Monday, September 28, 2009

Is Wind Energy Really "Green"???

Wind turbines and electricity transmission towersThis post is not particularly 'house-related' but since I pay my electrical bill, and I have no real choice where the electricity comes from, I think it is justified to reside at Savvy Homegirl.

I am all for ‘green’ energy. I think any way we can reduce our draw on natural resources must be for the better. Driving along the Lake Huron shoreline in Bruce County this summer however, I couldn't help but ponder the logic behind wind energy. A recent conversation with colleagues renewed this curiosity in the monstrous, unassuming turbines. I am undecided whether our society, and environment, is going to end up better or worse off once the ‘buzz’ dies down.

It seems like everyone is all for wind energy... until the turbines are in their backyard. Whether the issue is effect on health, visual esthetics or potential stray voltage, I have heard an assortment of concerns. Yet, the turbines continue to go up. There are so many turbines along Saugeen Shores, you can not even stand in one location and count them. I can only imagine what the view of beautiful Bruce County looks like from off the shore; vast, green and golden wheat fields over rolling hills, spotted with black and red grazing cattle, and these massive, white towers.

I have heard stories and rumors for months about residents near the towers experiencing declining real estate values, unacceptable stray voltage and severe headaches. I've even heard the provincial government is paying for hotel rooms to keep a group of families quiet about severe side effects they've experienced to their health. What worries me most? Many landowners signed 10 year agreements with the energy companies. What happens after 10 years? I have heard stories time and time again from Dutch immigrants of desolate, abandoned towers falling into disrepair, scattered throughout Holland’s countryside like a giant child’s jacks thrown down and forgotten. I imagine rusty towers, blades broken and lodged in the hillsides, resembling World War Two era structures battered and abandoned years after the last bombs landed.

It’s made me so curious, I googled turbine images to see if this is truly the case. Surely, if I’m so curious to take photos of turbines and towers, there must be others as fascinated by the idiocracy of leaving such mass garbage behind. For what? The sake of profit? How can they be a sustainable energy source if they are redundant after only 10 years? Well, turns out, this is about all I could find for pictures... and I think this is actually from an abandoned wind farm in Hawaii from 30-40 years ago.

Nevertheless, I am still not a firm believer. After-all, how do you discern the fact from fiction? Is it all a cover-up? A lucrative scheme for energy companies to profit off the 'green revolution'?

I could pay more for 'green energy credits', but at the end of the day, my electricity still comes from the grid, so how do I know if its green or not? However, I can choose to reduce how much I use. Maybe if all of us were more energy conscious and used less, the need for green energy wouldn’t be so significant.

No comments:

Post a Comment