'Green' Energy Fail: Multiple Iowa Tornadoes Wrecking Windmills

AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File

On Tuesday, a series of tornadoes ripped across central Iowa, dealing an as-yet unknown amount of damage and resulting in multiple deaths.

Tornadoes are nothing new to Iowa residents, especially in this rolling farm country southwest of Des Moines. It's tornado country; it has been since longer than people — any people — have lived in the area, and it always will be tornado country. 

While the local authorities and volunteers are still sifting through the wreckage, another issue has surfaced: the tornadoes have also destroyed some wind-power windmills.

In southwest Iowa, a tornado outside of Prescott ripped down a wind turbine, causing a fire.

The video at the top of this story shows dark smoke billowing from the broken wind turbine after the twister moved through the area.

FOX Weather producers on the ground near Carl, Iowa, documented the turbine still burning and nearby silo that was damaged in the storm.

There is a video of one of the destroyed windmills, still burning some time after the tornado passed:

Granted the human cost of these storms far, far outweighs any concern about windmills. But that doesn't preclude us from examining yet another failure of the whole "green" energy agenda.

Bear in mind that not only have these windmills, installed at great expense, been flattened by what every Iowan could have said would happen sooner or later — a tornado — but the aftermath of those tornadoes, along with the human and property cost, has generated what looks to be a great deal of toxic smoke but also has compromised one leg of central Iowa's electrical generation capacity.

The same issue could easily arise with solar panels. Look at any solar panel field and consider the likely outcome of a tornado — or any other major storm, with high winds or hail.

Did the people pushing the green energy agenda think to take into account... the weather?

See Related: Twisted: A Second Night of Monster Midwest Tornadoes Brings Devastation to Oklahoma (Updated) 

WATCH: The Tornadic Devastation of Barnsdall, Oklahoma, Drives Home the Importance of Weather Awareness

While traditional coal or natural gas-fired power plants are still vulnerable to damage, it's much easier to harden a traditional plant than towering windmills or solar panels. In most of the country, electrical lines are underground (they aren't here, and we lose power two or three times a year), which also protects them from storms.

The same can't be said for windmills and solar panels.

There are many arguments against these "green" boondoggles. We've discussed energy density, we've discussed reliability, and we've discussed cost. We've even been lectured about the need to take cold showers to save the planet. (No, thanks.) Now we have weather as another reason to oppose the green energy agenda — not climate, but weather — and bear in mind that even the climate arguments are far from settled.

These windmills, once the fires are out, will now have to be cleaned up. The blades will go to a landfill — they cannot be easily recycled — and most of the generation apparatus, we can safely assume, will have been destroyed by the storm and the fire, and the remains will likewise have to be disposed of. If the people involved think it through, they will not bother replacing the windmills. But, sadly, agendas often overtake rationality, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see new windmills arising to replace the old. 

Until the next tornado comes through.


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