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

Wind energy carries steep hidden costs

Since 2004, MidAmerican Energy has set up wind farms. They run on wind, which is free. MidAmerican has spent $11.6 billion to set them up. Alliant Energy is spending $2.4 billion.

MidAmerican is “repowering,” or replacing, the blades of 1,215 wind turbines and other parts in its fleet of more than 2,600, a multiyear maintenance project.

Iowa had 2,073 turbines last year, seven times more than in 2004, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show.

MidAmerican estimates that it will spend $2.3 billion to repower turbines across the state now through 2022. There also will be expenses for transporting and disposing of used parts when turbines break down.

Consumers are not paying increases for building these wind farms in their electric bills yet. Instead, MidAmerican will receive $10 billion in production tax credits. There is no guarantee these tax credits will last forever.

Probably, with the rise in wages and corresponding increases in the Gross National Product, the cost of building, maintaining and disposing of used parts will increase more than expected.

Marcia Paramenter

Marion