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To all our fantastic SAS supporters: Happy Xmas! from the team at SAS.
With Xmas upon us once more, we bring you a round up of all the latest news to hit the headlines over the past six weeks, including our visit to the SNP conference, the Smith Commission outcome, and the new, emerging picture of the world energy markets.
Our thanks to Iain Green for his wonderful Xmas cartoons, and also to a few very special individuals who have selflessly campaigned against turbines and in the process provided much support and assistance to us all; Angela Kelly of Country Guardian, Gillian Bishop and Dave Bruce of Views of Scotland, Andrew Joicey and all at Sustainable Shetland. We wish the latter all the very best at the Supreme Court later this week and hope that Santa brings them, and us all, a much-deserved Xmas present this year!
December 2014, Issue 24.
In this issue:
A weekend with the SNP
Still in the boot
Time for an anti-wind candidate?
One to keep an eye on
Hurrah for the REF
Lima talks damp squib?
Inverclyde windfarm bites the dust!
Advertising standards slip again
Our caring, sharing, listening Government?
UK leads the world — in offshore wind subsidies
Country Guardian tribute
BBC Christmas miracle?
Give that man a medal too
Help needed [Save Loch Urr objection postcard attached]
Letters to the press
More letters to the press
Wind turbines as generators or consumers? [how much power are turbines consuming when trying to ‘catch’ the wind – observations by Geoff Moore at Neilston windfarm attached]
Drop in fossil fuel prices threatens renewables
Water still flowing [but contaminated?]
Research, research, research
[Action groups against wind energy join forces]
Windturbines veroorzaken veel overlast en doen de waarde van woningen keihard dalen en dat is waarom actiegroepen vooral tegen de plaatsing van windturbines zijn. De actiegroepen bundelen nu de krachten door landelijk samen te werken onder één dak. Hiervoor hebben de actiegroepen de Stichting Gigawiek gekozen, omdat de wijze waarop zij actie voert voor hun model staat voor hoe het bij andere projecten ook zou moeten.
“Natuurlijk kennen wij partijen als de NLVOW en de NKPW, maar de NLVOW werkt juist mee aan wind op land en de NKPW richt zich op nut en noodzaakdiscussie. Wij zijn gewoon tegen elke vorm van windenergie bij woningen”, alsdus de woordvoerder de nu landelijk opererende actiegroep Gigawiek.
Gigawiek zal zich nog meer dan voorheen doen kennen door gerichte acties tegen windturbines en diens eigenaren. Het eerste wapenfeit is een landelijke demonstratie tegen geluidsoverlast op 19 december bij het hoofdkantoor van Eneco in Rotterdam. Eneco is één van de meest overlastgevende eigenaren van windturbines, honderden gezinnen liggen wakker en dat pikt het nieuwe Gigawiekbestuur niet meer. “De maatschappij moet dit ook niet pikken en daarom nodigen we alle leden van de Tweede Kamer uit om ook in opstand te komen tegen de verstoorde nachtrust”.
Gigawiek zal de aankomende tijd alle actiegroepen spreken en beraden welke acties er tegen ontwikkelaars als Raedthuys, Nuon en Essent genomen kunnen worden, maar ook acties tegen grondeigenaren worden niet uitgesloten. Maar vooral de succesvolle strategie op social media zal veel meer uitgebreid worden.
Houten, 8 december 2014
Action alerts, Health, Noise, Wisconsin •
Source: Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy
At the October 14, 2014, Brown County (Wisconsin, USA) Board of Health meeting a motion was made to declare the Shirley Wind turbines a Human Health Hazard. The motion was unanimously approved by the Board:
“To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, Wisconsin, a Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low-Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.”
Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy (BCCRWE) has issued a press release regarding this Human Health Hazard declaration, which can be seen at: http://bccrwe.com/index.php/8-news/16-duke-energy-s-shirley-wind-declared-human-health-hazard. BCCRWE is requesting your words of support for this action.
Research indicates that industrial wind turbines can negatively affect the physical, mental and social well-being of individuals if placed too close to homes. BCCRWE has been working intensively for the past 5 years with professional researchers, physicians, acousticians, and legislators to protect citizens of Brown County, the state of Wisconsin, the United States, and those in other countries from the negative health impacts resulting from industrial wind turbines being built too close to people.
BCCRWE welcomes and encourages individuals, organizations, and governmental agencies from around the world to send their words of support regarding the Board of Health’s action. BCCRWE will pass your emails on to the Brown County Board of Health as support for their courage, integrity, responsibility, intellectual honesty, and care in declaring the industrial wind turbines at Shirley Wind to be human health hazards.
If you or others you know have experienced negative health impacts from living in close proximity to industrial wind turbines and would like to share that experience along with your words of support with the Brown County Board of Health, please do so.
Send your words of support, and if applicable your experiences, to: BOHsupport@bccrwe.com
Action alerts, Campaigns, Economics, Emissions, Environment, Health, Letters, U.S., Vermont •
Source: Vermonters for a Clean Environment
Dear Senators Leahy and Sanders and Congressman Welch:
We, the undersigned, join many thousands of U.S. taxpayers and ratepayers nationwide in urging you and your colleagues to eliminate the 22-year old wind production tax credit (PTC).
You should know by now that development of wind power in the United States does not reduce our need to maintain and build reliable generation, nor does it add materially to employment in our country. The small amount of energy it generates is intermittent, and hugely landscape-intensive. And this degree of landscape disruption is highly destructive to wildlife, including federally protected species such as eagles and endangered bats.
Renewable energy tax policy also has fostered a generation of developers who are rewarded for siting turbines on every free acre that has transmission access, no matter how much environmental destruction it requires. The negative effects of erecting turbines too close to where people live are real and ongoing with an unknown number of Vermonters experiencing health problems because of poorly sited wind turbines. Unsurprisingly, more than twelve active lawsuits are pending against wind projects in as many states, including Vermont. More are sure to follow.
The issues associated with wind power expansion also negatively impact energy prices and disrupt otherwise functional markets. The PTC provides project owners with a significant out-of-market revenue source  which invokes predatory pricing practices that unfairly harm the economics of reliable generators. There is no justification for a government program that manipulates otherwise healthy, competitive businesses.
Attached to this letter are detailed facts supporting the need to end the PTC. After more than two decades, the wind industry is well situated to stand on its own without the PTC. It is time to put an end to this subsidy.
After 22-years of tax credits, the business of big wind is not about energy production. It’s about tax avoidance. Indeed, an entire financial-market “ecosystem” has evolved around these subsidies. Warren Buffet recently reminded us that wind investment makes no sense without handouts from taxpayers. Wind energy will never be competitive with the price of the fuel it saves and would not sell but for the PTC.
We respectfully request that Congress resist any temptation to reinstate the expired PTC or associated investment tax credit (ITC). Vermonters’ lives literally depend on you exercising your vote to protect Vermonters from predatory developers.
 At 2.3¢/kWh, the subsidy’s pre-tax value (3.5¢/kWh) equals, or exceeds the wholesale price of power in much of the country.
Vermonters: Send your name and address to elizabeth/vce.org to add your name to this letter.
Economics, Emissions, Environment, Health, Law, Wildlife •
Source: Senate of Australia
Senators Leyonhjelm, Madigan, Day, Xenophon and Back: To move on the next day of sitting—
(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Wind Turbines be established to inquire into and report on the application of regulatory governance and economic impact of wind turbines by 24 June 2015, with particular reference to:
(a) the effect on household power prices, particularly households which receive no benefit from rooftop solar panels, and the merits of consumer subsidies for operators;
(b) how effective the Clean Energy Regulator is in performing its legislative responsibilities and whether there is a need to broaden those responsibilities;
(c) the role and capacity of the National Health and Medical Research Council in providing guidance to state and territory authorities;
(d) the implementation of planning processes in relation to wind farms, including the level of information available to prospective wind farm hosts;
(e) the adequacy of monitoring and compliance governance of wind farms;
(f) the application and integrity of national wind farm guidelines;
(g) the effect that wind towers have on fauna and aerial operations around turbines, including firefighting and crop management;
(h) the energy and emission input and output equations from whole-of-life operation of wind turbines; and
(i) any related matter.
(2) That the committee consist of 6 senators, 1 to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 1 to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, 1 to be nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate, and 3 to be nominated by other parties and independent senators.
(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority party or independent senator;
(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and
(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.
(4) That 3 members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee.
(5) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.
(6) That the committee elect as chair and deputy chair a member nominated by the minority parties and independent senators.
(7) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.
(8) That the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, may appoint another member of the committee to act as chair during the temporary absence of both the chair and deputy chair at a meeting of the committee.
(9) That, in the event of an equality of voting, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, has a casting vote.
(10) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to examine.
(11) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings, the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.
(12) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.
(13) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such documents and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public. ( general business notice of motion no. 503 )
Update: The motion was passed on 24 November 2014.
Announcements, Noise, Studies, U.K. •
Source: Independent Noise Working Group
30 Oct 2014
We are pleased to announce the formation of an Independent Noise Working Group to investigate wind turbine Excess Amplitude Modulation noise.
Ask anyone living close to a wind farm about the noises it makes. Many will tell you that the most annoying is a ‘swish/thump’ from the turbine blades that frequently occurs at night. It isn’t its loudness that upsets – for this they should have protection through the normal planning process – but its recurrent, sleep disturbing, nature. The noise is called ‘excess’ amplitude modulation (EAM). Until recently, EAM has been a mystery that has created a huge problem for the wind power industry, (which presumably does not wish to create intolerable conditions for people living close to wind farms), the planning system (which has to consider the impact on the public when granting permission for wind farms to be built) and local authorities (which have to investigate complaints about the nuisance from working turbines).
In 2013 the wind industry trade association RenewableUK published a series of in-house commissioned studies that led it to conclude that the EAM problem is ‘too large to ignore’ and in response the Institute of Acoustics (IoA) has convened a Noise Working Group to investigate and propose a method by which it can be controlled. To adequately protect the public from EAM, it is vital that this group:
1. is independent of any financial interest in wind power;
2. has experience of field measurement and observation of EAM;
3. can call on the best available science; and
4. takes objective note of consultations with other interested parties and scientists.
Regrettably, its published terms of reference and composition suggest this may not be the case.
In response to a request from Chris Heaton-Harris MP (Con. Daventry), this new multidisciplinary and financially disinterested group wholly independent from the IoA’s Noise Working Group, will review the evidence for EAM and produce a rationale for effective controls on wind turbine EAM. It will report early in the New Year.
Contact and Offers of Help
For more information on this group including its terms of reference, please contact the study editor, Richard Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org
The group would like to hear from individuals wishing to offer their expertise in these disciplines: Acoustics, Physics, Meteorology, Data Analysis, Environmental Health, Audiology (including sleep disturbance) and legal and planning.