Monday, July 26, 2004

Blowin' in the wind...

posted by Chet at 5:14 PM UTC

Wind farms are the big green dream of many conservationists in America. Here in Ireland (and Britain) the giant spinning propellers are rather thicker on the ground.

In this little country, which is about the size of West Virginia, several dozen electricity generating wind farms are presently operating, and more are proposed or under construction. A similar situation prevails in Britain.

Two things drive the proliferation of wind generators: unlike the present administration in Washington, governments here take seriously their commitments to renewable energy; and government incentives mean handsome profits for developers.

Many Irish and British conservationists doubt the wisdom of peppering the landscape with these huge machines. Wind farms are generally sited in remote upland locations, but those of us who treasure the few remaining wild landscapes cast a wary eye on the insidious march of the turbines across the hilltops.

Is there a better way? More tomorrow.