fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

So You Want Wind Turbines But Don’t Want Copper Mines?

Renewable energy advocates generally believe the United States should use renewable energy sources like wind and solar to generate electricity and stop using fossil fuels like coal and natural gas  for our energy needs.

Many of these same people also oppose the proposed copper and nickel mines in Northern Minnesota.

There’s only one problem:

Windmills use an enormous amount of copper. For example, a single wind turbine can contain 335 tons of steel, 4.7 tons of copper, 3 tons of aluminum and 700-plus pounds of rare earth minerals.

In fact, wind and solar energy use more copper than conventional forms of energy, such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants. Conventional power plants require about one ton of copper to produced one megawatt of electricity, whereas wind and solar can require between three to five tons per megawatt.

Furthermore, these numbers only reflect the amount of copper needed to build wind turbines or solar panels, and do not factor in the additional copper needed to transport the electricity generated from wind and solar facilities to the population centers that consume the electricity.

Make no mistake, switching from reliable sources of electricity like coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, and nuclear power plants to intermittent sources like wind and solar is an exceedingly bad idea, but the people who champion renewable energy, but oppose copper mining in Minnesota should have to reconcile the inherent contradictions in their positions.

 

 

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: St. Cloud

    Location: Coyote Moon Grille 480 55th Ave SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, October 16that Coyote Moon Grille for breakfast with Center policy fellow and energy expert, Isaac Orr. Following his discussion of his new report, “Doubling Down on Failure,” Isaac will be joined by a panel of local leaders for a conversation about renewable energy standards in Minnesota. Wednesday, October 16, 2019 Coyote Moon Grille, 480 55th Ave SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304 7:30 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Mankato

    Location: Mankato Golf Club, 100 August Drive, Mankato, MN 56002

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, October 17that the Mankato Golf Club for breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Thursday, October 17, 2019 Mankato Golf Club 100 August Drive, Mankato, MN 56002 7:30 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Alexandria

    Location: Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis Northeast Alexandria, MN 56308

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, September 25th at the Alexandria Golf Club for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert, Catrin Wigfall, as she explains the Center’s “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” project. Following her presentation on workforce development issues, Catrin will be joined by a panel of local leaders to discuss how Alexandria can better attract and retain young talent. Wednesday, September 25, 2019 Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis NE, Alexandria, MN 56308 8:00 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:30 AM Presentation 9:30 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now