I read with interest the article posted today in The Meaford Independent entitled “Waste to Energy Proposal in Limbo”.
I like to think that I give fair time to all sides of any discussion and that I can listen, consider and evaluate fairly. But I do like to base my opinions on firm data. Mayor Richardson is quoted as having stated that “we’ve got these wind turbines and waste to energy plants operating effectively all over the world”. I am not seeing that in the research I have reviewed, at least not for wind. For example:
· In Germany, Dr Christoph Schmidt et al of the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaft sforschung in a study entitled Economic impacts from the promotion of renewable energies: The German experience Final report concluded that “Although Germany’s promotion of renewable energies is commonly portrayed in the media as setting a “shining example in providing a harvest for the world” (The Guardian 2007), we would instead regard the country’s experience as a cautionary tale of massively expensive environmental and energy policy that is devoid of economic and environmental benefits.” and “Germany’s principal mechanism of supporting renewable technologies through feed-in tariffs imposes high costs without any of the alleged positive impacts on emissions reductions, employment, energy security, or technological innovation.” (http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/germany/Germany_Study_-_FINAL.pdf)
· In Denmark, initially, wind was considered a success (prior to 2000) but over 600 complaints to the Environmental Complaints Board about wind turbines were submitted between 1998 and August 2000. (http://wilfriedheck.tripod.com/danish.htm) In the Sept 1, 2010 online edition of the Copenhagen Post it was reported that “State-owned energy firm Dong Energy has given up building more wind turbines on Danish land, following protests from residents complaining about the noise the turbines make.” The article quotes then-CEO Anders Eldrup, as saying “It is very difficult to get the public’s acceptance if the turbines are built close to residential buildings, and therefore we are now looking at maritime options.” (http://www.cphpost.dk/news/national/88-national/49869-dong-gives-up-on-land-based-turbines.html)
· As a result of citizen protest, the opinions and advice of physicians and nurses, and a Senate Committee investigation, the Australian state of Victoria has now implemented a 2-km setback for industrial wind turbines. (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-06-27/wind-farm-setbacks-policy-to-remain/2772716)
· In the United Kingdom, the cost in other sectors is 3.7 jobs for every job created in the green sector. The study concludes: “the policy to promote the renewable electricity sector in both Scotland and the UK is economically damaging.” (Richard Marsh & Tom Miers (March 2011) Worth the Candle? The Economic Impact of Renewable Energy Policy in Scotland and the UK)
· Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every green job created, while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create almost five jobs in the general economy. (Kenneth P. Green, D.Env. and Ben Eisen, M.P.P. (April 2011) Green Jobs: The European Experience)
· Janet Warren, who raised sheep on her property near Makara, New Zealand, until a wind project was built near her home. Noise from the turbines caused “loss of concentration, irritability, and short-term memory effects” that forced her and her husband, Mike, to leave their property in early 2010. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704240004575085631551312608.html
· Two studies from the Netherlands and Ireland challenge the ability of Industrial Wind Turbines to reduce the level of CO2 in the environment. These studies are based on actual research data rather than computer modelling for their conclusions. The study from The Netherlands concluded that “the wind projects do not fulfill ‘sustainable’ objectives. They cost more fuel than they save and they cause no CO2 saving, in the contrary they increase our environmental ‘foot print’”. (C. le Pair. Electricity in The Netherlands: Wind turbines increase fossil fuel consumption & CO2 emission. http://www.clepair.net/windSchiphol.html) The Irish study concluded that “the introduction of wind energy without buffer storage leads to increased fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions and is a non-sustainable practice.” (Fred Udo. Wind energy in the Irish power system. http://www.clepair.net/IerlandUdo.html)
· The July 2011 ERT decision for an IWT project in Ontario confirmed IWTs can harm humans:
“While the Appellants were not successful in their appeals, the Tribunal notes that their involvement and that of the Respondents, has served to advance the state of the debate about wind turbines and human health. This case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.” (p. 207)
In December 2011, Ontario Government released the “Howe Report” (Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound Associated with Wind Turbine Generator Systems) conducted by HGC Engineering, a member of CanWEA. Its conclusion (pg 39) states: “The audible sound from wind turbines, at the levels experienced at typical receptor distances in Ontario, is nonetheless expected to result in a non-trivial percentage of persons being highly annoyed. As with sounds from many sources, research has shown that annoyance associated with sound from wind turbines can be expected to contribute to stress related health impacts in some persons.” http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/ en/resources/STDPROD_092087 An interesting admission from the Wind Lobby Group.
· The European Platform Against Windfarms has 524 signatory organizations from 23 European countries including France, Switzerland, Finland, Poland, Germany, Denmark, UK and others. (http://www.epaw.org/about_us.php?lang=en). This number of opposing organizations, by itself, would indicate that turbines are not ‘operating effectively all over the world’
Now, Mr Richardson, it is your turn. In my opinion industrial wind turbines are not operating effectively all over the world. But I am willing to give you equal time to try to persuade me. Please send me some research reports and articles – but not written by the wind turbine companies and their paid lobbyists – that support your statement that “wind turbines and waste to energy plants are operating effectively all over the world”. I would be happy to look at them and consider their credibility.
Frances Coe, Municipality of Meaford