Saturday, October 31, 2020
Home News So you still think wind turbines are green?

So you still think wind turbines are green?

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BORIS Johnson is racing to build more and more wind turbines, as reported in TCW here. Politicians want us to believe that generating electricity from wind turbines means no harmful emissions but there is a fatal flaw in the argument. Wind turbines can only be manufactured using fossil fuels to make the steel, the blades and other components.

Steel is made with coal to supply the carbon in the alloy. The turbine blades are made from composite material derived from plastics, which are made from oil.

The generator which controls the blades requires rare earth metals sourced abroad under hazardous conditions. China has been a major source of rare earth metals used in high-tech products including smartphones, and is suffering major pollution as a result. 

In Inner Mongolia there is a toxic lake of black sludge and dangerous chemicals 5.5 miles in diameter, created by waste from rare earth mining.

Turbines have predominantly been manufactured in China, Denmark, Germany and Spain so they have to be transported on a diesel-powered ship to the UK. The site for every turbine needs 1,000 tons of concrete, made using coal, which has to be delivered to the location by diesel powered transport.

So turbines create tons of emissions both in the UK and abroad.

The next problem is what happens at the end of their useful life, usually about 20 years? The blades cannot be recycled so the tens of thousands of ageing blades around the world have nowhere to go but landfill.

Then as TCW reported yesterday, it is hardly eco-friendly to kill millions of birds and bats every year worldwide. It has been estimated that up to 18million birds and bats are killed – or should that be massacred? – by Spanish wind turbines every year. One must ask why these numbers are being covered up and not published. One obvious reason is because the ongoing obsession with climate change means that many environmentalists are turning a blind eye to the ecological costs of renewable energy. 

It has been proved that the noise from the blades creates health problems. The World Health Organisation found that wind turbine noise led to sleep disruption and health problems for those living near turbines.

Meanwhile the wind industry is making billions in profits.

Still think wind turbines are green and environmentally friendly?

PS: There was a shocking report in yesterday’s Mail about a botched scheme which is paying wind turbine owners owners seven times the value of the electricity they generate and will cost UK consumers an estimated £1.4billion. You can read it here.

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Clark Cross
Clark Cross is a retired chartered accountant, finance director and managing director. He lives in Scotland.

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