Wind energy is not an agricultural commodity, as hogs, cattle, and grain are. It is not a product that supports rural economic development. It does not revitalize communities. It damages them.
Around the world, industrial wind turbines have driven people away from homes due to their noise, flicker, red all-night lights, and just plain being very ugly.
In 2016, three wind turbine towers in Fairbank, Iowa, were taken down by court order. One lady in Fairbank said, "I'm thrilled. The constant whoosh, whoosh, whose sound they make is nonstop, and the shadow effect was like I was back in the 70s with the disco strobe light."
A high percentage of landowners putting a wind mill on their property do not live there. This is also true of hog confinement buildings. Why do you suppose that is?
It's amazing when the wind farm people wave a little green in front of the land owener, he completely forgets he has neighbors living beside his land.
How can they provide cheap energy anywhere when you look at the cost of building the wind mills and the payments they will make to farmers and homeowners in Rake and Lakota? Your taxpayer money?
In Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, an industrial wind facility was decommissioned after just 20 years of service because maintaining and operating its 14 turbines was no longer cost effective. The useful life of a wind turbine is only 20 years, maybe 25 years, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Kewaunee farmers counting on lease payments for 10 more years will no longer receive them, nor will the town government receive an $8,000 annual impact fee. Also, the tow of Lincoln and Kewaunee County will lose a utility aid payment of $39,920.
The counties in Iowa and Minnesota should be wary of counting on the wind industry as a supplier of tax revenue. These payments can go away with very little notice.
Harlan Melz is from Lakota