Increased Costs Create Change

By: Thomas Ström 1/25/22

 – But We Must Stop Investing in Wind Power

The pandemic and soaring prices for both electricity and fossil fuels have been at the forefront of Swedish news coverage at the start of 2022. There is every reason to believe that the year will continue in this vein, almost certainly leading to an overall price increase and inflation.
More and more people will have to economise and tighten their budgets, both in their private lives and at work.

This will lead to an increased demand for better and more efficient transport and communication, a clear overview of energy sources and fuels, and a more streamlined procurement process. The positive side of reviewing one's budget is that it ultimately leads to less waste, more control, and long-term sustainability. More concretely, it involves reviewing all purchases. Can they be coordinated? Can they be replaced by other alternatives? Or should we simply stop buying certain goods and services?

I’m on board with most of this, but one thing I do not advocate when it comes to new energy sources is wind power – because it brings about a lot of problems.
Firstly, windfarms are deployed in areas where they have a major impact on nature. The foundations alone require several hundred tonnes of concrete, which, depending on the amount of cement required, has a major impact on the climate. Additionally, very few parts of the wind turbines are recyclable.
Once in place and in full operation, the rotor blades kill a large number of insects and birds.
Just before Christmas, I watched a TV programme that showed the negative effects that windfarms have on the lives of people living nearby, due to the high noise levels and shadow flicker.

In Rotterdam, which I visited last autumn, the wind turbines have brought about a different problem. It’s a problem that’s hard to wrap one's head around. A large number of wind turbines have been deployed in the sea, right outside Rotterdam, and when they go full blast, they actually make the wind turn!

This means that unpleasant smells from refineries and other industries, which used to disappear out to sea, are now blowing straight into the city and in the faces of its residents.

In addition to this, I recently read about a completely different problem related to the wind power boom. The hunt for balsa wood, which is used in the wind turbines’ rotor blades, contributes to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. I plan to return to this matter in an upcoming blogpost.

These are some arguments against investing further in windfarms. We should instead invest more in solar and hydropower, hydrogen, and small and efficient nuclear reactors.