To help shed light on key issues, this paper focuses on recent and pending “wind farm” developments in West Virginia.
The story reveals that Radnor officials were misled and don’t understand that commercial wind energy is not an environmentally benign source of electricity. The officials are probably not aware of certain facts such as the following:
ECO-Northwest’s 1-month, $15,000 study, sponsored by the local business lobby organization, the Phoenix Group, has been met with deep skepticism in the Kittitas Valley. Regardless of how people feel about wind farms in this valley, most people recognize this report as simply a blatant endorsement of proposed local wind energy projects, bought and paid for by those behind these projects. A local newspaper story about ECO Northwest’s report titled “Are Wind Farm Benefits Full of Hot Air?” (The Yakima Herald-Republic, 10/2102) reflects this public skepticism about the impartiality of this study. The report makes the incredible claim that property values will not be affected and the unsubstantiated claim that the county will receive millions of dollars in increased revenue. Although the wind energy companies state that they will hire only 22 people, the report manages to inflate this to 53 jobs and claims that these people will somehow result in an additional $4.2m being spent within the county. ECO Northwest’s report also neglects to consider the effect of major wind farms on tourism, one of the most important factors in the local economy. It does not consider alternative locations for such projects, or alternative forms of renewable energy in Kittitas County, or whether the county will benefit from the power generated. Nor does it consider that the proposed location for these wind farms is an area that the city of Ellensburg will need for future expansion of its population, an area that will be closed off for housing if wind farms are built there.
Having had hundreds of queries from park owners, park users and other members of the public concerned about the increasing number of wind farms in the planning pipeline I have put this document together. Please note I have been helping campaign against wind farms for over 10 years so my view are somewhat partisan, however, I urge you to read the following before coming to your own conclusions.
This web site provides performance data on wind turbines in California from 1985-2003.
So what are the true contributions of the wind industry? We have electricity that is too expensive to solve any real energy issues, and very little of it besides. We have little, if any, emissions reduction. We have the destruction of pristine landscapes and waterfronts all over the world due to the careless placement of massive, inefficient wind turbines… (a phenomenon that is just beginning to frighteningly snowball here in the U.S), and we have a big money making scheme for those who can afford to cash in. We also have one more thing… the deterioration in the quality of life for those unfortunate enough to find themselves and their neighborhoods targets of the uncaring developers who bully their way into communities and into people’s lives.
High annual growth rates over the past years resulted in an installed wind power capacity of 12 000 MW in Germany by the end of 2002 which generated about 17.3 MWh electricity, that is about 3.7 % of the German electricity consumption. This development was made possible by laws introducing feed-in tariffs for wind power generation. Due to the fluctuating nature of wind power generation the feed-in of growing amounts into the grid causes considerable challenges and costs for affected transmission system operators, who have to ensure a save grid operation, though basically good working wind power prediction tools exist. The owner of wind turbines do not have to deal with these problems since the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) ensures that their generated power is compensated for by fixed feed-in tariffs. In the long run, this is not a sustainable approach: Wind power needs to compete sooner or later fully with other power generating technologies at the market and wind turbine owners need to be able to sell a tradable product. After successfully supporting the development of the wind power technology, an approach is needed for including the owners of wind turbines in the task of realizing other ways than simply providing growing amounts of balancing power for wind power feed-in and gradually face them with the energy economic reality of integrating large amounts of wind power into the grid.
Modern windmills, like these near an old-fashioned windmill in Birds Landing, Calif., stand hundreds of feet tall.
In line with the American, Russian and numerous other non-European governments, Australia is not submitting to globally planned greenhouse gas controls while third world competitors, such as China, India and South Africa, remain exempt from the strictures of the Kyoto Protocol. Contemporary Australian experts with years of serious research on global warming argue against the Australian government signing Kyoto.
Kelly Alexander believed that windpower would be a good energy source. He was told the machines were not noisy. No one told him about the blade flicker that shines even through closed blinds or the low frequency noise that penetrates his home with doors and windows tightly closed and storm windows installed. Recently, the turbine owner visited Kelly and asked what he could do to help the situation. He said, “Stop lying about these turbines. Tell people the truth.”
In conclusion, this study has shown that in many countries deregulation is having the expected effect of increased competition leading to price reduction. However, it is evident that pricing in markets depends not just on the status of deregulation, but also on the broader aspects of competition. Key factors here include the balance of supply and demand, generation fuel costs, the learning process that new markets go through, competition within different market segments and the costs of access to transmission and distribution networks. Deregulation is a long-term process that requires sustained attention.
A man walks near a demolished wind turbine in Goldenstedt, nortwestern Germany, Monday Oct. 28, 2002. The 70 meter (230 foot) high turbine fell during the heavy storms that hit Germany.
The submission by Pacific Hydro also raised concerns that the conditions of the permit were insufficient to protect the clients and occupants of the health farm from the potential noise and nuisance arising from the wind farm, and the conditions were insufficient to protect the wind farm owners, developer and operators from legal or statutory action by clients, occupants, owners and operators of the proposed health farm.