Like many people in Ontario, until we learned about the proposal for an industrial wind turbine installation in North Gower and south Richmond, we thought wind turbines were an interesting idea.
On learning more about wind energy development however, you learn a few important facts:
-wind doesn’t work. It is intermittent and unreliable, and actually requires power to operate the turbines. Industrial-scale wind turbines operate at less than 25% efficiency.
-the wind industry is comprised of companies focused on making profits, mostly from government subsidies. Claims of saving lives from pollution etc are not true and totally irelevant to their cause.
-pollution in Ontario is NOT caused by coal-fired power plants, it is from transportation (cars and trucks) and industry. More than 90% of Ontario’s pollution comes from south of the border. The oft-quoted Ontario Medical Association report claiming “thousands” of deaths in Ontario each year is inaccurate and outdated, and has been roundly criticized. (But the wind lobby still uses it.)
-wind power has not been the tremendous success in Europe as is promoted. In fact, the wind development industry has been responsible for a decline in GDP (Denmark) and in the economy of countries such as Germany and Spain. Without the massive government subsidies the industry has enjoyed, it would not have gotten where it is.
-wind turbines produce environmental noise and vibration which in turn cause health effects such as sleeplessness, stress, anxiety, increased blood pressure, and more. Health effects are now being reported around the world.
-other municipalities in Ontario have begun to protest to the Ontario government that they want wind turbine development to stop until proper health studies are done. In Europe, health effects are being reported by people living within 2 km of turbines; in Ontario the setback has been set at 550 meters, with no basis in health or science
-people say, This can’t go through, it will be stopped. Unfortunately, with Ontario’s Green Energy Act, Ontario communities are now powerless to plan their own community or to protect their citizens
-As health effects are experienced, property values decline. In North Gower there is a large number of homes that will be close to the proposed turbines. Using models employed by real estate appraisers, realtors and others, it is estimated that the property value loss could be 10-30% or more, depending on proximity to the turbines. One Ontario homeowner’s assessed value declined by 50% because of proximity to a turbine transformer station.
-If North Gower-Richmond property values decline, the Ottawa tax base will be affected; other taxpayers will have to pay more to make up for the decline.
People in other turbine development areas say they are experiencing problems they didn’t have before the turbines began operation. If you want some idea of the noise they are living with, please visit:
and click on noise examples. Of course, this is NOT the same as actually experiencing a multiple-turbine installation on a windy day, and not the same as trying to sleep in a house near wind turbines, but you will get some idea.
Shadow flicker is another side effect of industrial wind turbines and of special concern for people with epilepsy, and people who own horses. To see a very graphic example of shadow flicker, go to
and search on “shadow flicker” + Wisconsin. Note that the setbacks in Wisconsin are very minimal, but you will get the idea.
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