Kate Galbraith writes here about how some in the American west are claiming that the new embrace of wind power should allow power companies to get rid of damns, returning rivers to their natural state.
Environmental groups contend that the Bonneville Power Administration’s shift to wind turbines buttresses their case for tearing down dams in the agency’s territory, particularly four along the lower Snake River in Washington State that helped decimate one of North America’s great runs of wild salmon.
I don’t get it. How does the presence of wind power get rid of people’s need for the hydroelectric? First, the idea of the wind turbines is to stop burning fossil fuels, right? If a damn is today worth keeping instead of an new oil powered plant, how does that equation change when you install the wind turbine?