The wind power initiatives championed by the Biden administration have been associated with various ecological harms. However, some of the gargantuan wind turbines that have been erected across the United States are reportedly falling over before having an opportunity to inflict a full lifetime of damage.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, wind turbines have been malfunctioning across the U.S. and Europe. The problems signaling the supposed energy alternative's instability range from component breakdowns to total collapses.
For instance, in January, a wind turbine owned by NextEra Energy Resources in Dodge County, Wisconsin, buckled and fell.
WISN-TV reported that the blades and a top portion of the 400-foot structure crashed to the ground, shaking a nearby home.
Mark Dietrich, whose father owns the property cratered by the green-energy shrapnel, said, "That's a lot of weight coming down at one time."
NextEra Energy Resources said in a statement, "We believe this was an isolated incident as turbine malfunctions are rare."
Only this was not an isolated incident, and similar collapses no longer appear to be rarities.
In December, a turbine that once supplied a modicum of energy to the Northport Leelanu Township Water Treatment plant in Michigan spun out of control. The wind it proved unable to harness threw it to the ground.
Bloomberg noted that another turbine, which had once stood taller than the Statue of Liberty, had not been in operation for more than a year when in June it collapsed 90 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.
The same make of turbine collapsed in Colorado a few days later. As in the case of the Wisconsin collapse, it was owned by NextEra Energy.
In August, a massive wind turbine collapsed at the Traverse Wind Energy Center, again in Oklahoma. The New York Post indicated that the massive General Electric turbine "folded as if it was made of cardboard," seen here:
Watch: Oklahoma Wind Turbine No Match For Mother Natureyoutu.be
Europe has observed similar failures, including the September 2021 collapse of a 784-foot turbine in Germany and another mammoth turbine in Lithuania in March 2022. These turbines are supposed to last 20 to 30 years.
In addition to scarring the land and threatening onlookers with falling debris, Bloomberg suggested that this trend of turbine collapses may make for more expensive insurance policies, amounting to a possible setback for the transition off reliable oil and gas.
Fraser McLachlan is chief executive of the London-based GCube Underwriting Ltd., which insures approximately $3.5 billion in wind assets in dozens of countries. McLachlan told Bloomberg, "We’re seeing these failures happening in a shorter time frame on the newer turbines, and that’s quite concerning."
If this trend continues, McLachlan indicated insurance premiums may skyrocket.
Between potential insurance hikes and supply chain squeezes, wind energy companies are growing increasingly concerned about profitability as well as the tenability of wind farm developments.
The cost of repairs only compounds the problem. General Electric reportedly had to spend $500 million in Q3 2022 to pay down warranty costs and repairs on its turbines.
GE is not the only wind energy company in the industry taking a hit. The other two top players, Vestas and Siemens Gamesa, are similarly suffering collapses.
Popular Mechanics reported that part of the problem is the race to produce bigger turbines with longer blades, some of which are longer than a football field. While 300-foot blades may capture more energy, they're also scaling up the problems that can occur and the damage that can be inflicted when they fail.
While manufacturers and climate alarmists may find this trend of collapsing wind turbines alarming, sea life and birds near the wrecks might enjoy the fleeting respite.
TheBlaze previously reported on a peer-reviewed study published in the Springer Nature Journal Communications Earth & Environment, which revealed that the negative effects of wind farms are "substantial."
The study indicated that "the ongoing offshore wind farm developments can have a substantial impact on the structuring of coastal marine ecosystems on basin scales."
Wind farms generate "an increase in sediment carbon in deeper areas of the southern North Sea ... and decreased dissolved oxygen inside an area with already low oxygen concentration."
The resultant changes in nutrient concentration could start "a cause-effect chain that translates into changes in primary production and effectively alters the food chain."
These changes might culminate in "severe" consequences affecting fish and seabird species, marine fauna, and other aspects of the environment that green activists purportedly care about.
A 2019 report from the international law firm White & Case indicated that wind farms in U.S. waters "have the potential to impact a wide range of marine life, including scallops, quahogs, clams, finfish, marine mammals and sea turtles."
Fishermen, legislators, and marine activists have recently called for an investigation into whether offshore wind farms are to blame for the recent string of whale deaths along the New Jersey-New York coast.
Extra to sea creatures, TheBlaze previously reported that turbines in the U.S. were shredding so many eagles that the Biden administration ended up having to propose a new permitting program whereby wind companies could get away with slaughtering them by the hundreds or thousands to dodge legal trouble.
The British Trust for Ornithology issued a report in 2019 noting a "reduction in annual adult [bird] survival of up to 5% following the construction of an offshore wind farm."
According to the U.S. Wind Turbine Database, there are at least 72,669 turbines in the United States with a total rated capacity of 138,386 megawatts.
As the turbines are retired or collapse prematurely over the next 20 years, the U.S. will be left with an estimated 720,000 tons of unrecyclable blade material to dispose of.
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