14,000 Abandoned Wind Turbines Litter the United States

7 03 2016

The towering symbols of a fading religion, over 14,000 wind turbines, abandoned, rusting, slowly decaying. When it is time to clean up after a failed idea, no green environmentalists are to be foun…

Source: 14,000 Abandoned Wind Turbines Litter the United States

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9 responses

7 03 2016
Chris Harries

I’m assuming that the majority of these are quite old ones that have been superseded by larger machines? Regardless, I’m reminded of the 7 million televisions plus CRT computer screens in Australia that got chucked out when flat screens came in. And there was no system in place for most of this, so most of those were junked in landfill. This become such a glaring environmental blot that very belatedly schemes were introduced to collect and do something with the old screens – but not sure how they got dealt with.

Starting from now too there will be an asymptotic number of solar panels –eventually rising to billions of them – that will be thrown out for various reasons, the main reason being that old panels are not as good as newer ones. This prospect is for our children’s future, and they are going to have to deal with it. But it’s good to anticipate. It’s not a space society wants to go into right now because the renewable energy cause is optimistically presented as ‘clean energy’ and it’s an blemish-free image that its advocates wish to juxtapose starkly against ‘dirty coal’ and such.

Again and again, it all comes back to scale. The drive to deliver business-as-usual industrial economics using renewable energy is a doomed vision.

7 03 2016
davekimble3

I had read about the Hawaii wind turbines, that lasted 20 years and then were so rusty from salt-spray that they were beyond repair, but were to be replaced by new ones. But in California? It seemed really short on checkable facts, and “They produce less energy before they break down than the energy it took to make them” is definitely wrong.

So I googled [debunking 14,000 wind turbines] and learned that that would mean 6% of all wind turbines worldwide in 2013, or 100% of wind turbines in California. A more reasonable figure would be 1%, and some of those might be refurbished and brought on-line again.

It would be good to have a lifetime measured ERoEI figure for wind turbines, Menzel gave a theoretical 15 (range 8 – 24). The newest, biggest ones need a major engineering project to erect them, including specially made tall cranes.

7 03 2016
mikestasse

Yeah, I was pointed to http://www.wind-works.org/cms/index.php?id=340&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1679&cHash=a6ffbf36a98ab3ba82069d2486ebd7ae

My Position on Derelict Wind Turbines
I have been a critic of derelict wind turbines in California for years in part because I knew some day it would be used against not only wind energy but renewable energy in general. Apparently, that day has come.

What I say in my letter to the Daily Mail is if you pay a fair price for the electricity, then it pays to operate the turbines. And if turbines don’t operate they should be removed. It’s as simple as that.

I go further and say that the solution to abandoned wind turbines, as I informed the Daily Mail, is a removal or demolition bond. This is a well-known concept in common law, something we share with Britain.

And I’ve been saying that for more than two decades–you can quote me on that.

7 03 2016
travelling33

and yet…..functioning effectively in Denmark & Germany etc………????

8 03 2016
mikestasse

America WAS where the first large scale wind farms were built. They may still be working effectively at the moment, but anything with moving parts does wear out, and one day, every single one of those turbines will stop for good…….

What will happen in a post fossil fuels era? It’s dismantling the nukes that worry me the most…… not that I care REALLY, there are none in Australia, and even if some moron builds one on the Mainland, none will ever make it in Tassie from sheer lack of money…..

7 03 2016
rabiddoomsayer

Fact check tells a different story: http://www.aweablog.org/fact-check-about-those-abandoned-turbines/ It would seem that the 14,000 abandoned turbines is a wholly made up number.

8 03 2016
Don

Hi rabiddoomsayer,

This article set my BS detector ringing, loud and clear, also, so as I often do under such circumstances, checked out the site’s “about” segment etc and some research on other sites. I came to the conclusion that it was probably set up by one of the many climate change denier funding organization and would be slanted that way.

My BS detector is not infallible as, being aware of the historical low BDSI, I was taken in by the report about no cargo vessels being on the sea, some months ago.

9 03 2016
rabiddoomsayer

Sadly one day it will be true, most wind farms are set up by those who are in it for a profit. If there is no profit they will just walk away and so far no ever seems to stop investors walking away from problems they create.

9 03 2016
Chris Harries

There have been legislated attempts to do so, Rabid, especially in the mining industry. This usually requires an up front watertight legal agreement to clean up and in many cases forfeiture of deposit funds if this is not done. The main problem arises when a corporate entity goes broke how they can be held to account, especially if they go out of existence?

But at this point I don’t think decision makers are even thinking about the end-of-life phase for renewables hardware. They will attend to that when it happens. Or not attend to it.

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