Editorial for Toronto Wind Action: October 2012
Misinformation fouls the facts.
In response to Misinformation fouls the wind debate, posted on EnviroLaw
Turbines abandoned in California, Hawaii, a legacy of environmental shame: industrial junk yards accrue
Windy Scandinavia has hit this unanticipated hurdle because a key material in constructing wind turbines, carbon fiber composite, cannot be recycled and is fast filling landfills or else is being burned creating toxic emissions. The report admits, “a gigantic mountain of scrap blades is building up.”
There remains some confusion and misunderstanding concerning comments posted at EnviroLaw.
Following a community information meeting at St. Aidan’s Church in the Beach, Mr. Mike Brigham had written a letter to the Beach Metro, outlining a few of his own misunderstandings, which may appear confusing to the uninitiated. This meeting last year (2011) was filled to capacity, and included a packed program of guest speakers, including Canada’s premier researcher into health turbines and human health, Carmen Krogh, and expert on infrasound and human health, Dr Lu Lombardi. It was a full evening; people stayed behind to discuss and share for nearly an hour after the program. This discussion was essential to getting to the truth about the turbines that were and possibly still are slated for our shoreline starting at the Scarborough Bluffs. It is important to note that the lakebed has been reserved for a possible 400 plus turbine project, from Ajax to Leslie Street.
Firstly, the letter refers to the great success of the CNE turbine. The CNE turbine is a green energy photo op: nothing more. There are signs at the site indicating that the turbine is not connected to the grid, and produces hydrogen. We took the trouble to take the photos of these signs. We are unsure why it is producing hydrogen, and what the end source is. We also question the euphoria created when WindShare exulted in a first time $32,000 disbursement to shareholders. Shareholders have indicated to us that they have over the life of this turbine escapade, only received $200 from a $2000 investment. Hardly a Cash Cow. Hardly a reasonable investment. The expensive replacement of the ball bearing recently also must have been of concern. According to Merrill Lynch Wind Industry Overview, 2007, “Over 80% of the profit warnings in the wind turbine manufacturing industry have come from gearbox issues.”
Additionally, it is known by investors in the Co-op with Toronto Hydro’s experiment in wind power that the Dutch company that first built the turbine went bankrupt fairly quickly, and there have been gear box failures sequentially, causing this to be ultimately one major expensive photo op. One savvy teen has estimated it will take 40 years for this little turbine to break even. Most wind turbines only last 10-15 years, not the 25 as touted by the industry. (Gear boxes on average need to be rebuilt every 8 – 10 years!)
It was also mentioned at the meeting that the bird kill study was shortened or not suitable to reflect the complexities of migration. Hence, the false number of dead birds is reported as: two only. This curtailment of the study was questioned by the good folks at Fatal Light Attraction Program (FLAP), and they received no suitable reply. We do know that bird and bat kills are of great concern internationally, Spain alone reporting up to 18 million deaths, and this report is from the premier Spanish Ornithological Society. Many species such as the US Whooping Crane are slated to become extinct, solely because of the proliferation of wind turbines in major migratory routes. We are either serious about conservation of our at risk species, or not. With developers applying to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) for “take” permits, to harm, harass or kill, and disrupt habitat, when you or I would receive jail time for the same, something is clearly amiss. It is our view and the view of many ornithological minded persons, that the wind industry has a get out of jail free card at this time, and reports of massive kills for example at Wolfe Island, are even to Ted Chesky of Nature Canada, “shocking.” What other industry basically conducts its own pre and post mortality studies at project sites? What other industry is operating with such legal framework protection from government agencies, Ministries of Health, Environment, Natural Resources?
On the subject of coal reduction and turbines: Interestingly, recent studies since the St. Aidan’s meeting are showing that Germany’s use of coal IS indeed significantly higher, and yes that renewables in that country are causing energy chaos. The wind does not always blow. You always need reliable back up power.
Please read this very recent article (September 2012) for more information on Germany’s coal use.
Germany’s Wind Power Chaos Should Be A Warning To Everyone
Quote from the article:
In fact, a mighty battle is now developing in Germany between green fantasists and practical realists. Because renewable energy must by law have priority in supplying the grid, the owners of conventional power stations, finding they have to run plants unprofitably, are so angry that they are threatening to close many of them down. The government response, astonishingly, has been to propose a new law forcing them to continue running their plants at a loss.
Meanwhile, firms such as RWE and E.on are going flat out to build 16 new coal-fired and 15 new gas-fired power stations by 2020, with a combined output equivalent to some 38 per cent of Germany’s electricity needs. None of these will be required to have “carbon capture and storage” (CCS), which is just an empty pipedream. This makes nonsense of any pretense that Germany will meet its EU target for reducing CO2 emissions (and Mrs Merkel’s equally fanciful goal of producing 35 per cent of electricity from renewables).
In brief, Germany’s renewables drive is turning out to be a disaster.
Hope you caught that part about 16 new coal fired and 15 new gas fired power stations planned or under construction.
In the UK, studies are showing energy poverty of a high degree, with dire subsequences in winter for the elderly who cannot heat homes. Cost of increased power to consumers is estimated to be 140% since 2006.
The information from around the world is fast accruing to indicate that industrial wind factories do not produce meaningful amounts of power, less than ½ of one percent worldwide so far, are heavy intensive industrial activities with massive carbon fibre blades that cannot be recycled, and highly toxic rare earth elements in the magnets, and are themselves manufactured and transported using oil and gas. They will never be a replacement FOR oil and gas, and that pipe dream lacks any conventional logic whatsoever.
We welcome meaningful dialogue from persons interested in cutting edge research from around the world. We support energy solutions that are cost effective, safe, reliable, and environmentally sound.
We applaud the WindShare people and THES for their plaques at the CNE turbine site encouraging conservation.
Please feel free to contact us at:
Wind energy is notoriously expensive! It does not compete with other base load power sources such as coal, hydro and nuclear. Because the wind does not always blow, you will always need backup and more of it. It is not clean and safe. Industrial wind turbines are heavy manufacturing applications and are dependent on oil and gas for construction, transportation, and lubrication. Countless numbers of people cannot live in their homes due to low frequency and infrasound. In Ontario alone, over 40 families have had to vacate or abandon homes and livelihoods, or live with children, or be bought out by developers sometimes under gag orders. Wildlife suffers often for a radius of 10 km or more, and the world’s numbers of birds and bat kills are frightening. Many species will go extinct because of wind turbines. All kills are cumulative and we can no longer afford this immense loss of biodiversity and habitat fragmentation.
“Can you hear the turbine now?” Turbines generate noise that is often upwards of 70dB, and that is much louder than a typical conversation. The wildly fluctuating mechanical noise levels, combined with the sound you can’t hear, the infrasound and low frequency noise, added to the shadow flicker and vibration, can and do make certain people very ill. Wind turbine syndrome as we now call it, is a worldwide phenomenon and many practitioners are now calling this a “pandemic.” Does your government working with developers have the right to make you ill in your own habitat, home? Try going even a few nights without sleep, and see how you function at work. Please visit www.windturbinesyndrome.org for more information.
“The more wind power is generated, the less CO2, and other pollutants are emitted.” Again, this is false. Wind turbines actually use and produce CO2 in their manufacture, transportation, and in the production of rare earth elements for the magnets. It is quite established that CO2 is not diminished by the proliferation of massive industrial factories that actually produce VERY little power! Only ½ of one percent worldwide, or net zero.
“Wind turbines displace electricity that is produced by other sources such as coal-fired generating stations.” False. Wind turbines can never supplant baseload power. Germany, a front runner in renewables, is turning to more coal. Denmark’s use of coal has not diminished in any meaningful manner since their proliferation of turbines. See Robert Bryce: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2009/12/17/denmark-is-energy-smart-think-again
We hope you will continue to explore the facts about wind turbine factories!