Monday, January 14, 2013

OLP Candidates On Wind Turbines

Didn't like this bit:


Kathleen Wynne is uneasy about the quality of information fuelling the renewable energy debate.

“Where is the evidence and science in making these decisions?” asks Wynne. “I’m not sure there are conclusive arguments on either side of these issues—whether it’s health issues or environmental issues. I want to make sure we are operating on the best evidence possible.”

Actually, the evidence that wind turbines effect Ontario property values is crap; the evidence that their presence has a negative effect on the health of people living close by is crap; and the claim that they are endangering local/migratory bird populations is wildly overstated.

If the next premier wanted to make some possibly useful tweaks to the Green Energy Act, they might look at the advice of their own Environmental Commissioner.   But pandering to NIMBYs gets you 0.  They don't have a problem with the process; they have a problem with the product: wind turbines, spinning infernally, within sight of their retirement properties.

Of the three candidates who offered a response, Sandra Pupatello gave the most full-throated defense of the Green Energy Act which, incidentally, will get this province off coal--the dirtiest fossil fuel of all of them--by the end of 2013.  So good on her.

14 comments:

Paul Kuster said...

Your total lack of knowledge on this file is quite frankly disturbing. Maybe I could introduce you to those who have been forced to leave their homes due to wind turbines. Look them in the eyes and try and tell them it's all in their heads. No coal plants have been shut down due to any wind installation. I'm confident in saying you probably don't have a 500 foot turbine 550 metres from your home. Property devaluation is a given. Denmark (One of Big Winds darling countries) has legislation in place recognizing property value loss and compensates those affected. Another fallacy is that those who are most dismayed are those that don't get the money neighbors get for hosting turbines.
Such a program to spread the money around was offered in the Goderich area, and was refused by the non-participating landowners.
Perhaps the wind turbines should undergo some performance appraisels as well. The fact they operate at 20%-25% of capacity and are still hoovering 100's of millions of dollars in subsidies out of the province, make them a useless form of generation. Unless you like having your wallet continually pilfered by these Big Oil companies operating these wind projects, you might want to have a second look at this boondoggle.

bigcitylib said...

Denmark is Denmark; in Ontario MPAC has accepted exactly one claim for devaluation, and that was due to the presence of a transformer station near the turbine, not the turbine itself. I believe that's out of a whole couple of dozen complaints, so it doesn't sound as though that many people are upset in the first place.

And people move out for a lot or reasons; maybe a condo goes up across the street where the buyers are of an ethnicity the neighbors are uncomfortable with. We don't stop the condo going up because of that. People can move out; others will move in that don't mind. Same with turbines.

Lori Griffin said...

Alright BCL, here's a petition to sign to have all of the GTA shoreline and greenbelts from Hamilton to Oshawa filled with industrial wind turbines. Let's see you put your money where your mouth is.

Make sure to forward it to all of your GTA Liberal neighbours so that when we think Toronto, we think the largest industrial wind turbine park in the world.

http://www.activism.com/en_CA/petition/support-for-the-green-energy-act-in-the-greater-toronto-area/9688

Do you have the guts to post my comment and start getting hundreds of signatures on this petition or are you just another green energy hypocrite?

bigcitylib said...

On-line petitions are silly. For what its worth I think the cancelling of a farm off Scarborough and the deep water one in Lake Ontario was pathetic pandering by the McGuinty gov. Not even sure why they did it. As far as I know, polling showed the idea to be fairly popular among local residents.

Paul Kuster said...

It was another seat-saver for McGuinty. Just like the gas plants, just like the biomass conversion in Atikokan.
sigh....

Lori Griffin said...

On-line petitions are silly? Okay then, get a hard copy version going amongst you and all of your buddies. Then send it to me and I'll make sure to circulate it amongst all of my friends and together we'll send off the whole bunch to the next party in power and start getting some turbines built in your neighbourhood.

ChrisInOtt said...

Aren't the new vertical wind turbines supposedly better in terms of effects on the immediate environment? Is there any wiggle-room in our contracts, or are we locked into old tech?

Dan Wrightman said...

I don't know how you figure the Liberals will ever get seats again in rural Ontario with this continuing wind turbine push. I've voted Liberal almost every election, I even voted for McGuinty 3 times(not in 2010 mind you) but it's doubtful I will ever vote Liberal again because the policy makers refuse to see the destructiveness the GEA has wrought out here. I'm not alone that is how incumbent Maria Van Bommel lost in my riding of LKM. Not to mention cabinet minister Carol Mitchell and John Wilkinson and others. Without the wind turbine push through the Green Energy Act all of these Liberal MPP's would have easily been reelected. In their place are strong and young Conservative MPP's like Monte McNaughton and what will the Liberals have to challenge with. There is no Liberal grassroots out in rural Ontario anymore, the riding associations are emptying, it's like a slowly dying anachronism. The Liberal party used to have strong support here but it's obvious that we aren't even an afterthought anymore, the Liberal party has become strictly a GTA party. Which is fine but without rural seats the Liberals need to win almost all the urban seats to get a majority, which is near impossible, especially with the teachers no longer helping with organising and money. You have to stop being so bullheaded BCL. If you want your party to be succesful anymore in Ontario the GEA and wind turbine policy has to go.

sharonapple88 said...

Make sure to forward it to all of your GTA Liberal neighbours so that when we think Toronto, we think the largest industrial wind turbine park in the world.

Sure. Why not? They'd have to go off shore because it's hard to find a place in Toronto that's not 550m from a dwelling.

Honestly, I used to live in Mississauga with the damn Lakeview power plant. Windmills couldn't be worse than that thing and the damn smog. Seriously, everyone used to make fun of the air around here. Of course it wasn't as bad as it gets in Beijing (the result of cars and coal plants), but on hot days you didn't want to be outside. If we put up with that, some spinning windmills are nothing.

On the energy debate, though, I think Rick Mercer put it best -- candles are our future.

sharonapple88 said...

Going to leave this here.

"European studies indicate that between 5 and 20 per cent of people living near wind farms can be annoyed to varying degrees by turbine noise. However, they also note that annoyance increases significantly if the turbines are in line of sight, if the complainants are not actually hosting turbines on their land (at around $7,000 each) and if they believe the authorities have treated them unfairly.

....

"Another type of evidence is provided by the websites of windpower opposition groups. Although there is no nationwide organisation of windpower groups in Germany, there is a web portal to which 78 groups have been linked. After putting aside the large number of sites that have lapsed, a total of 44 were left. Almost all of these sites are dominated by concerns about landscape and nature protection. As for health effects, about 40 per cent of sites devote only 1 to 2 lines to the subject and only three sites actually treat the subject seriously with more than a paragraph. Almost one-third of the 44 sites made no mention of health effects at all."

Dan Wrightman said...

The article that sharonapple88 links to has no footnotes to the studies that show annoyance increases for people living near wind turbines if the complainants are not actually hosting turbines on their land. The only study that collected that kind of data is the often misconstrued 2008 Vandenberg /Pederson study where it was found that landowners that benefited financially from wind turbines were less clinically annoyed by wind turbine noise than those that did not. This was not because money makes the annoyance goes away as so many wind industry proponents claim but beacause Netherlands landowners have greater control over their noise environment. In the Netherlands farmers commonly own & operate their own wind turbines whereas in North America they are operated by multinationals from remote controlrooms in Texas or California .From the Vandenberg Pederson survey: “Respondents that benefit will more usually have control: most or all of them have taken part in the decision to put up the turbines and they can stop them if they want. One respondent remarked that if a turbine close by caused too much noise for him or his neighbour, he stopped the turbine.” That doesn’t happen where in Ontario, where we have no local control of sound and their are many farmers complaining of noise and health issues.

sharonapple88 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sharonapple88 said...

The Van der Berg/ Pederson study -- this one.

There are a few more studies other than the Van Der Berg/Pederson that seems to suppor the idea that fincially benefiting from a wind turbine cranks down the annoyance factor. There's this one and this one.

If noise is a factor -- better to have them in the city. There is a wind turbine on the Exhibition grounds -- you can't hear it from the other noises in the area.... Hey, just north of where I live there are people in houses who are in the direct path of the airport. There are noise warnings posted up -- you don't need them because you know there are planes around. (Absolute mystery why anyone lives up there.) Anyway, I doubt they'd notice a few windmills in all that. (Also -- maybe we should have them along the highways.) As for blight -- they couldn't be worse than the condos they're erecting around here.

And for the hell of it -- here's a picture of wind farms on the tourist trap called Jeju Island.

alekogreenenergy said...

A number of reports have highlighted that the installation of wind turbines do not have any negative impact on the environment and birds. As a homeowner has options to choose from several residential wind turbine designs, he can easily pick the right model by keeping in mind the size and design of his property, along with the average wind speed of the area.