From Germany: a “nightmare”

For those who think Europe is the haven for wind power generation done well, and where citizens are happy with the beautiful turbines spinning happily in the breeze, this will be a shock: people are sick, the landscape is ruined, and property values (and lives) devastated.

This short video comes from Russia Today via Facebook; thanks to Esther Wrightman and the Middlesex-Lambton group for calling attention to it.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703983162949836

Hoen (again): what a surprise

In spite of the fact that properties near wind power projects remain unsold, or take a long time to sell, and sell at reduced prices, the Ontario government, MPAC, and of course the wind power lobby organization all insist there is no effect on property values. On the one hand, we have the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) including wind power plants as a negative to be disclosed on the Sellers Property Information Sheet, and we have Realtors telling us buyers don’t even want to SEE the turbines, let alone live next to them, and on the other we have these industry-supported opinions that say, everything is just fine.

Ben Hoen has released yet another study on property values (the last one was roundly trashed, in particular by Sunak and Madelener of Aachen University) which this time seems to answer criticisms that past studies did not look at property values prior to the announcement of wind power projects.

In all the manipulation of statistics present in this report, there is one grain of truth: there is little data about properties very close to wind power projects, Hoen says. That’s because, Mr Hoen, you can’t measure what didn’t happen; expired listings are as important as sales, but they don’t register.

Here is an analysis of the study by Wayne Gulden.

Amaranth turbine fields; the area has been the subject of studies by Chris Luxemburger and Ben Lansink, both of whom found significant property value loss.

Health issues dominate Dufferin Wind Power hearing

By WES KELLER
For the Citizen, August 29, 2013

The Energy Review Board’s hearing into the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) for Dufferin Wind Power (DWP) is progressing into what observers say will be protracted arguments about health issues, and a war of words is continuing in Melancthon apart from the hearings.
Threats to human, animal and plant life are among the issues the ERB is mandated to rule on. Recently, a tribunal revoked an REA in Prince Edward County on the basis of possible serious and irreversible harm by Gilead Power’s Ostrander Point wind turbine project on the habitat of the endangered Blanding’s turtle.
On the DWP hearing, the tribunal was meeting in Toronto rather than Shelburne earlier this week. Part of the time was devoted to procedural issues, according to observers, and some to arguments over light flicker, one of the concerns of the CORE group.
At some point next week, health evidence will be admitted via a video conference with an Australian specialist.
In the meantime, Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill has received a response from the Ontario government to his letter criticizing the Green Energy Act which he sent to Premier Kathleen Wynn.
The response from Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli is essentially a reiteration of the premier’s position as stated in the Throne Speech and also of the minister’s stated position that “the Ontario government’s priority is to develop renewable energy in a way that both engages and protects local communities.” Mayor Hill’s response to the minister is that, “we are well aware of the changes that have been announced and feel that ‘in reality’ they will make very little difference. “Your response is another indication, in my opinion, of how out of touch your Government is with the results and impacts your flawed legislation has on people and municipalities that have to live with the results of it.” He goes on to invite the minister “and anyone else” to visit the township to discuss the situation.
On the other hand, Wayne Hannon, who has spoken out in favour of DWP on more than one occasion, denies there’s any kind of war going on as, he says in an Aug. 15 letter to county council, “Melancthon Township signed a ‘treaty’ with (DWP) in the form of a mutually binding and fully executed Road Use and Amenities Agreement.”
Mr. Hannon says he doesn’t feel that the mayor “represents all of council and definitely not the majority of people in my township.” He says the issue has “become personal.”
The oddity in the DWP situation is the ownership – a majority held by Longyuan and a minority by the farmers who have also leased property and easements to the wind company.
It is not unusual that foreign money is involved in the developments. When Canadian Hydro Developers was seeking funding for its Phase 2 Melancthon wind farm, the prospective lenders included bankers from New York City, among others.
In the CHD case, however, the lenders did not become owners. The shares were traded publicly on both TSE and NYSE. Later, TransAlta acquired ownership in what began as a hostile takeover.
 Correction – In last week’s story entitled ‘County demanding burial of entire 230kv line: DWP’, we erred in stating the amount of the company’s donations. The correct figure should have been $9,450. We apologize for the error.

Citizens group: time to speak up in Cavan-Monaghan

A citizens’ group says it is time to show that a proposed wind power project is not acceptable to the community. A peaceful demonstration is called for at the Council meeting, next Tuesday. The story is here.

Group calls for wind farm uproar 23

Examiner staff writer Rob McCormick

By Rob McCormick, Peterborough Examiner

Opponents of a proposed wind farm that straddles Cavan-Monaghan Township and the City of Kawartha Lakes are urging area residents to attend a township council meeting Tuesday to register their opposition to the project.
“Unless you are happy with the continued invasion of our area by industrial wind turbines, please save this information and take action,” states an email sent to residents by ManversWind Concern (MWC), a group opposed to wind farms in the area.
Public meetings on other area wind-turbine projects have been raucous protests, with hundreds of angry residents shouting down representatives of the companies behind the wind farms.
“Some more of your neighbours have decided to steal your property value and carpet-bomb your countryside for a few pieces of silver from a wind company,” the MWC email states.
“Everyone who can, please show up…signs in the parking lot by noon, please…If we do not react, it will be taken as a sign of acceptance.”
The email reminds residents that “rules of decorum at council meetings apply.”
The council meeting takes place at 1 p.m. at the council chambers on County Rd. 10.
The project, the Stoneboat Community Wind Farm, consists of five industrial wind turbines between Stewart Line and Sharpe’s Line on the east and west sides of Dranoel Road north of Hwy. 7A, according to the email.
“This essentially would overlook the Devil’s Elbow area, the new subdivision on the east side of Ski Hill Rd. just north of Bethany, and the new Buddhist temple,” the email states.
“No one will want to purchase property in a town surrounded by a ring of turbines,” the email states. “If you are in the area of this new project, or if you have had enough, please get in touch.”
MWC is fighting three other wind-farm projects in the area.
“We need skill sets and we need contributions to the legal fund,” the email states. “We are well on our way to where we want to be to launch actions against Sumac Ridge (Bethany), Snowy Ridge (Bethany) and Settlers Landing (Pontypool ), but we are nowhere with Stoneboat. So let’s get started.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, council will hear a deputation from Martin Ince of M.K. Ince Inc. the developer of Stoneboat project, the email states.
“It is so important that there is a large turnout at the council meeting… to support Cavan Monaghan council, who on Sept. 7, 2010 passed a resolution requesting a moratorium on industrial wind turbines until independent health studies have been completed and on May 6, 2013 declared the township an ‘unwilling host’ for these industrial projects,” the email states. “Little or no display of public interest will mean that there are no concerns about this power plant.”

To vote in a poll by the Peterborough Examiner, go to http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/polls/179131

UN ruling a “game-changer” for UK wind

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe UNECE has released a startling decision that could well have repercussions as a precedent for Ontario. Responding to a complaint filed by a resident of Scotland, the UNECE ruled that the UK was not employing full public participation in environmental issues and further –hear this, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Energy–that the government should ensure that the full range of effects, both positive and negative, should be disclosed for wind power projects.

The report is here.

Exclusive: UN ruling puts future of UK wind farms in jeopardy

Tribunal warns that the Government acted illegally by denying public participation

Plans for future wind farms in Britain could be in jeopardy after a United Nations legal tribunal ruled that the UK Government acted illegally by denying the public decision-making powers over their approval and the “necessary information” over their benefits or adverse effects.

The new ruling, agreed by a United Nations committee in Geneva, calls into question the legal validity of any further planning consent for all future wind-farm developments based on current policy, both onshore and offshore.

The United Nations Economic Commission Europe has declared that the UK flouted Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention, which requires full and effective public participation on all environmental issues and demands that citizens are given the right to participate in the process.

The UNECE committee has also recommended that the UK must in the future submit all plans and programmes similar in nature to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan to public participation, as required by Article 7.

The controversial decision will come as a blow for the Coalition’s wind-power policy, which is already coming under attack from campaigners who want developments stopped because of medical evidence showing that the noise from turbines is having a serious impact on public health as well as damaging the environment.

Legal experts confirm the UNECE decision is a “game-changer” for future wind-turbine developments in the UK. David Hart, QC, an environmental lawyer, said: “This ruling means that consents and permissions for further wind-farm developments in Scotland and the UK are liable to challenge on the grounds that the necessary policy preliminaries have not been complied with, and that, in effect, the public has been denied the chance to consider and contribute to the NREAP.”

The UN’s finding is a landmark victory for Christine Metcalfe, 69, a community councillor from Argyll, who lodged a complaint with the UN on the grounds that the UK and EU had breached citizens’ rights under the UN’s Aarhus Convention.

She claimed the UK’s renewables policies have been designed in such a way that they have denied the public the right to be informed about, or to ascertain, the alleged benefits in reducing CO2 and harmful emissions from wind power, or the negative effects of wind power on health, the environment and the economy.

Ms Metcalfe made the legal challenge on behalf of the Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council at the Committee Hearing in Geneva last December. She and the AKCC decided to take action after their experience of dealing with the building of the local Carraig Gheal wind farm and problems surrounding the access route, an area of great natural beauty.

The retired councillor said she was “relieved” by the UN decision. “We were criticised by some for making this challenge but this result absolves us of any possible accusations of wrong-doing… The Government needs to do more than just give ordinary people the right to comment on planning applications; they deserve to be given all the facts.”

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: “We are aware of this decision and we are considering our response. Wind is an important part of our energy mix providing clean home-grown power to millions of homes. Developers of both offshore and onshore wind farms do consult with communities and provide generous benefits packages.”

The Aarhus Convention: What is it?

The Aarhus Convention, or the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, is named after the Danish city where it was first established by a UN summit.

It sets up a number of rights for individuals and associations in regard to the environment. People can request to know the health risks linked to the state of the environment and applicants should be informed within one month of the request.

It also ensures the public get a say in any environmental project such as a wind farm. Public authorities must provide information about environmental projects, and those affected by such schemes must be told if they are going ahead and why.

UN ruling a “game changer” for wind power in the UK

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe UNECE has released a startling decision that could well have repercussions as a precedent for Ontario. Responding to a complaint filed by a resident of Scotland, the UNECE ruled that the UK was not employing full public participation in environmental issues and further –hear this, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Energy–that the government should ensure that the full range of effects, both positive and negative, should be disclosed for wind power projects.
   The report is here.

Exclusive: UN ruling puts future of UK wind farms in jeopardy

Tribunal warns that the Government acted illegally by denying public participation

Plans for future wind farms in Britain could be in jeopardy after a United Nations legal tribunal ruled that the UK Government acted illegally by denying the public decision-making powers over their approval and the “necessary information” over their benefits or adverse effects.

The new ruling, agreed by a United Nations committee in Geneva, calls into question the legal validity of any further planning consent for all future wind-farm developments based on current policy, both onshore and offshore.
The United Nations Economic Commission Europe has declared that the UK flouted Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention, which requires full and effective public participation on all environmental issues and demands that citizens are given the right to participate in the process.
The UNECE committee has also recommended that the UK must in the future submit all plans and programmes similar in nature to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan to public participation, as required by Article 7.
The controversial decision will come as a blow for the Coalition’s wind-power policy, which is already coming under attack from campaigners who want developments stopped because of medical evidence showing that the noise from turbines is having a serious impact on public health as well as damaging the environment.
Legal experts confirm the UNECE decision is a “game-changer” for future wind-turbine developments in the UK. David Hart, QC, an environmental lawyer, said: “This ruling means that consents and permissions for further wind-farm developments in Scotland and the UK are liable to challenge on the grounds that the necessary policy preliminaries have not been complied with, and that, in effect, the public has been denied the chance to consider and contribute to the NREAP.”
The UN’s finding is a landmark victory for Christine Metcalfe, 69, a community councillor from Argyll, who lodged a complaint with the UN on the grounds that the UK and EU had breached citizens’ rights under the UN’s Aarhus Convention.
She claimed the UK’s renewables policies have been designed in such a way that they have denied the public the right to be informed about, or to ascertain, the alleged benefits in reducing CO2 and harmful emissions from wind power, or the negative effects of wind power on health, the environment and the economy.
Ms Metcalfe made the legal challenge on behalf of the Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council at the Committee Hearing in Geneva last December. She and the AKCC decided to take action after their experience of dealing with the building of the local Carraig Gheal wind farm and problems surrounding the access route, an area of great natural beauty.
The retired councillor said she was “relieved” by the UN decision. “We were criticised by some for making this challenge but this result absolves us of any possible accusations of wrong-doing… The Government needs to do more than just give ordinary people the right to comment on planning applications; they deserve to be given all the facts.”
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: “We are aware of this decision and we are considering our response. Wind is an important part of our energy mix providing clean home-grown power to millions of homes. Developers of both offshore and onshore wind farms do consult with communities and provide generous benefits packages.”
The Aarhus Convention: What is it?
The Aarhus Convention, or the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, is named after the Danish city where it was first established by a UN summit.
It sets up a number of rights for individuals and associations in regard to the environment. People can request to know the health risks linked to the state of the environment and applicants should be informed within one month of the request.
It also ensures the public get a say in any environmental project such as a wind farm. Public authorities must provide information about environmental projects, and those affected by such schemes must be told if they are going ahead and why.