Senate debates

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Statements by Senators

Renewable Energy: Wind Farms

1:55 pm

Photo of Malcolm RobertsMalcolm Roberts (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | | Hansard source

There's nothing more galling than the sight of a 100-metre wind turbine slumped over, a smouldering aluminium and concrete corpse, testament to wind-power stupidity. Even if a wind turbine fibreglass blade makes it through a 12-year operating life, the blade is still a global waste catastrophe. Every year Europe adds two million blades to landfill. At the same time that we declare plastic straws an environmental sin, our beautiful planet has 40 million tonnes of wind turbine blades destined for landfill by 2050. Every blade of every wind turbine installed till 2030 will be in landfill by 2050.

So-called renewables need to be renewed every 10 to 15 years. We're not building our net zero, nature-dependent generation once; we're doing it twice or three times, with all the waste that this will bring. This is environmental vandalism, killing the environment in the name of saving it. I remember when greenies hugged trees. Now greenies chop whole forests to hug manufactured goods composed of concrete, steel, fibreglass and gearbox oil. Greenies are resource hogs.

Recycling wind turbine blades is not impossible; it just takes a huge amount of cheap energy, for which coal is the optimal fuel. That's why, without affordable coal energy, wind turbine blades and solar panels are dumped, not recycled.

German windfarms kill 100,000 birds a year. Unlike the birds killed in the cities, due to the location of the turbines those birds tend to be endangered species. New model turbines are approaching 240 metres in height, with blades close to 120 metres. That will need a hell of a big hole to bury it.

This is not free energy and it is certainly not renewable. Governments should not force a technological transition. If wind technology was any good, it would not be reliant on subsidies of $500,000 per turbine per year.

We are one community. We are one nation. Pushing the United Nations and World Economic Forum's net zero is environmental vandalism.