration probably is important to a huge majority of the people who live in or frequent areas where wind towers can be seen.
To me, the sight of the turning wind towers is sometimes appealing, though when it becomes a question of whether I would rather see the birds that the blades kill or the blades themselves, the birds win. And, I expect this is a widely held feeling, at least the part of enjoying birds.
We have been putting considerable amounts of money toward wind energy by way of the Wind Production Tax Credit. It will cost millions more if this tax credit is extended. From it, we might gain, what, an insignificant amount of energy?
Likely, there is nothing else to be gained that would not be gained by way of any other form of energy generation, and likely most other forms of energy generation would make much more substantial contributions to our energy needs.
MIKE BLEECH can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more of his columns at www.nwpaoutdoors.com.