“They … ARE effective and they DO reduce our dependence on oil, gas and fossil fuels. They also reduce the likelihood that someone in another community will have to live the very real impacts of coal mining, mountain top removal or uranium extraction ….”
Effective? The only measure of success that the industry presents is that they are built. Where has wind energy on the grid reduced the use of other fuels?
Limiting access to project area? Let’s see the leases. All leases we’ve seen make the landowner a caretaker to the wind company’s control of the land.
Miles of new roads: yes, 5.5 miles, and not logging tracks but heavy-duty roads that can bear 50- or 60-ton loads and accomodate 160-ft trailers. What will be the effect on the watershed? Flooding and erosion are likely. “Revegetation” is far from restoration, more like allowing the grass to grow over the gravel (like the removal after decomissioning of only the top of the platforms).
Taxpayer subsidies: The letter cites (incorrectly) only one subsidy, the 1.9-cent per kWh production credit. There are also 5-year double declining accelerated depreciation and the ratepayer-supported market for renewable energy credits. In all federal subsidies cover two-thirds of the developer’s cost, and state subsidies may cover another 10%. Crucially, the subsidies do not require evidence of a reduction of other fuels, that is, an actual benefit to justify moving so much public money into private bank accounts.
It is the denial of problems from low-frequency noise generated by giant wind turbines that is being challenged by the scientific community. The U.K. Noise Association and the French Academy of Medicine recommend that large wind turbines be no closer than one mile from any residence.
At the same time the letter tries to reject such negative impacts, it tries to change the subject to worse problems with other things. Those other things are not proposed for Sheffield and Sutton. It is not a choice between wind and something worse. And that is the case globally, too, since wind energy on the grid has not been shown to reduce other sources of energy. Wind’s negatives simply add to the negatives we already live with, without reducing any.
It is laughable that the people protecting their communities from such a massive building project of doubtful value and obvious costs are admonished by UPC about misinformation. Misinformation is the developer’s stock in trade.
~~ Eric Rosenbloom, President, National Wind Watch, November 8, 2006