Green energy has environmental toll

Giant wind turbines and vast fields of solar panels are not made of fairy dust brought by unicorns.

Do “greens” think we can’t see that huge quantities of raw materials and fossil fuels are used to mine, manufacture, transport and construct these intermittent, unreliable, grid crashing environmentally destructive scams?

Hydro, and nuclear power have a small footprint and a small impact on the environment compared to the waste of “renewables.” People who have figured out that CO2 is essential plant food and not a problem know dual cycle gas turbines also produce reliable, affordable power.

Environmentalists neglect to identify how so-called “renewable” “clean.” “zero carbon” energy sources are created, what they are made from, how they are manufactured, how much mining and forging is necessary to build them and how much fuel is used to deliver and construct them. Wind and solar are not zero carbon, not clean, not renewable.

One 500-foot wind turbine is 900 tons of steel. Thousands of these bird and bat killing machines are necessary to produce a small amount of power. Steel is a combination of alloys primarily iron and coal.

Both iron and coal are mined using huge steel equipment and immense quantities of fossil fuel. Mining, transportation, installation equipment must be built of steel, i.e. iron, coal, and alloys, created at high temperatures using fossil fuel.

All this requires huge specialized equipment: excavators, giant transport trucks with special cradles, tankers, reticulated off road dump trucks, earth grinders and compactors, steam rollers, specialized fork lifts, small, medium, and huge cranes, specialized tunneling equipment for thousand of miles of wiring to be used within a wind or solar site.

Another part of wind turbines and solar is cement. Cement is made from limestone and coal.

An immense amount of energy is needed for the high temperatures necessary to transform limestone (mined) into cement and accounts for one of the highest sources of emissions on the planet — the more wind and solar, the more cement, the more emissions. One wind turbine uses 2500 tons of cement to keep it erect. According to British environmentalist George Monbiot, “a tonne of cement produces a tonne of carbon dioxide.”

Committing 40,000 acres to produce energy from wind (Cassadaga Wind Project) and 4000 acres for solar in Ripley — clearing forests to do so – is madness.

The Dunkirk power plant on 98 acres produced and still could produce many times the amount of reliable, dispatchable electricity than a non-renewable wind turbine facility such as those strewn over Chautauqua County. We cannot let our communities be turned into industrial zones – a wasteland of destruction caused by a few corrupt individuals.

Karen Engstrom is a Mayville resident.


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