Energy Independence, Is Wind the Answer?
We hear it all of the time, especially during political cycles, like we have now: energy independence. Depending on what candidate you listen to or what news outlet (I use the term news loosely), you don't know where anyone stands. They're for fracking, they're against fracking, it will destroy the world. Coal and gas are nasty dirty words these days, and we're being told that solar and wind are the answer to save mother earth. I made a trip to Great Falls earlier in the week to attend and present at the MECA (Montana Electric Cooperatives' Association) Annual Meeting. On my drive home I started to look around, enjoying the sunset and open land, until I got to the wind farm between Judith Gap and Harlowton. I thought to myself, why would anyone who owns that land put those on there? Then I thought, I wonder if that land is leased out to the energy company and what kind of a profit that land owner is getting. How much power does this wind farm actually produce and who is using it?
If you have never been up close to one of these wind turbines, they're huge, you can see that they are huge from a distance. But up close, like at the base of the turbine or even on one of the blades, gives you a real account of just how big they are. As we all know that 9 times out of 10 when there is something positive, there has to be a negative, right? Well, one negative of the wind turbine is that the blades are not recyclable. So what do they do with the old blades you ask? Well, I'm glad you did. Since they can't recycle them, they bury them. Yep, bury them or they end up in the landfill. Now here's my question: if using wind for energy is so much safer for the earth, how can burying the old blades from the turbines be good for the earth? Just something for you to ponder.