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Posts Tagged ‘facts about wind power’

Bart Geleynse of Prowind, which has proposals in for six industrial wind turbine developments in Eastern Ontario, and two others elsewhere in Ontario, is responding to citizen reaction. Mr Geleynse wrote a letter to the editor of the Woodstock Sentinel Review last month. Here it is:

Dear Editor,

Several articles and letters to the editor have run in this paper over the past months challenging wind energy as a viable and healthy source of electricity generation. Of course, it is wonderful to see opinions freely expressed, but these pieces often valued anecdote over actuality. Given the importance of renewable energy to the present and future of our economy, our environment and our well being, the real story begs articulating through a simple examination of the facts.

The growth if wind energy around the world continues at a strong and consistent pace? Between 2000- 2009, a net amount of 65.1 gigawatts (GW) of wind power was installed in Europe while fuel oil, coal and nuclear capacity decreased by 13GW, 12GW and 7.2GW respectively. In 2009, more wind power was installed in Europe than any other electricity generating technology. Over 10GW of wind power was installed in 2009 while over 3GW of coal generation was decommissioned during the same period

Wind power is creating jobs and stimulating economies across North America as it continues to outpace the installation rate of all other electricity generation technologies year on year.

A sustainable supply of electricity will most certainly continue to include a mix of fuel types and technologies. In the context of the rising cost and increasingly uncertain supply of conventional fuel sources, wind power is a progressively essential and affordable component of that vital mix.

Ontario has set targets to replace the electricity from its coal-fired plants over the next few years with electricity from renewable sources. This is a highly achievable goal that comes with the benefits of significantly reduced pollution and increased economic activity in the province over both the short and long term. Further, it enables farmers and rural communities to play a direct and strategic role in our global energy future. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

Locally, the proposed Innerkip and Gunn’s Hill wind farms represent enormous potential benefit to stakeholders and their communities, including but not limited to:

120,000 MWh of locally generated electricity annually (approximately 14,000 homes, and greenhouse has emissions reduction equivalent to 8,903 hectares acres of forest each year)

Municipal tax revenue

$25,000 per year to local community groups

Annual revenue for landowners

Significant economic activity for local contractors during construction

Predictable and stable electricity costs throughout the project lifetime

So why is wind power attracting negative press? What should be made of the claims regarding wind turbines and their perceived impacts on humans and wildlife? Fundamentally, it is a matter of perspective. There is nothing in this world that exists without exacting some sort of influence on its surroundings; no method of generating electricity that doesn’t create some amount of environmental impact. The question is, which method impacts us the least? We live in a world of complex interdependencies across the spheres of environment, economics, and society, and a fair answer to that question must take all facets into consideration.

Turbines can be seen and are sometimes heard, and this might understandably annoy some people. However, the Ontario government has put in place some of the world’s most stringent regulations around the siting and operation of wind turbines in order to minimize this annoyance, and to strike a healthy balance between the clear benefits of a clean, cost-certain electricity source and the subjective costs of an altered landscape.

In May 2010, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health released a report concluding that, “according to scientific evidence, there isn’t any direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects.” This is a strong statement that not surprisingly validates the global body of peer-reviewed evidence that has been published on the subject for decades. The real threat to our health, it seems, is maintaining the status quo. Burning coal, damming rivers, and coping with hazardous nuclear waste are activities that have significant negative impact on humans, wildlife and the environment, even to the point of premature death.

Getting to the heart of it, humans naturally resist change. Historically, some of the greatest technological advancements were opposed with passion and fervour that disregarded rational bounds. Change happens to us whether we wish it to or not, and progress will always involve overcoming that natural reticence to adapt to it.

Wind energy is safe, proven and effective, and it allows us all the opportunity to play a tangible role in moving toward a brighter future. One that embraces innovation, wastes less, and pollutes less for the sake of a cleaner, more secure and more sustainable life for present and future generations.

Sincerely, Bart Geleynse

Prowind Canada

———

So, there’s nothing wrong with industrial-scale wind turbines, it’s just that people “resist change”? That’s his opinion but in the rest of the letter, his facts are wrong: Europe is back-tracking on its commitment to wind power development because the economic forecasts turned out to be completely disappointing. Economic reports from Germany and Spain show that no new jobs were created as a result of wind power; Denmark has stopped giving subsidies to wind developments;the country that has the lowest CO2 emissions and the lowest cost of electricity for consumers is FRANCE, which relies on nuclear power. And setbacks? In Ontario Mr Geleynse’s “stringent restrictions” are for 550 meters between an industrial wind turbine and a home…in Europe, the setback is 1-2 km with 2 km becoming the norm.

The claim that wind can replace coal power plants is completely false; it would take many many thousands of industrial wind turbines even to approach the power produced by coal-fired power plants. Mr Geleynse also refers to the capacity of industrial wind turbines without mentioning that they rarely exceed 25% of their capacity. This is a fact. A report from the U.K. dated yesterday shows that the wind turbine installations there are operating at less than 25% capacity. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1303688/More-half-Britains-wind-farms-built-wind.html

Mr Geleynse also refers to the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health report released in May of this year, as proof that there are no health problems from exposure to the noise and vibration from industrial wind turbines. This “report” was simply another review (carefully guided to use industry-selected papers) and not a health study in any way. It has been roundly criticized by medical experts. The question being asked, over and over, is: WHY isn’t anyone doing a proper health study, that actually looks at people and their complaints? Dr Carl V. Phillips, an epidemiologist, has said the reports to date are “self-serving”; the people who have the resources to do a proper study have chosen not to.

Mr Geleynse says the “real story” needs articulation of “the facts”. We agree there: indeed, it does.

And the facts show that wind doesn’t work. Ontario is racing toward a very expensive inefficient and ineffective form of energy generation that at the end of the day is going to be an expensive and ruinous debacle.

Mr Geleynse is not an economist; nor is he an environmentalist; he is not trained in health issues. He is a salesperson for Prowind, a corporate wind developer based in Germany. That is all.

For more news daily, please check http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com and to email the North Gower Wind Action Group, northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

 

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