1/17/11 How's that industrial wind turbine thing working out? Like a bad neighbor, Acciona is there. AND Perception VS. Reality: Putting the Green Spin on Wind Energy AND Wind Lobbyist's tantrum about Walkers proposed setbacks AND Extra Credit Reading List
WAUBRA RESIDENT TELLS COURT OF WIND FARM "HELL"
SOURCE The Courier, www.thecourier.com.au
January 18 2011
Former Waubra resident Trish Godfrey yesterday told an Adelaide court how her dream home became “hell on earth” after wind farm turbines were turned on.
Ms Godfrey said she suffered sleep deprivation, headaches and nausea before moving out in April 2010 when Acciona purchased her property.
“It was like you had a hat on that’s too tight and you have a pain that just gets worse and worse, and you can’t take it off,” Ms Godfrey said. “There was pain most of the time.”
Ms Godfrey broke down in tears as she gave evidence at the Environment Resources and Development Court.
Dairy farmer Richard Paltridge is appealing a decision to grant Acciona approval to build a 46-turbine wind farm near his property, south of Mt Gambier.
Ms Godfrey said her symptoms began about a month after turbines were turned on, then got progressively worse.
“I said to my husband I’m not sick but I don’t feel well,” she said.
“It felt like I had a cold coming on all the time.
“My sleep patterns were changing. I was waking up two, three, four times a night. I couldn’t explain it. I couldn’t get my head around what was going on.
“You put it down to everything but what it is.”
Ms Godfrey said she and her husband Victor, a dental surgeon, went on holiday to Darwin and the symptoms stopped, then resumed when she returned home.
“You get back and it starts all over again,” she said. “It all came back with gusto.”
Under questioning by George Manos for Mr Paltridge, Ms Godfrey said the 10-acre property was her “dream” home, where she and her husband intended to retire.
She said she planted 750 to 1000 boundary trees, about 30 fruit trees and 17 vegetable beds in the 10 years they lived there.
Ms Godfrey said she had been led into a false sense of security in a meeting with David Shapiro of Wind Power, the company that set up the Waubra project and sold it to Acciona.
“He told us there would be a couple of turbines on Quoin Hill, a couple on Big Hill and a few behind us,” Ms Godfrey said.
“He said there would be no lights, no wires and no noise.”
Ms Godfrey said 63 turbines could be seen from her property and it became “hell” to live there.
She said the noise “pressed in” on their home. “It was anywhere from a low whooshing sound, a sweeping swoosh some days, and when the wind was coming from the north it was like a jumbo jet in the back paddock,” she said.
Former Waubra resident Carl Stepnell told the court yesterday he and his wife’s symptoms of chest pains, heart palpitations and sleep deprivation ceased after the couple moved away from the family farm to Ballarat in November.
“We feel as though we’ve got our health back,” Mr Stepnell said.
Mt Stepnell said his wife also suffered depression while living close to the turbines.
“Her whole appearance … it was scary to see how bad she was,” he said. “She was really down, depressed … shocking.”
Mr Stepnell said his five-year-old son attended Waubra Primary School until the family moved.
“I see a big difference in his behaviour,” he said.
“He is nowhere near as emotional … he was pale. (Now) he’s like a normal five-year-old.”
PERCEPTION VS REALITY
SOURCE: he Republican-American, www.rep-am.com
January 16, 2011
By Bill Gregware,
Wise people (and politicians) often say perception is more important than reality. Take the case of wind energy in Connecticut. What are the perceptions and what are the realities? With the proposed wind projects in Colebrook and Prospect currently being so hotly debated, perhaps it’s timely to consider a few points.
Wind power will lower the cost of electricity. The promoters of wind power frequently start their pitch by saying Connecticut has the highest rates for electricity within the continental United States. That is true, and the target audience often comes away with the impression more wind power will mean a decrease in electricity costs.
The reality is electricity generated from wind is much more expensive than that produced from traditional sources. It’s often stated wind-generated electricity costs 15 percent to 20 percent more than does that generated by coal, but the actual cost may be even more. It is difficult to calculate because of the variables involved. Only in rare cases is it lower than 15 percent more than coal-generated electricity. And with wind power, consumers not only pay higher prices for electricity, they are, as taxpayers, also paying for the generous subsidies this industry is receiving. Without subsidies there is simply no way wind power can compete economically.
Oil imports will be reduced. A misleading perception is that more wind turbines will reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) says, “Unlike the dirty energy from fossil fuels, wind energy does not cause … dependence on unfriendly foreign regimes.”
In reality, wind energy may not cause the dependence but does nothing to reduce it. The majority of the electricity produced in the United States is derived from domestic sources: coal, about 45 percent; natural gas, 25 percent; nuclear, 20 percent; and hydroelectric, 6 percent, not from burning fossil fuels imported from other nations.
The danger in promoting such claims is that it leads the public into thinking something positive is being done to curb oil imports and this very serious problem is being solved. People are then less apt to support the implementation of projects that could improve the environment and reduce imports of oil, such as increasing emphasis on efficiency and conservation.
Environmentalists support wind power. The promoters of wind power make every attempt to show “true environmentalists” support wind power while opponents are anti-green. The truth is growing numbers of hard-core environmentalists are becoming disillusioned with wind power.
In his book “The Wind Farm Scam,” Dr. John Etherington, a highly esteemed UK ecologist and beyond doubt an avid environmentalist, wrote: “The specter of climate change is being used as a scare tactic to get people to buy wind power. This is the old quack-doctor trick — scare them to death and they’ll buy anything. It (wind power) will certainly be seen by history as a swindle supported by untruths and half truths.”
Property values are unaffected by wind turbines. The wind industry has taken a hard-line approach to the property-value question. It often presents detailed reports by “experts” that indicate property values do not decrease in the vicinity of wind turbines. Most of these reports are written by wind advocates using flawed data and reaching invalid conclusions.
The answer to the property-value question is found in common-sense reasoning. Who, given a choice, would want to live near these devices? How many potential buyers would seek homes in the vicinity of a wind turbine? For that matter, how many executives of the wind industry live near turbines?
Numerous anecdotal stories tell of folks being unable to sell their homes and abandoning them because they could no longer tolerate the noise or other characteristics of turbines.
Wind power will replace dirty power plants. “U.S. winds contain enough energy to provide over 10 times our total electricity, and to fuel a large portion of our auto fleet with electricity as well,” says the AWEA, giving the perception we can eliminate existing conventionally powered plants.
Think of that! All we have to do is to cover our countrysides with wind turbines and the dirty old coal plants can be shut down, with enough electricity will be left over to fuel electric cars. The problem is the intermittent nature of wind means it must have backup. Wind turbines have never replaced a traditional power plant.
Wind power means jobs. Jobs are created by the wind industry, but that can be said of any industry. The perception the promoters try to depict is that wind power means a great many new jobs for local workers. However, most of the work is in the manufacture of the turbines, which is done far away from the site, perhaps even in a foreign land. And once they are in place, turbines require little manpower except for once a year or so routine maintenance.
Why does the wind industry work so hard hawking half truths and hyperbole to create false perceptions that wind power is so wonderful, even in relatively low-wind areas like Connecticut?
It’s because a bad idea is difficult to sell. The reality is that wind power is not about “going green.” It’s all about money.
Bill Gregware (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Goshen is a retired oil company geologist/exploration manager. He is also an avid environmentalist and freelance writer who specializes in writing about nature and energy. Further, he is a party to those fighting the proposal by Optiwind to build a turbine in Goshen.
AWEA has a tantrum -- again
(Posted January 16, 2011)
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Last week it was reported that China - which has a global monopoly on the production of rare-earth metals - is now threatening to cut off vital supplies to the West. A shortage would jeopardise the manufacturing and development of green technologies such as wind turbines and low-energy lightbulbs.Last week it was reported that China - which has a global monopoly on the production of rare-earth metals - is now threatening to cut off vital supplies to the West. A shortage would jeopardise the manufacturing and development of green technologies such as wind turbines and low-energy lightbulbs.