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Benefits of wind farms are simply hot air  

Credit:  The Scotsman, scotsman.com 28 January 2011 ~~

Tuesday’s Scotsman contains three articles which should be considered carefully by those who wish to see our countryside covered with wind power stations to fulfil the SNP Scottish Govermment’s ambitions.

It is not clear why energy minister Jim Mather should regard as “welcome” the news that £400 million is to be spent to send electricity south of the Border.

This money will have to come from electricity consumers in the form of yet higher energy bills.

And how exactly does generating electricity for “export” within the UK benefit Scotland, particularly when the profits go largely to German (E.ON), French (EDF) and Spanish (Iberdrola) energy companies?

David Lee is rightly concerned about the intrusion of huge wind power complexes into wilderness areas, but seems to accept that these developments bring some economic advantages.

I have yet to see anything other than unjustified statements by politicians as to exactly what these are.

Claims of employment created through wind farm construction either relate to short-term jobs in low-technology construction, or in some cases are simply wrong. (Fallago Rig cannot possibly create 600 local jobs, as claimed, even in the short term.)

When pressed on this issue recently in connection with a Borders wind farm, the best that one government minister could come up with was the increase in business at a cafe and post office in Stowe during the construction of a nearby turbine complex.

Finally, and most sinister, is an apparently unrelated article on the effects of noise.

This reports Danish research which has shown that susceptibility to stroke in people over 65 can be increased by 27 per cent for every ten decibel increase in noise exposure, probably as a result of sleep disturbance, now a documented result of living in proximity to a wind farm.

Wind farm developers are allowed to increase the night-time noise in previously quiet rural areas (typically around 20 to 25 decibels) to 43 decibels, which could on this basis correspond to about a 60 per cent increase in stroke susceptibility.

It would appear that wind turbines are not just expensive and ugly, they can probably also kill people.

Jack W Ponton, FREng

Earlston, Berwickshire

Source:  The Scotsman, scotsman.com 28 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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