Wind Concerns Ontario is a province-wide advocacy organization whose mission is to provide information on the potential impact of industrial-scale wind power generation on the economy, human health, and the natural environment.
Public health professor Simon Chapman has made it his business to denigrate ordinary people and organizations opposed to high-impact, low-benefit industrial-scale wind power, hinting that anyone who claims ill effects from the noise and infrasound must not be quite right in the head and that in fact, it is groups like Wind Concerns Ontario that are causing distress by manufacturing concern.
Mr. Chapman’s comments and writings have been so inflammatory that the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines referred to him saying, “Those who have labeled Wind Turbine Syndrome as a communicated disease or psychogenic condition have been too quick to judge.” The Committee also called for “civility in public debate.” (See below)
That “civility” has now resulted in an apology from Mr Chapman to Dr Sarah Laurie of Australia.
CORRECTION AND APOLOGY
CORRECTION & APOLOGY FROM PROFESSOR SIMON CHAPMAN TO SARAH LAURIE
I am a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney.
On 20 March 2014, I retweeted the following tweet concerning Sarah Laurie:
NOT DROWNING, RANTING: Deregistered “Dr” Sarah Laurie doesn’t like the medicine dished up by @ama_media Waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/open”
My tweet implied that Ms Laurie had given cause to the Medical Board of Australia to deregister her as a medical practitioner, on account of unprofessional conduct: that she is not entitled to use the title “Dr”; and that she does so in contravention of the laws that govern the conduct of medical practitioners.
These allegations were implied without foundation and are entirely false.
Ms Laurie is not deregistered and has never been sanctioned by the Medical Board of Australia. Sarah Laurie allowed her registration as a medical practitioner to lapse for personal reasons; and accordingly, does not currently practice.
I sincerely apologise to Sarah Laurie for the harm, embarrassment and distress caused by my allegations, which I unreservedly retract.
Professor Simon Chapman
University of Sydney
The Australia Senate Select Committee referred specifically to Simon Chapman in section 2.21 of its final report, saying, “The committee highlights the fact that Professor Chapman is not a qualified, registered nor experienced medical practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, acoustician, audiologist, physicist, or engineer.” Chapman has “not medically assessed a single person suffering adverse health impacts from wind turbines.”
The question that remains is, WHY do so many people still listen to this person who has zero credibility but plenty of apparent agenda?
Energy East pipeline merits examination; the Green Energy Act? Not so much…
“This report marks the conclusion of an extensive consultation and engagement with the people of Ontario, including First Nation and Métis communities, that sought their views on the energy east pipeline (energy east or the project).”1.
So begins the Executive Summary in the $2.4-million report on the Energy East pipeline, released August 13, 2015 by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). The 95-page report, took 15 months of consultations and examined the conversion (gas to oil) and reversal of the existing pipeline in Ontario.
The OEB was directed by Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, to conduct the review on the impacts associated with: “natural gas consumers, in particular those in eastern and northern Ontario, in terms of rates, reliability and access to supply;the impacts on the natural environment and pipeline safety in Ontario;the impacts on local and Aboriginal communities in Ontario; andthe short- and long-term economic impacts of the Project in Ontario.”
The OEB expanded the impacts by adding one other: “the potential impact of Energy East on climate change.” Let’s examine the concerns expressed by the OEB and compare them to the GEA doctrine. I think the reader will agree the irony in comparison between the observations of this report and the imposition of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA) without any appreciable or similar study is evident.
The contracted “economic adviser” the OEB hired was the left-wing Mowat Centre; the Centre was aptly described by Philip Cross, former Chief Economic Analyst at Statistics Canada, this way: “MOWAT evidently stands for Moulding Ontario to Wynne-Approved Talking points”. The Mowat Centre obtains almost 50% of its annual funding from the Province of Ontario and is paid for research (such as this) by taxpayer- and ratepayer-funded entities including the OEB, IESO, Toronto Hydro, Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration’s Partnership Grants Program, etc., as noted in their annual report for 2015.
Officially opened by Dalton McGuinty in early 2010, after receiving $5 million in seed money, the Mowat Centre continues to receive regular grants much as the MaRS Centre does. The financial information included in their annual report is (in this former banker’s opinion) laughable!
Discussions from the report:
»IMPACTS ON ONTARIO NATURAL GAS CONSUMERS
“Ontario needs to be assured that the pipeline capacity and the supply of natural gas in eastern Ontario will meet Ontario’s medium- and long-term needs and that Ontario natural gas consumers will not subsidize the costs of Energy East.”This particular statement from the report is in reference to the Iroquois-Waddington hub. Iroquois-Waddington is a small market hub at the eastern end of the Eastern Ontario Triangle that is used to export gas into the U.S. Northeast. The estimate of price increases are related to the winter only with annual prices increases expected of 3.5%.
Compare to: Green Energy ACT—FIT and MicroFIT programs:
Subsidize foreign companies by paying $135 per megawatt hour (MWh) to generate electricity over a 20-year contract period from industrial wind turbines, and pay IKEA, Loblaws, Canadian Tire and others $700 per MWh for solar power. Put the difference between the market value, the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) into a pot called Global Adjustment, and get all Ontario ratepayers to pay the difference subsidizing those companies— including one managed by the former President of the Ontario Liberal Party, Mike Crawley. Increases have averaged in excess of 10% per annum and an additional increase of 42% is forecast for the next 4 years. Contract intermittent wind and solar generation creating the need to export up to 20% of Ontario’s demand and back their intermittency up with gas plants that are guaranteed a market return and levy the cost to ratepayers providing an additional subsidy to ensure demand is met during periods of no or low wind and winter periods when solar is absent.
Additionally the Ontario Minister of Energy in his letter of February 17, 2015 to the OEB directed them “to pursue options to expand natural gas infrastructure to service more communities in rural and northern Ontario” advising that his predecessor, Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, was in the process of establishing a “Natural Gas Access Loan and a Natural Gas Economic Development Grant”. The potential impact on gas prices was not noted as a consideration of Minister Chiarelli’s directive to the OEB. Now this was something that the province may have had some control over versus the Energy East Pipeline but it appears Minister Chiarelli didn’t even give it a second thought. Isn’t that ironic?
From the report:
»IMPACTS ON THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
“TransCanada needs to assess whether it is appropriate to take a route originally chosen for a natural gas pipeline and use it for the transportation of crude oil. Where the existing pipeline route is too close to environmentally sensitive areas, TransCanada should reroute the pipeline or justify why rerouting is not necessary.”
Compare to: The GEA and the Ministry of Natural Resources:
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has issued dozens of Renewable Energy Approvals(REA) for industrial wind developments in many of Ontario’s IBA (important bird areas), completely ignoring endangered bird and bat species as well as fragile alvar environments, and objections by nature and conservationist groups. They have also issued REAs for wind developments on Crown Land which they are responsible for managing and issued solar contracts over identified aquifers.
From the report:
»IMPACTS ON CLIMATE CHANGE
“The issue of climate change is bigger than any one pipeline project, and the discussion paper we commissioned is a valuable contribution that should be used as part of a broader discussion of the issue.” What was found by the commissioned study: “The main findings from Navius are that emissions at the Ontario level are very modest” and “less than 0.5% of Ontario emissions” but included this blockbuster: “Navius projected that Energy East will likely increase annual greenhouse gas emissions outside of Canada between 3.6 and 7.8 Mt. by 2035, an increase of 0.01% in global emissions.”No doubt the same basic statement could be said of all of extracted mineral exports from Canada be they minerals for offshore refining or those wood pellets we export to the U.K. for the DRAX biomass plant, classified as a green energy source.
Compare to: Industrial wind turbines and their effect on Climate Change:
The intermittency of industrial wind turbine generation means operating gas plants to provide back-up, which means Ontario burns more gas, and emits more CO2, per MWh, than we would if we ran the gas plant(s) as a peaking source. Additionally, the 400 tonnes of concrete required to support an individual turbine and all the materials required in the manufacturing, transportation, decommissioning, etc. also add considerable emissions— but the OEB never undertook a Ministry driven review as it wasn’t deemed necessary by the ruling Ontario Liberal Party.
From the report:
»IMPACTS ON PIPELINE SAFETY:
A comment from the report: “The most important threat to the integrity of Energy East is the four sections of the pipeline in northern Ontario that are coated with polyethylene tape.” and “As well, TransCanada must demonstrate its financial ability (and associated guarantees) to cover the response, clean up and remediation costs of a spill, knowing that these costs could easily surpass $1 billion.”
Compare to: Impacts on industrial wind turbine safety:
Safety was not a consideration of the GEA as the regulations allow ice throw, the potential for forest fires in remote locations, shadow flicker, infrasound (harmful to humans and farm animals), the killing of birds and bats, construction deaths, etc., and endangers vulnerable species such as Blandings turtles and Monarch butterflies. Developers are free to flip their ownership of the wind development and many have done so, meaning the original applicant may have cashed in and left the province/country with his cash without leaving behind enough to even decommission the project.
From the report:
»IMPACTS ON LOCAL COMMUNITIES:
“TransCanada needs to ensure community engagement in the definition of “significant water crossings” and any possible rerouting around environmentally sensitive areas; and TransCanada should continue its community engagement effort in the ongoing monitoring of the Project.”
Compare to: Community engagement resulting from the GEA:
One presentation is required from the contract recipient to simply inform the community what they can expect to see, based on the contract they received from the OPA/IESO, even though now, 91 communities in the province have declared themselves “Not a Willing Host.”
Isn’t it ironic?
In words direct from the Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli to the media: “I can assure you that Ontario plans to be an active intervenor in the National Energy Board approval process and our participation will reflect the concerns of the Ontario public to the federal regulator.”
The minister also said that new federal legislation has “drastically reduced” the scope of the hearings that can be undertaken by the NEB on Energy East. “This has directly resulted in a reduced voice for First Nations communities, minimal consideration of the implications for our natural environment, and inadequate participation from local communities.”
Perhaps our Minister of Energy should now deal with the GEA to find out how most Ontarians feel about their lost voices, and their inability to be an “active intervenor” in the placement of industrial wind turbines that now tower as high as a 60-storey building and do produce noise and vibration only 550 metres from an Ontario residence or school!
Ottawa energy economist Robert Lyman has looked at the amount being spent (taxpayer dollars) by the United States to support renewable energy development, including wind power.
The dollar amounts are simply staggering. Look too at the amount of power generation being achieved, for the taxpayer money spent.
United States Subsidies for Wind and Solar Electricity Generation
How much do electricity consumers and taxpayers in the United States pay to help companies that produce industrial wind turbines and solar power equipment sell their products to electrical utilities? Some useful information on this subject came to light in March 2015, when the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) published a report entitled Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Fiscal Year 2013. The report can be read online here:
The report was prepared in response to a request from the U.S. House of Representatives. It focuses on both U.S. federal government subsidies to electricity production in general and subsidies to federal electric utilities. It does not include information on the programs of the U.S. states governments, 33 of which now impose Renewable Energy Standards that require electrical utilities to increase energy production from renewable energy sources. The report aims to provide data, not to draw conclusions or discuss policy issues. Most of the data compares the subsidy levels in 2013 to those in 2010, the date of the last EIA report on this subject. All figures are in U.S. dollars.
Here are the highlights.
In 2013, subsidies to fuel and technologies used for electricity production totaled $16.1 billion, compared to $11.7 billion in 2010. Subsidies to transmission and distribution totaled $1.2 billion in 2013, compared to $10.9 billion in 2010.
Subsidies to renewable energy for all uses totaled $15.0 billion in 2013, compared to $15.6 billion in 2010.
Wind and solar energy are the two largest recipients of subsidies.
In 2013, wind energy received $5.9 billion, of which $4.3 billion was in the form of direct expenditures (i.e. grants and contributions), $1.6 billion was tax expenditures (e.g. deductions and write-offs), and $49 million was research and development.
In 2013, solar energy received $5.3 billion, of which $3.0 billion were direct expenditures, $2.1 billion were tax expenditures, and $284 million were R&D.
Electricity-related subsidies increased 38% between 2010 and 2013, from $11.8 billion to $16.1 billion, largely as a result of a $4.2 billion increase in support for solar energy.
Wind energy received the largest share of direct federal support in 2013, accounting for 37% of total electricity-related subsidies.
Support for Smart Grid and electricity transmission represented the largest portion of electricity-related R&D subsidies. Nearly 39% of 2013 R&D expenditures were devoted to researching the electricity grid’s capability to accommodate larger shares of electricity from intermittent sources.
Renewables, excluding biofuels, received 72% of all electricity-related subsidies in 2013, yet accounted for 13% of generation capacity and 4% of actual generation.
Supporters of renewable energy often compare subsidies to renewable energy to those for nuclear energy and for oil and natural gas.
In 2013, U.S. federal subsidies to nuclear energy totaled $1.7 billion, down from $1.9 billion in 2010. Of the 2013 figure, $406 million were spent on R&D and $1.1 billion were tax expenditures.
Nuclear energy accounted for 1141 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity generation in 2013, 28% of the U.S. total.
In 2013, subsidies to oil and natural gas totaled $2.3 billion (down from $2.7 billion in 2010), of which almost all were tax expenditures.
Tax expenditures are largely incentives to invest and often involve the involve the deferral of taxes to later years conditional on reinvestment.
Larry Miller challenges Health Canada to ensure the Radiation Emitting Devices Act is being followed by the wind energy industry
August 13, 2015, Owen Sound, ON –
Larry Miller, Conservative candidate and incumbent Member of Parliament for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, is taking Health Canada to task to ensure that the provisions of the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA) is being adhered to by the wind energy industry.
The REDA states the following;
(1) Where a person who is the manufacturer or importer of a radiation emitting device becomes aware, after the device has left the person’s premises, of the fact that the device
(a) does not comply with the standards, if any, prescribed under paragraph 13(1)(b) and applicable thereto, or
(b) creates a risk to any person of genetic or personal injury, impairment of health or death from radiation by reason of the fact that it
(i) does not perform according to the performance characteristics claimed for it,
(ii) does not accomplish its claimed purpose, or
(iii) emits radiation that is not necessary in order for it to accomplish its claimed purpose,
the person shall forthwith notify the Minister.
“I would like to know how many REDA complaints turbine manufacturers have received from Canadians who feel they are being impacted by the wind energy industry and how many of these complaints have been reported to Health Canada. Canadians have a right to know this information and they have a right to know that wind turbine manufacturers have taken their complaints seriously,” said Miller.
Miller has forwarded a letter to Health Canada requesting that they proactively ensure that health complaints due to exposure to wind turbines sent to turbine manufacturers are being brought to the attention of the Minister of Health under the requirements of the REDA. He is very disappointed with the lack of due diligence on the part of Health Canada to make certain that turbine manufacturers are following the legislation and that they are doing the investigative work and reporting required under the legislation. It is very clear that it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to do so under the Act.
More information on the REDA can be found at the Justice Canada website below;
Although the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) failed to produce their Monthly Summary for June 2015 in a reasonable and timely fashion, they did provide information that allows one to determine how much our electricity sector has removed from ratepayers pockets for the first six months of 2015.
How bad is it? Bad.
It turns out 1.9 terawatts (TWh) of Ontario’s electricity production (15.2% of Ontario’s demand of 10.6 TWh) was exported to our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec, etc., in June. Ontario received payment of those exports at the hourly Ontario electricity price (HOEP) $15.31/megawatt hour (MWh) or 1.53 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of $29.1 million. However, the cost to produce and transmit that 1.9 TWh, was $131.43/MWh (13.14 cents/kWh) — that means it cost Ontario ratepayers $249.9 million. Most of that wound up in the big (and growing) pot referred to as the Global Adjustment (GA).
$221 million lost in just one month
So Ontario’s electricity ratepayers picked up the difference of $221 million, which when added to our export losses for the prior five months of 2015, brought costs to almost 1.1 billion1. for the first six months of 2015.
The 1.9 TWh exported in June brought total exports for the first six months of 2015 to 12.53 TWh. That’s about what the entire City of Toronto consumed in that same period.
Perhaps it’s time for Premier Wynne to realize that the losses on our exports represents a “green tax” on all of the ratepayers in Ontario and the remedy is to cancel any further renewable energy contracts. This could prevent bankruptcy and hardship for many Ontario electricity customers and avoid fulfilling the prediction of Ontario’s Chamber of Commerce that 1 in 20 businesses would “close their doors” due to high electricity prices.
1. The figure of $1.1 billion is equivalent to the cost of moving the Oakville and Mississauga gas plants but that was a one-time event whereas this cost to ratepayers will occur twice in 2015 and continue into the future.
OTTAWA Aug. 11, 2015 /CNW/ – More than 90 communities have now declared themselves to be unwilling hosts to huge power generation projects using wind turbines. The municipality of Nation, east of Ottawa, yesterday reversed an earlier statement of support, and the Town of Essex declared it wants no more wind turbines.
“The Premier promised not to force power projects on communities,” says Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson. “But we still can’t say ‘no.’ Making the unwilling host declaration is a powerful statement to this government.”
Ontario citizens are increasingly aware that large-scale wind power brings potential environmental damage, harms wildlife, is linked to health impacts due to the noise and infrasound, and is causing electricity bills to climb beyond affordability.
Despite a surplus power supply and the high cost of renewables, Ontario is contracting for more wind power this year.
“The people of Ontario are saying ‘We’ve had enough,'” says Wilson. “The current procurement program should be abandoned immediately.”
GDF Suez representatives are met with a vocal contingent of residents in Essex opposed to the company’s proposed wind project. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)
Essex council is making it clear it doesn’t want to see any more wind turbines in the town, rejecting a community benefit agreement for the Blue Sky Wind Project.
“We are not interested in any more windmills in our municipality,” says Ward 3 Councillor Bill Caixeiro to loud and long applause in council chambers Monday night.
Councillors even charged the company behind the project, GDF Suez, had paid for letters of support to be sent to council.
“There was no payment made for any letters of support,” says Bonnie Hiltz, government relations for GDF Suez. “They, I believe, were referring to letters of support for landowners who have voluntarily come forward to participate in the project.”
Hiltz is disappointed in council’s strong negativity towards the project.
“This is the very, very early stage of the project and so we’ve heard from residents that they want to be engaged and help inform the project as it evolves. That’s what we’re doing here, that’s what we’re doing with our public meetings,” says Hiltz.
Council for the municipality of Nation, just east of Ottawa, met last evening and decided to reverse a motion of support for two wind power projects, in St Bernardin and St Isidore. Nation is now Not A Willing Host to wind power projects, making it the 90th community in Ontario to reject wind power proposals.
The community group Save The Nation/Sauvon La Nation held a huge public meeting last week, and revealed that council had passed the support motion with no public discussion or input. The majority of residents are opposed to the power projects on the grounds that the potential for environmental damage is significant, and the impact on agriculture and the social fabric of the communities would be extensive.
“We are not for sale,” said Julie Leroux of Save The Nation in an interview.
EDF of France had claimed it has spent hundreds of thousands wooing the community, paying for hockey dinners and other events designed to sway farm owners to sign leases for the project.
Community opposition to industrial-scale wind power mounting
Excerpt from “Eastern Limits” by Tom Van Dusen
I’m not sure what it is about North Stormont Township but wind power developers seem to love it.
Their calculations must have discovered more forceful winds than normal stirring the township. On the surface, though it seems no more or less windy than any other rural municipality.
In increasing numbers, developers have been wafting through the township looking for prime sites* to erect their industrial turbines. As in other communities where they’ve landed, their efforts have been the subject of increasing protests, petitions, and testy meetings.
Correctly gauging the way the wind is blowing on the issue, township council has just taken a stand against turbines and their proponents…for what that’s worth. With the provincial government relentlessly pushing wind power, it’s probably not worth much.**
Mayor Dennis Fife has explained that too many ratepayers are against wind projects for council to reasonably support them. Fife has expressed his personal opposition, claiming wind will never match nuclear power generation.
Typical of disgruntled ratepayers is Roger Villeneuve who worries that towers “much taller than any tree I’ve ever seen or will ever see” will soon dominate the local landscape.
…Council was helped along in its decision by Concerned Citizens of North Stormont which circulated an unwilling host petition, demanding that elected representatives back it at a meeting July 28. They did.
In explaining its opposition the citizens’ committee cited the loss of property values and prime agricultural land, increased hydro costs to cover wind power expansion, environmental impact on birds and bats, health issues related to pulsating noise and shadow flicker, and eventual decommissioning costs.
…Developers have been through all this before, in several other Ontario municipalities where they’ve landed. You see, they have carte blanche from the province under the Green Energy Act, trumping any local motions, opposing them. Projects are decided by the province’s Independent Electricity Service Operator [sic–it is “System” Operator] (IESO) with little regard for local concerns.***
…a growing number of wind power opponents are urging councils to use other tools at their disposal…one suggested option is refusing a bylaw to permit road access to turbine sites. ****
“Enjoy the natural horizon while there still is one,” says ratepayer Roger Villeneuve.
Wind Concerns Ontario notes:
* What they are looking for is willing landowners. Wind doesn’t really have much to do with it.
** The Not A Willing Host declaration stems directly from a statement by Premier Kathleen Wynne that she wouldn’t force wind power projects on communities that weren’t willing. Her failure to honour her word is underscored by the 89 (soon to be 90?) communities that have protested by municipal resolutions.
*** This is true but the failure of a developer to gain municipal support does not help them in a successful bid. Bids without community support are ranked lower.
**** This is not actually a valid option: several communities have tried this already and what happens is, the developer goes to the Ontario Energy Board which then grants permission to use road allowances. The municipality is then left without a road use agreement and possibility of compensation for the sometimes considerable damage to public roads.
More than 500 residents of the municipality of Nation, about 45 minutes east of Ottawa, met on Wednesday night to learn more, and discuss action on two wind power proposals for their community: a 150-megawatt project by EDF, and a 75-MW project by Leader Resources.
Among the speakers was Carmen Krogh, known internationally for her research on the impacts of wind turbine noise emissions on human health. A particular concern for Krogh, she expressed that evening, is the effect of the wind turbine emissions on children. Despite clear guidance from the World Health Organization and other bodies in public health about exposing children to possible harm, Ontario has proceeded to build wind power projects in communities close to homes.
Other speakers detailed the environmental impacts of the proposed wind turbine arrays, and commented on the degree of impact on the community for very little benefit.
Organizer Julie Leroux commented that the public was left out of a decision by council to support wind power; after signing an agreement to be an unwilling host as a member of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, Nation then approved a motion of support for a wind power project by Sierra Nevada, in 2013. Nation’s mayor has gone on record in the agricultural media as saying he supported the current EDF proposal, and that Nation is a “willing host.”
We are not, said Leroux.
The community group Save The Nation requested time to make a presentation to Council but was not scheduled to do so now until August 31st; the deadline for wind power proposals under the new process is September 1st, the next day.
Questions and comments afterward were a clear demonstration not only that the community is already well informed on this issue, they are passionate about protecting their way of life, the social fabric of Nation, and the agricultural economic base.
“This will destroy the Nation, if it happens,” said one gentleman.
Another, who had travelled to Wolfe Island to see turbines to educate himself (Note: a better trip would be to Brinston, south of Ottawa, where EDP is operating 3-MW turbines in the South Branch power project), said he was shocked at the environmental impact of the wind power machines. “The foundations for these things are huge,” he said, “and they will never go away.”
If the wind power projects are approved said one young farmer, who said he was speaking for others in his demographic of 20s and 30s, it will destroy the local economy and way of life in Nation. “We’re leaving,” he said simply.
Organizers for the event and members of Save The Nation said that no members of Nation council attended the meeting as far as they knew but MPP Grant Crack’s executive assistant was there.
Breaking News: Wind Concerns Ontario has learned that Nation Council will be discussing the community reaction to the wind power proposals on Monday, August 10.