Documents from Europe
Stuart Young Consulting, with support from the John Muir Trust, has released a report studying the ability of wind power to make a significant contribution to the UK's energy supply. It concludes that the average power output of wind turbines across Scotland is well below the rates often claimed by industry and government. The executive summary of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
When, in my late twenties, I gave up political ambition and devoted myself to a career in industry, I never dreamt I would have the opportunity to speak in Parliament. What an unexpected treat, what a dream fulfilled, what a privilege it is to be able to stand and speak in Parliament, without licking a single envelope, or canvassing a single street, or doing battle with bureaucracy on behalf of a single constituent. And in recognising the privilege, let me also say to the politicians here that I salute you. When I use the word politician, as I will do during this speech, it is as a term of endearment. I recognise that many people, and businessmen in particular, do not appreciate just how bloody hard politics and public service is. For those in business who can say "go" and they goeth and say "come" and they cometh, it can be difficult to understand how hard it is to get things done when people are elected to oppose your every action, when the press peruse your every move, and people around you are volunteers rather than employees. So, as Ali G would say ..... "Respect!"
In 2006, Mr Julian and Mrs Jane Davis' quiet enjoyment of their property had been disturbed by a nearby wind project to such an extent that they were forced to vacate their house, for health reasons. The Lincolnshire Valuation Tribune ruled that construction of the turbines 930 metres away from the dwellings had a significant negative effect on Davis; enjoyment of their properties, that the nuisance caused by the turbines was real and not imagined and it would have an effect on the potential sale price of the properties. Excerpts of the ruling are provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
House of Lords: A bill to make provision for a minimum distance between wind turbines and residential premises according to the size of the wind turbine; and for connected purposes.
In this paper, researchers Eja Pedersen and Frits van den Berg examine why wind turbine noise is not masked by the sound of vehicular traffic in a community. The abstract and discussion sections of the paper are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Wind Prospect LTD, developers of the Deeping St Nicholas, Gedney Marsh, and Bicker Wind Farms received consent to erect the controversial Green Rigg Fell wind facility consisting of eighteen 2 megawatt turbines (36 MW). This letter prepared by Wind Prospect's attorneys, Hammond LTD, raises concern over possible noise impacts on a Holiday Centre and Equestrian Development proposed to be built near the wind project. The letter was submitted to the Northumberland County Planning Department which is expected to approve the Holiday Centre.
This paper is based on proofs of evidence produced for several UK Planning Inquiries. As such, it concentrates on the regulatory system in the UK. Other jurisdictions will have different systems.The aim is to inform those seeking to regulate the siting of wind turbines close to human habitation. It will be updated regularly as new information comes to hand. Users are encouraged to check the Society for Wind Vigilance Website for the latest updates.
Jane and Julian Davis filed this complaint before the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division in reference to noise emissions from the eight REpower MM 82 – 2 MW turbines, collectively known as Deeping St Nicholas windcluster. The complaint that was filed with the court on March 8, 2010 seeks injunctive relief to stop the turbines from causing continued nuisance. General damages are also requested for loss of amenity suffered by the Davis' including diminution in value together with costs of renting alternative housing.
This important case before le tribunal de Montpellier has resulted in a decision ordering La Compagnie du Vent to dismantle 4 of the 21-turbines sited near Névian, France. The judge also awarded damages of €500,000 to the family which brought the case to compensate for the nuisance caused and the estimated loss in value of their property, which is situated 650 meters from the nearest turbine. A rough translation of the ruling is provided below. The full ruling, in French, can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
In 2006 the UK Government published a crucial report on wind turbine noise and its effects on nearby residents. The study, conducted by acoustics noise and vibration consultants Hayes McKenzie Partnership (HMP), has since been used to support the position that existing Government wind farm noise guidelines were adequate and that there are no health ramifications of turbine noise at neighbouring dwellings. Mr. Mike Hulme of the Den Brook Judicial Review Group, a group of local residents opposing a wind turbine development close to their houses in Devon in the UK, submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking to see all draft versions of the Hayes McKenzie Partnership (HMP). The documents were finally released to Mr. Hulme and they reveal that the final published report silently removed earlier recommendations on noise. A summary of Mr. Hulme's findings, including three drafts of the study report can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
This document provides a useful compilation of recent research pertaining to the impact of wind turbines on human health.
Abstract: The allure of an environmentally benign, abundant, and cost-effective energy source has led an increasing number of industrialized countries to back public financing of renewable energies. Germany’s experience with renewable energy promotion is often cited as a model to be replicated elsewhere, being based on a combination of far-reaching energy and environmental laws that stretch back nearly two decades. This paper critically reviews the current centerpiece of this effort, the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), focusing on its costs and the associated implications for job creation and climate protection. We argue that German renewable energy policy, and in particular the adopted feed-in tariff scheme, has failed to harness the market incentives needed to ensure a viable and cost-effective introduction of renewable energies into the country’s energy portfolio. To the contrary, the government’s support mechanisms have in many respects subverted these incentives, resulting in massive expenditures that show little long-term promise for stimulating the economy, protecting the environment, or increasing energy security. In the case of photovoltaics, Germany’s subsidization regime has reached a level that by far exceeds average wages, with per-worker subsidies as high as 175,000 € (US $ 240,000)
Gabriel Calzada Álvarez, Associate Professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (King Juan Carlos University) in Madrid, delivered this testimony before U.S. House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. In March 2009 Álvarez and two colleagues from the University, released their study on the Spanish experience with “green jobs”. An excerpt of his testimony is provided below. The full testimony can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.
A technical critique of Denmark's wind energy development and operation. A brief summary of the report appears below. The full report can be downloaded by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
In a book released today, Dr. John Etherington - former Reader in Ecology, Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science and former co-editor of the Journal of Ecology - argues that wind farm technology is a wholly counter-productive and undesirable response to the problems of climate change and electricity generation.
More than thirty speakers from Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Britain, and the United States presented at an international industrial wind conference entitled, The Landscape Under Attack, held on March 27, 28 in Palermo, Italy. Speakers at the conference confirmed that thousands of massive wind turbines are planned for Italy. In response, leaders in Sicily, Rome, Tuscany, and Calabria met with energy experts throughout Europe and the United States to exchange ideas and agree on principles for protecting both the landscape and the consumer. The conference concluded with the Charter of Palermo, a statement of purpose, which called for an immediate moratorium on wind development, a thorough examination of its costs and benefits, and protection in perpetuity for the landscape's cultural heritage.
US President Barack Obama defends his energy subsidy package to invest billions into alternative energy generation by citing examples from Spain, Germany, and Japan. He has pointed to the renewables industry as a way to create new and sustainable jobs during a period of economic downturn. But this recent report prepared by Dr. Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at Juan Carlos University in Madrid, shows that for Spain the “green employment opportunity” has proven elusive and unsustainable. The executive summary of Dr. Calzada’s report is posted below. The full report can be accessed by selecting one of the links at the bottom of this page.
Denmark adopted this policy in 2008-2009 which requires developers to pay compensation for loss of value of real property following the erection of the wind turbine. A summary of the policy is cited below. The policy document detailing the process of determining loss and compensation can be accessed by downloading the file linked to this page. This information was obtained from the Danish Energy Agency website.
Following the catastrophic failure of two Vestas wind turbines on Feb 22 and 23, 2008, the Danish energy agency requested an investigation into the events. A report was produced by engineers at Risø DTU. Below is the report translated into English. The original report, in Danish, can be accessed by clicking on the link below. A video of one of the failures can be seen here: http://www.windaction.org/videos/14294 . It is important to note that the debris from the first turbine failure which occurred on February 22 spread as far as 700 meters (2200 feet) away. Risø DTU is formerly a government research institution under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
For two decades, the capacity factor of wind power measuring the mean energy delivered by wind turbines has been assumed at 35% of the name plate capacity. Yet, the mean realized value for Europe over the last five years is closer to 21% thus making levelized cost 66% higher than previously thought. We document this discrepancy and offer rationalizations, emphasizing the long term variations of wind speeds. We conclude with the consequences of the capacity factor miscalculation and some policy recommendations. Click on the link below to download the full document.