Down Wind


Sweden's Vattenfall is not allowed to build a wind farm on the Swedish west coast due to environmental effects and is also canceling a project in England due to high costs. Despite the need for more wind turbines for the energy transition, there are concerns about the high costs, environmental impact of materials, impossibility of recycling rotor blades, and negative impact on animals and people. The effectiveness and sustainability of wind energy are doubted. (Language: English)

The author, Bert Weteringe, is an aircraft engineer.

SKU: BOO_017 Category:

In de zomer van 2023 wordt duidelijk dat de windenergie industrie in zwaar weer verkeert. Het Zweedse Vattenfall krijgt geen toestemming van zijn eigen regering voor een windpark aan de Zweedse westkust. De reden? "Negatieve effecten op de omgeving." Ook blaast Vattenfall de bouw van een nieuw offshore windmolenpark aan de Engelse Noordzeekust af vanwege de kosten.

In het kader van de energietransitie zou grootschalige energieopwekking met windturbines echter een nog grotere rol moeten spelen. Op dit moment staan er wereldwijd naar schatting 200.000 windturbines. Als we in 2050 fossiele brandstoffen willen elimineren, moeten er nog zo'n 2.000.000 windturbines worden bijgebouwd.

Is the wind industry finally coming around? The construction, installation and operation of wind turbines is very expensive. The enormous quantities of materials - steel, concrete and plastics - cannot be extracted or produced in an environmentally friendly manner. And then we haven't even mentioned the disposal after 20 years of use. The rotor blades cannot be recycled and must therefore be dumped or incinerated.

In addition, wind turbines have a huge impact on our environment. Large numbers of (sea) birds, bats and insects are already dying due to the rotating rotor blades. Horizon pollution, infrasound and shadows are driving more and more people to despair and there seems to be no end in sight. At the same time, honest calculations show that wind energy is not only very expensive, but also that power cannot even be guaranteed due to the variable wind.

Isn't it high time to recognize that wind energy is in fact wind trading?

Bert Weteringe is an aeronautical engineer.