These postings are provided to help publicize the efforts of affiliated groups and individuals related to industrial wind energy development. Most of the notices posted here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch.
Campaigns, Health, Protests, Wisconsin •
Source: Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy
Numerous residents living in, or in the environs of, Duke Energy’s Shirley Wind project in the Town of Glenmore, Wisconsin, are now displaying 4′ × 4′ yard signs stating what the Brown County Board of Health officially declared, namely, that the Shirley Wind turbines are “a human health hazard”. There are now 20 families displaying the signs, many of which are shown below.
All photos by courtesy of Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy, from whom high-resolution copies are available.
The rush to go green is pitting corporations against residents, government against citizens, neighbour against neighbour. Through the process the people are being stripped of their due democratic process.
Big Wind is a story of unethical political systems, corporate greed, and ordinary citizens who have had enough and are standing up to big government and big business. They are part of a growing revolution in rural communities in Southern Ontario and around the globe – people fighting to defend their homes, their way of life and the environment against Big Wind. It is a battle that will profoundly impact the green movement, as well as the well being of citizens in Canada and citizens worldwide for years to come.
Big Wind is a surprising and compelling documentary about the unprecedented rush to develop industrial wind turbines and how this is transforming the landscape in Canada and the world. The film investigates why governments are spending billions on wind power without first conducting health and environmental studies, why corporations are grabbing up precious farmland to put up hundreds of thousands of enormous industrial wind turbines, why people living near the turbines are falling ill, losing their animals and their farms, and whether these new “green” wind turbines are actually helping our environmental aims.
Note: This public release is an expanded version from the version broadcast in March and available until March 25, 2021, at TVO.
The want to steal our …
Welcome to purdah! That’s the term politicos use for the run-up to an election when parliament shuts up shop, and government dissolves into party-political electioneering.
When SAS had its much-postponed meeting with the Scottish Energy Minister last week, Mr Ewing was relishing his purdah. Officially let off his policy-making duties, with the bonus of a likely hung parliament at Westminster. After all, who knows what motley crew will form a coalition, or pull the strings in a minority government? Or what will happen to UK energy policy in the inevitable backroom dealing? A former Scottish First Minister as UK Energy Secretary perhaps?
To be fair, this did not come up at the meeting as the joke (?) was only made on the way out. We were hardly celebrating though as the Scottish Government had once again got away with sitting on its hands – and for what is turning out to be the indefinite future. The referendum froze energy policy for months, if not years. Then afterwards we were told nothing could change until the new First Minister had bedded down. Once the current general election shenanigans are over, next year’s Holyrood elections will exert another dead hand on the government of Scotland.
We had heard whispers from officers at local and national levels that an announcement of change in energy policy was coming last month. Problems like the Longannet crisis, security of supply, fuel poverty and meeting out-of-date renewable energy targets 5 years early have been attracting unprecedented levels of public criticism – not just as policy ‘challenges’ in their own right but as direct consequences of the Scottish Government’s obsession with wind energy. Even the Labour Party, aka the Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex (MP for Rutherglen & Hamilton West), has realized too much wind has messed up Scotland’s electricity.
So we were invited to think change was coming with the imminent publication of the delayed Renewables Routemap (due in December 2014) and wind turbine stats (an updated SNH map had been due in August 2014). The Scottish Government could no longer ignore this momentum and its promotion of wind at the expense of everything else would shortly give way to other priorities. Apparently not.
The new Routemap has been postponed again. There is no date for its publication. The new wind turbine map won’t be available for a long time (tricky negotiations with DECC apparently plus technical ‘challenges’) although the hope is to release the raw data by the end of the year. Mr Ewing insisted on speaking to us about what the Scottish Government was trying to do about other energy issues (interconnectors, Peterhead, carbon capture & storage, connecting the islands, wave and tidal, etc) as if they constituted a coherent energy plan. Does that mean wind is no longer such a priority, or is it just the same old rhetorical avoidance which ministers have been practicing for at least two years now?
For a party wanting above all to secure independence, this is undoubtedly a shrewd move. Scottish energy policy is not a vote-winner nor a nationalist recruiting sergeant, and changing it would only draw attention to its failings as well as alienating Green support, so better to leave it be and sit out the growing tide of criticism. Expediency is all. Anyone who doubts the SNP determines all its policy via the prism of independence need only recall Mr Ewing’s decision to launch yet more studies, now also delayed, into fracking last month. Doing nothing also makes the reflex of blaming the UK government for Scotland’s energy problems look more plausible.
Mark Rowley, one of the SAS team who met Mr Ewing, proposed that a de facto policy shift was taking place. With the closure of Longannet and no plans to renew either nuclear or fossil fuel generating capacity in Scotland, the aim was no longer an energy-independent country producing enough renewable energy for its own needs. Instead Scotland exports excess wind energy to the rest of the UK when the wind blows and imports fossil fuel and nuclear generated electricity when it doesn’t. Our fate as the UK’s wind farm is sealed and we’ll see more development of industrial wind together with the infrastructure for greater interconnection. A rum scenario indeed for a party which claims to put Scotland first. Mr Ewing looked a bit uncomfortable but did not demur.
The patience of Job
Like many anti-wind farm campaigners, we’re feeling more like Job every day.
Whether it’s comprehensive up-to- date stats on turbine development, or studies into the impacts of turbines, problems and publication delay seem to be legion. No one should be surprised, given the sheer quantity and speed of wind development and the complexity of its multiple environmental, economic and social impacts.
Cock-ups may be inevitable, but they are often laced with conspiracy, if only of the passive kind. A government which has decided to sit on its hands about wind policy is not going to put a great deal of energy (or money) into pushing officials to obtain and publish the data which would make policy change irresistible.
We understand that a wish to produce a genuinely comprehensive and accurate picture of all turbine development in Scotland (in contrast to the very unreliable mapping produced by SNH), complete with an interactive map, is responsible for the no-show since last summer. There is no publication schedule as yet.
The 14-month (sic.) study into the visual, noise and shadow impacts of ten wind farms on residential amenity, which SAS lobbying prompted and on whose project steering group Graham Lang and Linda Holt sit, has just reached the stage of a final draft, with an unspecified date for publication after the election.
The house price study, also very overdue, has no completion date in view as attempts to obtain post-2010 sales data continue.
Also in this issue:
Have your say
And talking of subsidies
Wind turbine noise conference in Glasgow
SNP spring into Glasgow
Northern Ireland leads the way on turbine noise
Planning Democracy Conference
Water, water, water everywhere
Open season in Shetland?
Sleepless in Aberdeenshire
The wind(?) in Spain
Iain Green exhibitions
Nessie needs help
Letters to the press
How did we get here?
Stock responses on windfarms
Wind in the history books
Aesthetics, Environment, Petitions, Scotland •
Source: Friends of the Great Glen
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to take steps to designate the Loch Ness and Great Glen as a National Scenic Area; to recommend a priority application is made to UNESCO for the area to be afforded World Heritage protection; and to take appropriate steps to discourage further wind turbine developments and support the restoration of sites damaged by wind turbines.
Wind farms have a part in renewable energy developments but degradation and transformation of the World’s most famous loch and glen from a natural to an artificial landscape is environmentally damaging to the World’s most beautiful landscapes and sensitive and unique highland ecosystems.
Loch Ness is the world’s most famous lake. Loch Ness is 23 miles long, has a surface area of 22 square miles and the deepest point is 230 metres. It contains the largest volume of freshwater in the UK at 7.8 km³. The Loch has 10 species of native freshwater fish with, as yet, no invasive species and so represents a healthy assemblage of fish in an oligotrophic loch.
The Great Glen is the most famous valley system in Europe and is a unique geological feature stretching over 60 miles from Fort William to Inverness. There is a hydroelectric scheme at Glendoe owned by SSE, which closed for 3 years due to a rock fall soon after opening in the main tunnel. The route is also used by small aircraft and helicopter traffic and by RAF planes on exercise. In addition to the outstanding landscape qualities and vast scale of the Great Glen and grandeur of Loch Ness, the engineering masterpiece of the Caledonian Canal would enhance the case for protected status.
Threats to Loch Ness and the Great Glen
Loch Ness and the Great Glen together are part of the World’s most beautiful and inspiring landscapes. Despite this, SNH and Highland Council report that more than 500 wind turbines have been consented to, or are in the planning stage, within a 22 mile radius of the Loch. As such, within a short period, the Loch will soon be effectively surrounded by wind farms and wind turbines will be visible from all hill viewing points:
The Highland Council produce a wind farm activity map, available via: http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/download/170/renewable_energy
The wind farm south of Fort Augustus is an open sore on the hills above the A82 and was recently suggested as suitable for the “Carbuncle of the Year Award”, reflecting the inadequacies of the planning system.
Loch Ness and the Great Glen area are prime assets of Scotland of national importance and are under threat from the attention of wind farm companies. The prime question being asked is: “Why should these outstanding and unique highland ecosystems and landscapes be damaged?” These are the world’s most beautiful landscapes and contain some of Europe’s last remaining wild land.
The Highland Council has generally condoned these developments and, supported by national policy, have been negligent in preserving Scotland’s highland heritage. Loch Ness is under desperate threat from over 500 wind turbines, thousands of tonnes of concrete, and hundreds of miles of bulldozed access track approved and in the planning stage within 22 miles radius of Loch Ness (Daily Mail 28/1/2015; and SNH map attached).
Time is, therefore, running out and it is crucial to save these assets for the Nation. Loch Ness and the Great Glen are now prime targets for windfarm developers. Loch Ness and the Great Glen are of World heritage standard status although not, as yet, allocated that honour. They are of international value, recognition and regard, and are Scotland’s second most popular tourist draw (Scotland was voted the most beautiful country in the World in 2014 by the Rough Guides, the travel books):
Unfortunately, the scale of proposed developments indicates that the planning process has failed to protect Loch Ness and the Great Glen, as there have been several approved developments, such as: Bhlaraidh, Invermoriston, Millenium.
Specifically, in the case of Stronelairg, this wind farm development has been approved against the expert advice of SNH that this would cause environmental damage to wild land and sensitive upland ecosystems. The John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland (who speak for the countryside) have objected to the Stronelairg development. The evidence indicates that the planning process has, therefore, failed to safeguard these ecosystems and habitats.
The planning process does not take cognisance of the broader importance and international standard and value of these highland landscapes. The area is being transformed from a natural landscape to an artificial landscape with high negative impact on the quality of the area and the quality of life for those that live in the Highlands. The defining criterion should be: do these changes enhance the area? But the evidence of high cumulative impact is that they will degrade a national asset.
A call for action
Our Petition therefore calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government:
- To afford protection to the Loch Ness and Great Glen by designating it as a National Scenic Area*;
- To recommend that a priority application is made to UNESCO for designation of Loch Ness and the Great Glen as a World Heritage Site;
- To take appropriate steps to discourage further wind turbine developments in the area and support the restoration of all sites therein damaged by wind turbines.
*The 5 main qualities of a National Scenic Area are: “setting and physical grandeur, glacial landforms, natural beauty and tranquillity, cultural heritage and man-made resources” (Countryside Commission for Scotland, 1987) and this area arguably meets these criteria.
A map of wind farm proposals near Loch Ness and more information can be accessed at: www.savelochness.com.
Go to the Petition: www.scottish.parliament.uk/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01564
Le 19 février 2015, six associations corréziennes engagées dans la lutte contre l’éolien industriel se sont fédérées. Le collectif se compose des associations (adhérentes à la FED) suivantes :
Nature et économie rurale avant les éoliennes – Lestard
Agir pour le plateau des Etangs – Clergoux
Agir pour le pays d’Eygurande – Feyt
Agir autrement pour la Xaintrie – Goulles
Agir pour le midi corrèzien- Beynat
Vents de Corrèze – Meymac
Nous avons décidé de plusieurs actions dans le cadre des élections départementales.
Après avoir rencontré tous les grands élus de notre département (président du conseil général, députés, sénateurs…), nous avons envoyé une lettre à chacun des candidats aux élections départementales leur demandant de se positionner par rapport à tous ces projets qui fleurissent en Corrèze. Les résultats de cette enquête seront diffusés dans la presse et sur internet.
Toujours dans le cadre des élections départementales, nous organisons :
département du président de la république
Rassemblement à partir de 14 h place de la cathédrale
direction la préfecture
pour dénoncer l’aberration de tous ces projets (Nous avons dénombré près de 150 machines en projet en Corrèze – dont certains ont été abandonnés depuis…).
Nous avons besoin de vous pour relayer l’information et mobiliser du monde.
Merci à tous!!
Présidente de Agir pour le plateau des étangs
Porte parole du Collectif contre l’éolien industriel en Corrèze
Contact :06 84 62 72 51
Source: Askos Aiolou production team
Fundraising for completion of full-length documentary (click on widget for complete information at www.indiegogo.com/projects/windbag-of-aeolus–2: