Placeholder Your Letters

What happens to giant

wind turbines when

they’re no longer needed?

Seventy some years ago, before electric power came to rural America, many farms had windmills, which when the wind was blowing just right, pumped water up from the well. It was a simple mechanism of a rod attached to the wind-turned top of the windmill, which ran down to attach to the pump handle.

If the wind wasn’t blowing or blowing too hard, the rod was detached from the pump handle, and you were back to pumping water by hand.

After rural electricity came in, electric motors were used to power farm well water systems. Windmills, because they were less efficient, were left to rust.

The hundreds of giant wind turbines erected in areas east of St. Joseph, and now being considered to be erected in Buchanan County, are to generate electricity by the turning of the enormous windmills. They do not produce steady, reliable power. Even with storage batteries, they require backup in place, which is fossil-fuel-generated grid electricity. In a futile attempt to increase efficiency, they are making wind turbines bigger and bigger.

Improved technology is driven by competition, and in a free market, efficiency wins out. The cost of these turbines is subsidized by American tax dollars. Without these subsidies, the wind turbine companies would not be in business.

It was easy to disconnect the old well windmills when a more efficient power source became available. What will happen when technology makes the hundreds of giant wind turbines obsolete? Tons of difficult to recycle scrap metal?

Carol Cornelius

Easton, Missouri