4.8 Is Wind Energy MORE Destructive to the Environment than Coal Power Plants? Wind Energy from Turbines and Large Windmills: Pros and Cons

4.8 Is Wind Energy MORE Destructive to the Environment than Coal Power Plants? Wind Energy from Turbines and Large Windmills: Pros and Cons

Air has mass, and when it moves, i.e. when the wind blows, it contains the energy of that motion, kinetic energy. A portion of that energy can be converted into other forms, such as mechanical force or electricity, that we can use to perform work. Mechanical energy from wind is commonly used for pumping water in rural or remote places. The farm windmill is still a familiar sight in many rural areas.

Mechanical energy converted from wind can also be used for other purposes, such as sawing logs, grinding grain, and propelling sailboats. By contrast, wind powered electric turbines generate electricity for homes and businesses, and for sale to utilities.



Approximately 0.25%, (1/4 of 1%) of the solar energy that reaches the lower atmosphere is transformed into wind. Although it is just a miniscule percentage, the absolute amount of energy is enormous. According to one estimate, North Dakota alone is theoretically capable of producing enough wind-generated power to meet more than one-third of U.S. electricity demand. Wind speed is a crucial element in determining whether a place is a suitable site for installing a wind energy facility. Generally a minimum, annual average wind speed of 13 miles per hour is necessary for a utility-scale wind power plant.

In addition to being weather-dependent, intermittent, and unreliable, wind turbines cover vast areas of land and affect scenic views. They interrupt local wind flow, temperature, and moisture. They kill bats and birds of prey, with no penalties under migratory bird or endangered species laws. They have relatively short life spans and require massive amounts of raw materials compared to coal, gas, hydroelectric or nuclear plants. Manufacture of turbine housings and blades involve enormous air and water pollution in faraway countries where a lot of the mining, processing, and manufacturing are done, before turbine parts are shipped to America.

The wind turbine blades are a toxic amalgam of unique composites made from petroleum products: fiberglass, epoxy, polyvinyl chloride foam, polyethylene terephthalate foam, and polyurethane coatings.

A separate tractor-trailer is needed to haul each blade to the wind farm site, where huge concrete towers are constructed to anchor the turbines. In addition, significant concrete and asphalt is needed to upgrade rural roads to handle heavy turbine components. Manufacturing concrete is already the third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide – after burning coal, oil, and natural gas. It also requires nearly a tenth of the world’s industrial water use. At the end of their lifespan, when turbine blades need replacement, again a separate tractor-trailer is needed to haul each blade away to a landfill.

Below you will find a link in the description of an article published by Principia Scientific entitled “50,000 Tons Of Useless Wind Turbine Blades Dumped In The Landfill”


The amount of wind turbine blades slated for waste disposal is forecasted to quadruple over the next fifteen years as a great deal more blades reach their 15-20 year lifespan. Furthermore, the size and length of the newly installed wind turbine blades are now twice as large as they were 20-30 years ago.

Unfortunately, due to the way the blades are manufactured, it isn’t economical or practical to recycle them even though some small-scale recycling has been done. Basically, there is just too much plastic-composite-epoxy crapola that isn’t worth recycling.

We will have to permit entirely new landfills simply to handle wind turbine waste – on top of mountains of used solar panels and dead battery waste.

Yet, advocates would have you believe that wind energy is cheap, clean, green, renewable, and sustainable. Environmentalists and wind energy opportunists (entrepreneurs who take advantage of overly generous tax credits and multiple other subsidies) want you to believe wind energy is as pure “green”. They never tell you about the costs, or the environmental destruction, that they have hidden from you for decades.