abandoned wind farms,
when government subsidies run out as the electricity windfarms produce is way too expensive windfarms like this one in America will fall into disrepair, the 27-year-old Kamaoa Wind Farm remains a relic of the boom and inglorious bust of America’s so-called ‘wind rush’, the world’s first major experiment in wind energy, if any spot was tailor-made for a wind farm it would surely be here, the gales are so strong and relentless on the tip of South Point Hawaii that trees grow almost horizontally, but on the 100-acre site, where cattle wander past broken ‘Keep Out’ signs, stand the rusting skeletons of scores of wind turbines,
with so many moving parts to worry about, maintaining turbines is expensive, way too expensive when the electricity they could produce is worth so little, ‘so when something broke, you simply didn’t send a repairman because it just didn’t make financial sense,’ Hawaii wind sceptic Andrew Walden, according to the California Energy Commission, the collapse in subsidies stalled the state’s huge wind energy industry for nearly two decades, no one who has driven past one of America’s mega wind farms today can fail to be struck by how few have blades that are turning, even in strong winds,
then of course there is the cost to wildlife, no one noticed until far too late that the 5,000-turbine wind farm at Altamont Pass is on a major migratory path for birds, the National Audubon Society, America’s RSPB, has called it ‘probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project’, an estimated 10,000 birds including up to 80 protected golden eagles, 380 burrowing owls, 300 red-tailed hawks and 330 falcons were being shredded each year in Altamont’s massed banks of turbine blades — to say nothing of thousands of bats — until outraged conservationists sued America’s ‘deadliest’ wind farm four years ago, as a result, it has agreed to grind to a halt for four months every year to avoid causing more carnage during the migration season, I wonder where the electricity for those four months comes from? back to the birds, the problem is so serious that in Minnesota and Oregon, wind farms have drawn national condemnation by applying for an eagle hunting licence as the blades kill so many,
while Hawaii has six abandoned wind farms, most of California’s derelict turbines are only now being removed — decades late — after disgusted local authorities threatened to sue, but if a turbine’s owner had walked away from his investment or gone bankrupt, it was sometimes the hapless farmer or rancher who owned the land who had to foot the huge clean up bill, I hope that the land owners of wind farms in the UK will foot the bill when it is their turn to remove these huge wastes of space,
this is what we in the UK are going to do, Downing Street’s controversial pledge spurred on by EU green targets is to give £400 million-a-year subsidies to wind farms as well as hefty bribes to landowners in order to spur the building of an additional 4,500 turbines, meanwhile in the USA this is what they are going to do, Republicans in Congress want to cut wind energy’s 20-year-old subsidy at the end of the year, why, they ask, should the debt-laden country be giving wind energy companies a 30 per cent tax credit, costing taxpayers nearly $3 billion a year, why indeed.