Europe: massive unrest over electricity prices?

Brussels fears European ‘industrial massacre’ sparked by energy costs

Europe’s industry is being ravaged by exorbitant energy costs and an over-valued euro, blighting efforts to reverse years of global manufacturing decline.

Europe's industry is being ravaged by exorbitant energy costs and an over-valued euro, blighting efforts to reverse years of global manufacturing decline.
Mr Tajani warned that Europe’s quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America’s shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc. Photo: © Alamy
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

By , in Cernobbio, Italy
9:07PM BST 08 Sep 2013
“We face a systemic industrial massacre,” said Antonio Tajani, the European industry commissioner.
Mr Tajani warned that Europe’s quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America’s shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc.
“I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can’t be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can’t sacrifice Europe’s industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide,” he told The Daily Telegraph during the Ambrosetti forum of global policy-makers at Lake Como.
“The loss of competitiveness is frightening,” said Paulo Savona, head of Italy’s Fondo Interbancario. “When people choose whether to invest in Europe or the US, what they think about most is the cost of energy.”
A report by the American Chemistry Council said shale gas has given the US a “profound and sustained competitive advantage” in chemicals, plastics, and related industries. Consultants IHS also expect US chemical output to double by 2020, while Europe’s output will have fallen by a third. IHS said $250bn (£160bn) in extra US manufacturing will be added by shale in the next six years.

S.W.E.A.R. asks for funding help for Charter Challenge

This message was sent to us for SWEAR (Safe Wind Energy for All Residents) which is supporting a challenge based on the Charter of Human Rights, and needs funding help. More information on the legal action can be found on the website for SWEAR, below.

Charter Challenge: unite the fight
With Julian Falconer, seasoned Constitutional lawyer with a positive record

Nothing to date has stopped the construction of Industrial Wind Turbines in our province even though many people have been fighting tirelessly for years.
  There is now a strong move to come together and UNITE THE FIGHT.
  The current Charter Challenge, with prominent human rights and constitutional lawyer Julian Falconer at the helm, is the rallying action.  Julian has a winning record.  If the funding is there, he will take this fight right to the Supreme Court of Canada if necessary.
   If this Charter Challenge is successful it will set a precedent and will assist ALL appeals and legal challenges which follow.  Others can then raise the same issues and seek the same relief.  This action has the potential to shift the burden of proof from the need to prove serious harm to human health to the need to prove the possibility of harm, a much lower threshold.
   Success with this Charter Challenge is a win for everyone.  UNITE THE FIGHT.  Support the Charter Challenge now. 
   Go to donate or send a cheque payable to “SWEAR”, c/o Dave Hemingway, R.R.#2, Bayfield, ON N0M 1G0.
   All donations to SWEAR go directly to the Charter Challenge legal costs. All disbursement costs for fundraising (travel, copying, postage, hall rentals etc.) are paid for by concerned citizens.

Kawatha Lakes wind projects: throwing ‘silver’ around to pretend acceptance

We can’t reproduce this article for you, and can only offer a link to the publication The Kawartha Promoter, but this week’s edition has an excellent article on wind power developer (and sometime environmental consultant to the wind power development industry) M.K. Ince.
  Note the trend toward forming symbolic “co-operatives” like the Wintergreen Co-operative behind the Ernestown Windpark (that got them a grant from the Co-operators Insurance Foundation). It looks like community acceptance–but isn’t.
  Click on the link than page through to page 19.

Without taxpayer money, wind doesn’t exist

Here from the blog North East Windmills is a view on wind power development in that part of the United States: slowed virtually to a halt.

Wind Installations Grind to a Halt With Zero Installed Nationwide in 2nd Quarter of 2013

July 31, 2013 by
Wind energy is collapsing
Wind energy is collapsing – zero installs in the 2nd quarter of 2013

We’ve been trying to point out just how bad the collapse of wind energy really is, but some of you might think we’ve only been showing you a few cherry picked facts, so here’s something for you to consider from the American Wind Energy Association, the wind energy trade group.

Only 1.6 megawatts (MW) of wind power were commissioned during the first half of the year and none at all during the second quarter

Zero installs in the second quarter!

Think about that, the BOOMING wind energy sector installed 1.6MW in the first quarter, that’s most likely a single wind turbine, and absolutely none in the second quarter. What does that say about the wind industry?

Without taxpayer money, wind energy doesn’t exist

The AWEA says they’re fine, things are “ramping up” and they blame the late extension of tax credits as the reason they were down so long. In other words, this huge “dead zone” with zero installs is what wind energy looks like without taxpayer money propping it up.
Countries around the world cutting back on wind, plants in the US closing, sales from the big manufacturers way down, and now, zero installs in the second quarter, it makes you think this rush to put a very wind friendly ordinance in place in communities like ours, is a last desperate grab by out of town developers for taxpayer money before the Production Tax Credit (PTC) expires for good.
It looks like wind energy advocates can’t handle the truth.
Just say NO! North East is our home, we live here. We can do better.

Report on ERT preliminary hearing on South Kent wind project

This report comes from the Chatham-Kent Wind Action group.

Report on the Preliminary ERT Hearing of Platinum Produce vs South Kent Wind
The second appeal of the South Kent Wind project began with a preliminary hearing in Blenheim yesterday (Sept 5). Robert Wright was the only tribunal judge presiding. Two lawyers (Bunting and Powell) were there to represent South Kent Wind, and at least 3 lawyers (Jacobs, Horner and ?) were there for the MOE as well as a representative or two for the minister of the Environment. The appellant, Platinum Produce, was represented by Graham Andrews (from the Gillespie firm).
   No one requested any status to present material or raise issues at the hearing.
   South Kent Wind began by seeking dismissal of the constitutional challenge raised by Platinum Produce as well as a complete dismissal of the hearing. This was echoed by the MOE who also said that the Tribunal was not the proper jurisdiction to raise constitutional issues.

   The proceedings continued as per normal while schedules, correspondence, etc were discussed… kind of like watching paint dry.
   Eventually Horner for the MOE began his argument regarding the need to strike the constitutional part of the challenge, that is– the right to life, liberty and security of person. His argument was that a company (Platinum Produce) has no direct standing to make such a claim, because it is a corporation, not a human.
Bunting for South Kent Wind continued with the same opinion that a corporation can’t raise a charter challenge.
   I’m not sure how things progressed after that as I had to leave. But here is a bit more background about the appeal…
   One of the turbines was originally located less than 550m from Platinum Produces’ permanent bunkhouse. This was not discovered until the last day of the first appeal of the project which took place about a year ago. South Kent Wind eventually moved 3 turbines and reduced the power rating on another in an effort to correct their mistake and meet the (inadequate) noise requirements for the bunkhouse. They had to reapply for approval which opened the door for Platinum Produce to file their appeal in an effort to protect the health and safety of its workers (some of which are migrants).
  BUT… what was the most revealing incident of the day came when I took a few photos. The leaseholders and at least one South Kent Wind employee in the audience, turned away!!!! Then they ran to the South Kent Wind lawyers to have the photos stifled. That really should tell you everything you need to know about the wind industry… those involved are guilty of harming others and don’t want their neighbours to know who they are.
Chatham-Kent Wind Action

Parker Gallant on wind power developers: in it for the MONEY

Robert Hornung, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association(CanWEA), and former Policy and Communications Director and Program Change Director at the Pembina Institute, spins the tale that industrial wind turbines are all to do with “climate change.” His interviewin 2010 (published on June 23, 2010) after he left Pembina for CanWEA, supports that belief. 
   By November of that year, he had reflected on the issue of low frequency noise and submitted his opinionto the Ministry of the Environment as President of the 400-member CanWEA: “…CanWEA submits that the proposed requirement for infrasound or low frequency noise monitoring as a condition of the REA [Renewable Energy Approval] be removed.”
  Almost one year later (October 12, 2011) Hornung  admitted in a Global-TV interviewthat “wind turbine sound…can have potentially indirect health impacts.”
  Despite that revelation, Hornung abides by the wishes of his members (his job depends on it) and wrote in January 2012 that he was “extremely disappointed that the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has called for a suspension of wind energy development.” After the recent announcement by Energy Minister Chiarelli that a review of the Long-Term Energy Plan was to take place,   CanWEA released their views:  The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) will be an active participant in upcoming consultations to review and update Ontario’s long-term energy plan and will advocate for further growth of wind energy* in the province.
  The CEO of a CanWEA member corporation was interviewed on the BNN (Business News Network) September 3, 2013.  Capital Power Corporation CEO Brian Vaasjo was asked about the company’s “wind projects”; the host declared in his question that the “skeptics” view them as boondoggles.  The CEO’s response was direct; he didn’t mention either “global warming” or “climate change.” Instead he declared that wind turbine projects do not stand on their own in a merchant market place, but, they provide substantial cash flows for companies like ours.  He went on to cite the benefits of “government procurement processes” and to single out the Ontario FIT Programas an example.
Bruce Vaasjo, CEO, Capital Power: wind can’t stand on its own
This is exactly what the Ontario Auditor General said in his 2011 report when he noted that the Ontario government had not done a cost/benefit analysis in respect to the implementation of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act.  Vaasjo’s frank comment simply proves that if the government hands out “money for nothing” there will be a lineup at the doors of Queens Park and a group to lobby for the largesse!
   The time has come to close the vault door at Queens Park– it is empty, and the taxpayers and ratepayers of this province have no more to give in welfare for huge, well-capitalized corporations.
Parker Gallant
September 4, 2013
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily the policy of Wind Concerns Ontario.
*Editor’s note: wind “energy” is the wind itself; wind “power” is what is produced from it. But “energy” sounds so much nicer than big, noisy, industrial power machines, doesn’t it?

Port Elgin citizen turbine impact presentations on video

Although the wind turbine at Port Elgin erected by the Canadian Auto Workers  has only been in operation for a few months, complaints of health problems from the environmental noise and vibration produced by the wind generator started almost immediately.
  This is a 90-minute video with presentations from residents. What is shocking is that this turbine at 50 kW is relatively small compared to the 2-3 megawatt machines now being built and proposed for Ontario.
  The video is here; the first quarter-hour gives you plenty of useful, if depressing, information.

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.

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