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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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For many of us, it’s been exactly a year since we visited the North Gower Wind Action Group’s display in the community booth at the North Gower Farmers’ Market and discovered that the proposed wind turbine development, long rumoured to be “somewhere” west of North Gower, was in fact right smack beside the village boundaries, and close to hundreds of homes in North Gower and south Richmond.

Most of us were completely uninformed about the industrial turbine installation as it was proposed, and about wind energy in general. Who could blame us? The province of Ontario and the corporate wind lobby have devoted huge sums of money and plenty of marketing expertise to promote wind energy as “clean” and “green” and the province’s salvation in terms of job creation and power generation.

Now, a year out, with the reading and listening and learning we have done, we know what is truth, and what isn’t:

-the province’s setbacks are not based on any science whatsoever and are actually political; if setbacks were 1-2 km as they are in Europe, there would be NO industrial wind turbines in southern Ontario. But they have to be, because that’s where the transmission capacity is, and where the power is being used.

-the Green Energy Act, far from being legislation to encourage environmentally-friendly sources of energy production, is a deft move by corporate interests and the Ontario government to completely remove the planning powers of Ontario municipalities where these projects are concerned. Now, in the City of Ottawa, you can object to your neighbour installing a dormer on his house that will affect your property, but your rural neighbour who wants to erect 626-foot industrial wind turbines that will affect you, your health and your property values, can go ahead. (An example more to the point occurred a few years ago when an Island Park resident wanted to put up a small wind turbine in his back yard but was prevented from doing so for “safety” reasons; now, with the Green Energy Act, he could do it without restriction, but says he doesn’t want to upset his neighbours.)

-the corporate wind industry cries “coal is killing people” when scientific studies have shown that not to be true. Pollution in Ontario is due to industry, pollution from industry south of the border, and from cars. People who take ill in Ontario due to smog are made ill because of the heat and other health problems. Not coal. And yes, we should clean up coal: so let’s use the technologies that exist to do that. Same thing for hydro: gear it up.

-wind doesn’t work. Someone described wind industry as being like a car that’s running out of gas just when you need it the most. In fact, wind turbines NEED fossil fuel back up to function.

-job creation is a myth: studies done in Spain, Germany and Denmark show that their economies have suffered because of wind development, and that jobs are merely taken from other sectors. In Ontario, the only jobs created will be connected to manufacturing sites in southern Ontario (a political move to take the place of the defunct auto plants, but which will never employ those numbers of people)…as for construction of wind turbine sites, any local jobs created will be temporary.

-industrial wind turbines do make noise and cause sleep disturbance for some people. This seems particularly true for people living among arrays of multiple turbines. Health studies have shown that noise that disturbs sleep such as from traffic causes health problems; to pretend that the same isn’t true for wind turbines is deceitful. The corporate wind industry, however, can buy medical opinions apparently. But somehow, while they have $250,000 to fight the people of Arran-Elderslie, they don’t want to spend the $100,000 it would take to do a simple sleep study.

-the corporate wind lobby is very rich and very powerful, and protective of the millions they stand to make from Ontario citizens’ subsidies to this non-viable industry. Who says wind doesn’t work? Dragon’s Den’s Kevin O’Leary; the Globe and Mail’s Marget Wente; the National Post’s Terence Corcoran. One estimate is that every Ontario family will pay approximately $1800 in subsidies to the corporate wind industry.

-it’s a myth that Ontario communities and citizens can do nothing. We can empliy a variety of legal means, one of which is helping out the Ian Hanna legal challenge to the Green Energy Act.

A year of being angry in North Gower, a year of fighting for our community against big business interests that do NOT have the environment in mind, and that are focused only on profits.

The fight continues.

To contact the North Gower Wind Action Group, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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A Windmill Silhouetted Against A Cloudy Sky Stock Photothe past…

Once you’ve explored the issue of industrial wind turbines, their effects on the health of involuntary neighbours and on the environment and landscape, one thing begins to really rankle: when the uninformed and the corporate wind lobby call them “windmills” … or when their locations are called “wind farms” or “wind parks.”

Romantic, but completely untrue.

Dr Robert McMurtry in his video interview (See Eight Minutes of Truth, below) pointed out that if the turbines for Prince Edward County are constructed, the County will have more structures the size of office towers than Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa combined.

Which got us thinking: there are 8 to 10 (nobody really knows at this point and the people who do aren’t saying) 626-foot, or 190-meter industrial wind turbines proposed for the area of the Village of North Gower and south Richmond. They would be twice the size of the Peace Tower, or equivalent to the Calgary Tower, or a 50-storey office building. How many 50-storey office buildings does Ottawa have? NONE.

North Gower will go from being a quiet rural village, home to hundreds of families and family farms, to an industrial enclave with 8 to 10 huge structures that will be visible day and night for a considerable distance.

Of course, what they look like is the least of the issues: we know from areas like Clear Creek that multiple turbine installations create noise and vibration which can very disturbing to people within a 2 km radius.

The “windmills” of times gone by weren’t like that: when thinking about the North Gower-Richmond wind turbines, remember, this is strictly an industrial use of the land for profit, and nothing else. This is “high-impact” industry. Wind power is expensive, unreliable, intermittent and ultimately, ineffective. Government subisidies are the only motivation here.

For more news daily, see http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

To email the North Gower Wind Action Group, northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

what an industrial wind turbine looks like

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There is a lot of buzz these days as corporate wind developers are fighting back against the growing resistance to industrial wind turbines on several counts: there are problems for the involuntary neighbours of the machines such as health effects and declining or outright erasure of property values, and on the larger scale, Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers are paying for a technology that simply doesn’t work and can NEVER live up to the promises made for it.

One comment made by the pro-wind faction is that, if wind turbines are so bad, then why don’t we hear from the people who have leased their land for the huge industrial machines. Very simple: their contracts do not allow for them to speak about any aspect of their agreement with the corporate wind developer.

Another comment is that industrial wind turbines are good for farmers. And the answer to that is, no, they’re not. Just listen to the video of a Wisconsin-based farmer who “hosts” three turbines. He says his crops are suffering, his health is suffering, the community has been torn apart, and he goes on to describe a dismal situation. (See the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzh106w1lRA&feature=player_embedded#!

Again, from Wisconsin, a property owner who says the corporate wind developer told him “bold-faced lies” about the noise. The first day they turned on, he says, “[it sounded like] I had a jet airplane over my house … and it didn’t go away.” He says his community will never be the same, neither will his life: “They stole from me.” His house is for sale. http://www.windaction.org/videos/28235

You may also wish to read the account of a property owner in New York State, who had previously been critical of those opposed to industrial wind turbines. Listen to what he says now: http://www.livinginnewyork.org/cohocton_lessor_hal_graham_complaining_about_noise

And, an Ontario property owner who lives near the International Power Corp “Frogmore Wind project” has just learned that her custom-built dream home is now unsellable and probably worthless. Here’s how she describes the situation in her community:

We, in the Clear Creek/Cultus/Frogmore industrial wind turbine zone who live surrounded within a 3-km radius by 18 Vestas, 1.65 MW IWTs, are a dense enclave of ~ 140 houses, 300 residents of which 70 signed a petition last year saying that they WERE affected by those 18 IWTs. Because we have 10 +/- abandoned houses, 10 +/- vacant houses for sale,
9 +/- occupied homes for sale and 8 seasonal homes, there is much scope for study and research.

That’s 37 families out of 140 who are significantly and negatively affected by 18 industrial wind turbines. (One wonders at the prospect for North Gower: 10 turbines at 2.5 MW and 626 feet tall, located in part of hilly topography that we know from research in other locations has an effect on how and where the noise travels. We also know if the developer gets approval, they won’t stop at 10. While at Clear Creek/Frogmore, homes are within 3 km, in North Gower-Richmond, virtually the entire village, including the public school, will be within 3 km of turbines, based on some maps produced in the past by Prowind.)

All this for wind power which can barely squeak out megawatts of power, and at best operates at below 30% capacity. Right now, 10:30 a.m. on July 13, on Wolfe Island where residents say the quality of life has been utterly lost, the turbines are generating 59 MW out of a capacity for 185 MW. At Amaranth, the output is ZERO (capacity 200 MW).

What it does produce is profits for the corporate wind developers.

What can you do?

-Let your City Councillor and MPP know that you want the City of Ottawa (or your city, wherever you are) to get control of development BACK; it was taken away by the Green Energy Act.

-Learn more about industrial scale wind power

-Learn more about how electricity is generated, marketed and sold in Ontario—it’s a worrying situation.

-DEMAND that the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario put aside her report published in May, and undertake new, proper health research together with the Ontario Research Chair, Dr Sivo Sivoththaman (For details, see http://northgowerwindturbines.wordpress.com )

To contact the North Gower Wind Action Group email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

and check out news stories daily at http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

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When it comes to industrial wind turbines there is plenty of talk about the health problems due to sleep disturbance as a result of the noise the machines produce (and vibration), about declining (or erased) property values, about the destruction of the landscape, but there is one argument that is not an opinion, it’s a fact:

WIND DOESN’T WORK.

The promises of “clean” energy, jobs, etc., all false. One of our members pointed us to this blogsite where the author analysizes the IESO data. It’s a very interesting story:

http://viewsfromscience.blogspot.com/2010/07/monthly-wind-report-june-2010.html

Wind doesn’t work.

According to Parker Gallant, writing in The Financial Post, “McGuinty has not delivered on one of his ideals [cheap green power, no coal plants] and instead has brought in electricity costs that are the most expensive of any province (except PEI) and higher than half the American states. At the same time, Ontario’s public sector electricity debt continues to increase.”

Who’s paying for this experiment? YOU are.

Email the North Gower Wind Action Group at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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The IESO has this cute little graphic indicating the current production of energy from industrial wind turbines in Ontario, always with a pithy description like “Enough to power homes in Parry Sound” or some such. The truth is more like, well, we COULD have powered 100,000 homes today but really, we generated enough for about six hairdryers.

Here from the IESO website, is the total energy production in Ontario for yesterday, June 13th. Listed is the capability and actual. Wind power is a complete joke…it simply doesn’t work. And June 13th is not an anomaly, either: every day indicates similarly disappointing results.

(Sorry, the entire spreadsheet won’t fit: to see it, go to http://reports.ieso.ca/public/GenOutputCapability/PUB_GenOutputCapability_20100613.xml )

//

Hours 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
 
WIND Total
Capability
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
1085
Output
59
62
64
42
19
24
33
56
80
62
51
51
46
44
42
30
27
31
35
34
18
19
34
34
AMARANTH
Capability
200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200
Output
20 17 11 14 5 2 6 19 22 15 4 14 7 1 0 1 1 1 3 4 2 1 1 1
KINGSBRIDGE
Capability
40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40
Output
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
PORT ALMA
Capability
101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101 101
Output
3 3 6 5 2 2 1 0 2 4 5 9 14 18 25 17 21 24 18 8 1 0 0 0
PORT BURWELL
Capability
99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99
Output
2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 3 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 0
PRINCEFARM
Capability
189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189 189
Output
7 12 13 6 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 12 11 6 4 10 6
RIPLEY SOUTH
Capability
76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76 76
Output
0 1 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1
UNDERWOOD
Capability
182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182 182
Output
10 1 4 0 0 0 1 17 41 21 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
WOLFE ISLAND
Capability
198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198 198
Output
17 28 28 15 11 20 24 19 15 22 30 27 24 21 12 8 2 0 0 11 8 13 21 25

Look especially at Wolfe Island which is 2 1/2 hours south west of us near Kingston: it is an area with greater wind potential than North Gower, but look how little is being achieved. Why is North Gower even a candidate for wind power when the wind potential here is marginal? Why is $20 MM being spent for very little return (except to the corporate wind developer)?

WHY is the province spending so much money on wind power generation when it clearly doesn’t work and will NEVER meet Ontario’s needs for power?  Ratepayers and taxpayers are footing the bill for this huge mistake: expensive, unreliable, intermittent and inadequate wind power.

To email us northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

News daily at http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

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One of our members/supporters asked recently about land near Hunt Club and why it couldn’t be used for industrial wind turbines, as it’s close to transmission lines etc. There are a lot of reasons why that wouldn’t work (the fact that wind energy is a complete scam being top of the list) including closeness to the airport etc., but among them is the fact that that land is considered the greenbelt and is immune to development.

Or so the people north of Toronto thought, about their greenbelt lands.

Turns out the McGuinty government is trying to push through construction of a natural gas power generation plant in the area north of Toronto, specifically near the market gardens of Holland Marsh. How does the province plan to do this? Simply by passing a regulation to the Planning Act, making this power plant exempt from rules for the greenbelt.

Like the Green Energy Act, this new regulation will remove any planning powers the municipalities have, and citizens will have no choice…and no say.

“This should scare the living Jesus out of everybody in the province,” said Jamie Reaume, head of the Holland Marsh Growers Association. If the Greenbelt isn’t sacred, he argued, “this means this can be done anywhere, any time.”

Ontario Energy and Infrastructure Minister Brad Duguid says that’s not what the government intends.

Read the full article from the Globe and Mail here:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/province-pushing-through-greenbelt-power-plant/article1590343/

To get in touch with us, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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