We have been told again and again that wind power is one of the cleanest power options on earth, simply by people like Al Gore. And just why wouldn’t it be?
In the end, it harnesses the energy of the wind – an all natural phenomenon – and turns it into energy. Apart from the occasional lifeless bird (or, well, more than occasional dead bird), what could possibly be so polluting about wind energy?
Sadly, those who bought in to the fiction are quickly learning.
According to Bloomberg, a small Mexican town along the country’s southern coast was the site of a cleanup effort last April after windmills there started spewing huge amounts of oil.
“In the town of Juchitan last month, a cleanup was under way around a generator owned by Electricite de France,” Bloomberg reported in May.
“Workers wearing goggles and masks were scrubbing off a copper-colored lubricant that dripped down from the turbine. They’d wrapped cloth around its base, to absorb further leakage, and stuffed contaminated soil and stones into plastic trash-bags.”
“The stench was terrible, like a sort of burned fuel or ammonia,” a resident told Bloomberg. “The trees were glistening with oil.”
And that’s not the only way wind turbines use petroleum. Installing a single offshore wind turbine can take 18,857 barrels of oil, which is quite a bit when you consider offshore turbine arrays can have up to 100 separate turbines. That’s not even counting lubrication oil, mind you.
“You can’t even construct or operate offshore wind turbines without oil,” Chris Warren, spokesman for the Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller in an article in May 2017.
“For decades, we have been told that wind, solar, and other so-called ‘green’ sources are the future, and yet these sources remain expensive, intermittent, and unreliable despite government mandates and subsidies. Offshore wind in particular remains one of the most expensive sources of electricity that exists.”
In fact, one offshore wind farm costs $25,000 for every home it powers, The Daily Caller reported in January 2017.
“The Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative will cost $1 billion dollar to build and generate roughly 200 megawatts of electricity, enough to provide power to between 40,000 and 64,000 homes — depending on how much the wind blows over the course of the year,” the website reported.
“The wind farm’s power could cost anywhere from $25,000 to $15,625 for every home it powers, according to Daily Caller News Foundation calculations.”
So, it’s not clean and it’s not cheap. But it makes people think that it’s clean and sustainable, which is why Americans are drawn to it.
And it’s hardly the only green technology that falls victim to this. Both solar power and lithium-ion batterieshave issues regarding mining and greenhouse gas emissions, and batteries also have the added bonus of being toxic when disposed of.
The fact is that cheap power provided by fossil fuels has greatly improved the quality of life on this planet, particularly for the poorest among us.
“Green” energy, meanwhile, remains impractical, expensive and more polluting than liberals think — and Al Gore definitely isn’t going to tell you about it.
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