Green energy has impacts

There is no such thing as impact-free energy.

On January 19th, a 160-tonne wind turbine “snapped in half” and was found crumpled in a field in Chatham-Kent, Ontario.

Building a windmill is an intensive construction process, involving concrete and heavy equipment. And the windmills don’t last forever, as last month's incident shows. Wind may be renewable – windmills are not.

And what’s more, wind turbines (as well as solar panels and electric cars) require rare-earth metals to function. These compounds must be mined and separated from the radioactive elements they exist alongside – a process that “[leaves] behind a lake of carcinogenic waste fluids.”

Renewable energy has impacts on the environment. That's why it doesn't make sense to only compare the benefits of one form of energy to the impacts of another.

It's time to have an adult conversation about Canada's energy balance.