Letter: The downfall of wind energy
The May 9 story about wind energy clearly identifies its Achilles heel. Someone has to buy back the electricity when it isn't needed, i.e. about three o'clock in the morning. It is not speculation. The facts are supplied by an owner of an operating wind tower. His neighbors have to buy the electricity he doesn't need, when they don't need it.
The fly in the ointment is the neighbors had to pay for the power plant that provides the electricity when the wind doesn't blow. Even the owner of a wind tower has to have access to full power when the wind doesn't blow -- a still, hot summer day when air conditioning is nice but fails to cool your livestock is essential.
Capital, even provided by someone else, is not endless and investing in two systems capable of each providing 100 percent of need has to be questioned.
I think an appropriate illustration would be that along with those two beautiful wind towers north of Willmar, it would require at least 28 more just to provide the energy Willmar uses. Then, of course, the city would be dark without a backup system capable of 100 percent of need.
Windmills provide adequate water only because they filled the tank. Sometimes we need to think in extremes, such as building two parallel roads in case potholes make one impassable. Might it not be better to fix the potholes in one?