- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Wind energy has interrelationship with copper mining

A Dec. 8 Post-Bulletin article about Polymet Mining Co. reported its plans for expansion of copper-nickle mining in Minnesota northeast. Environmentalists resist the copper mining expansion but support clean-energy development, such as wind energy.

This parallels the Mother Earth News Magazine article from October 2012, wherein environmentalists touted wind turbine energy development as “becoming the foundation of the new (clean) energy economy.”

However, neither the P-B article on copper mining nor the Mother Earth News magazine article on wind turbines mention that wind turbine development is not environmentally benign. There is an inter-relationship between wind turbine development and copper mining, according to a report on pages 9-19 in Minnesota Conservation Magazine, published in July 2012.

According to that report “more than 8,000 pounds of mined copper goes into a single wind turbine and 75 pounds of mined copper into each hybrid car.”

Therefore, wind turbine energy development, through its interdependent relationship with copper mining, is perhaps no more environmentally benign than the interdependent relationship between clean liquid natural gas development and frac mining.

Greg Schoener

Red Wing