Wind energy: health, cost, performance
I’ve got a two-story series in the Toronto Star that ran this week on wind energy. The first looks at claims that wind farms are causing some people living near them to become sick. The second looks at claims that wind energy costs too much, doesn’t achieve the claimed emission reductions, and simply fails to perform as promised.
I’ll let the stories speak for themselves.
I wrote these stories in response to some of the (mis)information out there and to stimulate some more reasoned debate. There are too many extreme views circulating and neither side seems willing to bend. Bottom line is that wind isn’t a perfect solution, and it’s not the only solution, but we need it along with other renewable-energy technologies and conservation efforts. What I like about wind is that it has potential to break through its limitations as we move closer to utility-scale storage that’s economical. Yes, it relies on other dispatchable sources (particularly natural gas, but also hydroelectric and even demand-response), but 10 or 20 years from now that might not be the case. By then, we’ll have the best wind sites scoped out, we’ll have the transmission in place, and we’ll be ready to repower those sites in a way that dramatically unlocks more energy from the wind.