Wind turbine battles are being fought globally. In North America Germany’s use of renewable energy projects are often looked to as an ideal to strive for in power generation systems. Wind turbines are facing increasingly stiff opposition from residents who had once strongly been in favour of wind power. The following documentary explores how opinions change once the wind turbines go up and begin operations. Ideals for a better future face a harsh and ugly reality. The film was shown on the German television channel ARD – Das Erste on August 1, 2016. Original is in German but video has English subtitles.
Last month, the Ontario Energy Board decided to protect rate payers from knowing how much the Liberal government’s cap-and-trade policy would add to their monthly gas bills.
Now the OEB has decided to relieve us of the burden of knowing how much the government’s electricity policies are affecting our monthly hydro bill.
The OEB, it seems, is worried that too much information may confuse the average Ontario taxpayer. At least that’s how they responded to Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s request that hydro bills be changed to increase “the awareness and transparency” of the impact of the so-called “global adjustment charge.”
The global adjustment is an extra charge that is levied to cover the gap between the guaranteed prices the Liberal government promised electricity generators in 20-year contracts and the actual market rates.
Lysyk has estimated that global adjustment accounted for 70 per cent of consumer electricity rates in 2013. If so, that’s something that should be plainly disclosed on every hydro bill.
For the OEB to contend that further transparency would only confuse ratepayers is highly paternalistic, if not down right arrogant.
Give us the information. If we get confused, we can call and ask for clarification.
Liberal Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault has again refused to intervene on behalf of the auditor general or the taxpayer on the basis that the OEB is an independent quasi-judicial regulatory body.
That’s very convenient. Thibeault may not have the power to order the OEB to change their ways … but perhaps he can at least ask. He has the power to do that.
As it is, it’s getting harder for the public to take the claim of OEB independence seriously.
Who could possibly benefit from burying the cost of the Liberal’s questionable energy policies … other than the Liberal government?
“A Highland anti-windfarm campaigner who has had enough of “industry spin” hopes her new book about turbines will be allowed into schools to bring some balance to the debate.”
Lyndsey Ward was recently interviewed about her book that presents the other side of wind development impacts in order to counter industry’s pro- wind literature being allowed in schools.
“Tiny the Turbine is a story that really is for children. Following Subsidy Sam’s release it was clear that there was a need for something that would help children understand the negative impacts of large scale wind developments. Happily Josh agreed and we have worked together to produce this second story specifically for children. Subsidy Sam is a dark tale but Tiny the Turbine is a moral and uplifting story and shows that it is possible to succeed in fighting against the bad things in life no matter how daunting it may seem.”
For printed copies, any commercial resale or reuse please email Lyndsey Ward
Windfarm campaigner hopes new book will take-out the industry spin
Published December 12, 2016; The Press and Journal by Iain Ramage
It can no longer be said that wind infrastructure placements are an accident waiting to happen. Guardrails, junction boxes and monster transmission poles are all part and parcel of any wind powered installation. Under the Green Energy Act normal planning controls have been removed from the jurisdiction of local municipalities. This has seen transmission poles placed precariously close to road edges in the right of ways along our public roads. These “engineered” marvels are more then visual blight or examples of questionable planning as they are claiming human lives in multiple fatal collisions. Recently a transmission pole owned by Kerwood Wind ILP project which is a subsidiary of NextEra was involved in a collision that claimed the life of the car driver and resulted in serious injuries to the passenger .
Richard Mann is an Associate Professor of School of Computer Science at the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo located in southern Ontario. His passion is sound. He is a published and peer reviewed researcher working in partnership pursuing methods to improve measurements of infrasound and recently with his co-author presented at Wind Turbine Noise 2015, INCE/EUROPE, in Glasgow, Scotland in April 2015.
He stated his current position about health investigations into the exposure of noise emitted by Industrial Wind Turbines as follows (Bolded and underlined for emphasis):
“There have also been many surveys and studies regarding human health effects related to Industrial Wind Turbine exposure. Sadly many of them have actually increased suffering by concluding that the subjects were imagining their symptoms, and by varying degrees, labeling them with the “It’s all in your head” designation.”
It is also of note that while many people did agree to participate in these surveys and studies inthe hope that their concerns would be heard, they were certainly captive participants by being forced to live in proximity to the turbines.”
Letter to Epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Clark of Huron County:
West Lincoln Glanbrook Wind Action Group (WLGWAG) in partnership with Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. held a recent information session in Smithville. On December 1st , 2016 WLGWAG Chair, Mike Jankowski was interviewed prior to the public meeting and questioned on reactions to the Premier’s “mistake”, the Green Energy Act, impacts to health and well-being and the recently operational Niagara Wind Project.
P.S. His last name is “JAN-KOW-SKI”
To hear the interview:
Set “Audio Date” to December 1
Set “Audio Time: to 2:00 PM, click play
Fast forward to 40:00 (3 quarters of the way) by clicking the bar below the play button
“Soaring hydro costs have become an Achilles heel for the Liberal government, which took a costly plunge into green energy in 2009 and has been raked over the coals by the auditor general for ignoring its own energy planners and saddling consumers with billions of dollars above market prices for power.”
High hydro costs sending Ontarians to food banks, report says
Rising power bills — not just lack of good jobs and high food prices — are forcing hundreds of thousands of Ontarians to turn to food banks, a new report by a food bank umbrella group warns.
In yet another sign of the crisis caused for many in the province by soaring electricity rates, the Ontario Association of Food Banks says the fallout is putting the squeeze on the basic needs of many.
“If people have to choose between keeping the lights on and going hungry, they go without food,”
Carolyn Stewart, executive director of the association, said ahead of Monday’s release of the group’s Hunger Report 2016…
November 21, 2016 turbine 126 suffered a catastrophic structural collapse as documented in photos shared on Facebook. Ocotillo Wind Energy consists of 112- 2.37 MW Siemens wind turbines. The project was built on California public lands by Pattern Energy and began commercial operations in 2013. It is now 3 years and the project continues to demonstrate ongoing structural and operational issues for this ill conceived facility.
The project responded with the following statement:
On November 21, 2016, one of the turbines at the Ocotillo Wind facility fell within the designated setback zone surrounding the turbine’s base. No one was injured in the incident. We are working closely with the turbine manufacturer, Siemens, to identify the root cause of the failure and a full investigation is currently underway. Relevant authorities have also been notified.
Our first priority is the safety of our employees, contractors, neighbors and the environment. We are taking this issue very seriously and will communicate more information as it becomes available.
Pattern Energy is proud to be part of the Imperial Valley. Our Ocotillo Wind facility is an investment in the region that is creating many economic benefits, including jobs and substantial growth in the property tax base.
The facility supports local initiatives through the Ocotillo Wind Community Benefits Program, which established the Ocotillo Wind Community Fund, Ocotillo Wind Education Fund and Ocotillo Wind Imperial Valley Fund, and is administered by the Imperial Valley Community Foundation. Sign up here to receive updates about the community benefits program and facility news.
Pattern Energy is focused on being a responsible community partner by respecting the land, its resources and the people of the Imperial Valley. The Ocotillo Wind facility is located on public lands administered by the BLM, with a small portion on lands under the jurisdiction of Imperial County. The permanent footprint is approximately 120 acres, which is less than 1% of the total project area, allowing the overwhelming majority of the project land to be preserved in its natural state and allowing the project infrastructure to be sited in areas that do not directly impact cultural resources.”
Wind Power Complex installations demonstrate a common, reoccurring and global pattern of adverse effects and harm. The following mirrors the range of issues being reported and documented by impacted residents in Ontario, Canada.
Massive conflict of interests, no adequate measurement of noise and deliberate misinformation of residents.
13 May 2016
The president of the Polish National Audit Authority (NIK) told a parliamentary committee on 12 May 2016 that in up to one third of all the rural municipalities covered by the NIK investigation, decision makers responsible for granting permits for wind farm developments, or close family members of such local officials, were beneficiaries of land leases for these projects.
These are the findings of a multi-year study by the Polish Audit Authority, which sought to investigate if the public interest was adequately safeguarded in the planning and permitting process for publicly-subsidized wind power developments. Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, NIK president, told the parliamentary committee on infrastructure that the study included a total of 70 inspections in 51 municipalities and 19 county-level local government administrations.
In 90 per cent of inspected municipalities, local authority’s approval of wind farm developments was made contingent on the developer’s funding the preparation of planning documentation or making donations to the municipality. Yet, under Polish law such expenditures must be covered from the municipality’s own budget. According to the Polish Audit Authority, such actions may give rise to conflict of interests between the developer’s preferences and the interests of municipalities and local communities.
Mr Kwiatkowski also noted that the existing regulations on noise measurement did not guarantee “reliable [assessment] of nuisance resulting from the operation of a wind farm”. Specifically, under the existing regulations noise was measured at low speed levels, with wind speed below 5 m/s. However, the noise is most intensive at wind speeds of 10-12 m per second, which are optimal for wind turbine’s performance. Furthermore, the regulations did not require measurements of other impacts such as infrasound and shadow flicker, according to President Kwiatkowski.
The Polish National Auditor also noted that in the absence of clear laws and consistent caselaw of courts, wind farms were occasionally built in areas of outstanding landscape value.
The inspections also disclosed that in one third of the municipalities there were conflicts of interests involving “individuals who were primary beneficiaries of wind farm projects”, that is people who concluded land lease contracts for wind turbines. Such people tended to be “mayors, members of their immediate families, municipality officials, council members” who had approved changes to local zoning plans enabling the construction of wind farms in the first place.
The Polish National Auditor also questioned the manner in which local communities were being informed about the planned developments. At times, meetings were announced in a manner intended to make it difficult for interested residents to attend and then the failure to attend such meeting was considered to imply consent on the part of local population.