Wind Towers are a common sight in GreaterDakota.
Whenever I notice them by the side of the road as I drive our highways, my first thought is that I'm glad I don't live on the nearest farmstead. I'm glad we haven't had to deal directly with that issue.
In theory, wind power is the answer to many problems.
If the evergreen trees would grow up, they would camouflage the stark structures. In truth, the trees must not block the wind to the blades or attract too many birds.
In theory, the wind is always blowing out here.
In truth, the blades were not turning in the wind today.
No power was being generated.
Above the corn stubble, all was still and quiet.
I drove down the section line, between the fields on which the wind towers stand.
Every tower has an access road that makes farming the land beneath the towers tedious, but not impossible. Farmers lease land to power companies that build the towers and maintain them.
The warnings are clear and I didn't venture any closer. I have read wind power needs a battery storage system which despite the best effort of the industry, has not been discovered. Because of that, it is very inefficient and extremely expensive. Fine, if you can afford it, but not a real solution to energy problems at the present time.
The wind towers turn like giant pin wheels on a windy day and are lit with red flashing lights which can be seen for fifty miles or more at night. As you may have guessed, construction and maintenance is very expensive. I am not convinced that these towers are the key to a powerful future.
Many believe the industry holds promise and are invested in wind power as a green energy option. It is tolerated and sometimes encouraged by land owners because it provides a stable income to farming's unstable cash flow. It does take land out of production and long term consequences to land productivity are still unknown.
Wind farms are thought to hold power for the future and I hope they will. If we can invent a storage system that would allow the power generated to be wholly captured, transported, and applied, there is a chance it could be useful.
On this windless day on the windswept prairie in GreaterDakota, it is an expensive experiment of grand proportion.