Wind energy sounds like a great solution to create green energy, even though it does has its problems. No wind, no electricity is a big problem but it can always just be a supplement to the grid. Lets examine how good it is!
Shocker! Getting rid of an old wind turbine is proving to be quite an issue and a high expense, showing renewables are neither free nor especially green.
In Minnesota, Xcel Energy estimates conservatively that it will cost $532,000 (in 2019 dollars) to decommission each of its wind turbines—a total cost of $71 million to decommission the 134 turbines in operation at its Noble facility. Decommissioning the Palmer’s Creek Wind facility in Chippewa County, Minnesota, is estimated to cost $7,385,822 for decommissioning the 18 wind turbines operating at that site, for a cost of $410,000 per turbine.
Restoration activities include the removal of all physical material and equipment related to the project to a depth of 48 inches. Most of the concrete foundations used to anchor the wind turbines, however, are as deep as 15 feet. The concrete bases are hard to fully remove, and the rotor blades contain glass and carbon fibers that give off dust and toxic gases.
While most of a turbine can be recycled or be sold to a wind farm in Asia or Africa, researchers estimate the United States will have more than 720,000 tons of blade material to dispose of over the next 20 years, a figure that does not include newer, taller higher-capacity wind turbines.
This is not to to take away from Wind energy but to put it in perspective. There is no true green energy, it all requires oil and until we have a new source of energy that is affordable, reliable and widely accessible, oil is going nowhere. It is important to consider all of the costs of this technology.
How Many Birds Are Killed by Wind Turbines?
Approximately 681,000 birds are currently killed by wind turbines in the U.S. each year.
These estimates likely grossly underestimate the true extent of the problem due to the fact that many bird fatalities escape human detection.