This letter is in response to Jonathan Teller-Elsberg’s March 18 letter about renewable energy (“Don’t Thwart Renewable Energy”). He cites facts, but not the basis for such facts. He refers to analysts that he should probably identify. He writes about a study indicating that about 70 percent of Vermonters support wind power. I wonder if all of the folks involved in the study have any idea of the total cost of constructing a series of wind turbines? He states that there is no environmental impact associated with wind power. Try to imagine the number of large machines required to just make the access road necessary. There are most likely many healthy trees that have to be removed first. Then, either poles or towers need to be erected to carry the transmission wires, which will most likely be copper rather than aluminum. The turbines alone can cost upward of $1 million each, depending on their size.
I truly believe that if the total cost of a wind project were made known before the start of construction, taxpayers would pay more attention to the actual environmental and monetary impact of such plans. The reason I mention taxpayers is that almost all wind and solar projects are subsidized by the federal government. The owners can depreciate the equipment for several years. If the companies stopped making a profit, they probably would file for bankruptcy. It is not my intention to use scare tactics, but this information might just prompt future investors to use a bit of due diligence.
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