Wind isn’t green: Canadian Nuclear Association

Wind's dirty little secret: fossil fuel backup essential
Wind’s dirty little secret: fossil fuel backup essential

JOHN MINER | QMI AGENCY

October 13, 9:52 PM

Canadian Nuclear Association blasts wind energy green claim

LONDON, Ont. — I’m green, you’re not.

The battle to be embraced as the best environmental choice for Ontario’s power supply is getting down and dirty.

Fed up with the wind-farm sector enjoying what it considers an undeserved reputation as a pristine energy supplier, Canada’s nuclear industry — it generates the lion’s share of electricity in Ontario — has launched a public relations assault against wind.

Both nuclear and wind are major players in the power mix of Southwestern Ontario, home to one of the world’s largest nuclear plants — Bruce Power, near Kincardine — and many of Ontario’s biggest wind farms.

“Wind power isn’t as clean as its supporters have claimed. It performs unreliably and needs backup from gas, which emits far more greenhouse gas than either wind or nuclear power,” said Dr. John Barrett, president and chief executive of the Canadian Nuclear Association, in an e-mail to QMI Agency.

The Canadian Nuclear Association hired Toronto-based Hatch Ltd., a global consulting and engineering firm, to compare wind farm and nuclear energy.

Hatch reviewed 246 studies, mostly from North America and Europe. Its 91-page report concludes wind energy over the lifetime of an installation produces slightly less greenhouse gas — implicated in climate change — than nuclear and both produce a lot less than gas-fired generating plants.

But Hatch says it’s an entirely different picture when wind energy’s reliance on other generating sources is considered.

The engineering firm calculates wind turbines only generate 20% of their electrical capacity because of down time when no wind blows.

When gas-fired generating stations are added into the equation to pick up the slack, nuclear produces much less greenhouse gases, the Hatch study concludes.

Its analysis is that for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced, nuclear power emits 18.5 grams of greenhouse gases. Wind backed by natural gas produces more than 20 times more — 385 grams per kilowatt hour.

The nuclear industry attack on wind might not be a welcome message for the Ontario Liberal government that has justified its multibillion-dollar investment in Southwestern Ontario wind farms on the basis it’s providing green energy.

But its a position that resonates with Ontario’s anti-wind farm movement.

“We share their concerns on this issue and have been speaking about this for years. We have taken advice from engineers in the power industry, who say that wind power cannot fulfill any of the environmental benefit promises made for it, because it needs fossil-fuel backup.,” said Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario.

On the other side of the debate, the Canadian Wind Energy Association said it has had an opportunity to review the Hatch study.

It said there’s no surprise that when wind and natural gas generation are paired that the mix creates more greenhouse gases than nuclear. But when wind is paired with other potential electricity suppliers, the results are different.

“Unfortunately, by choosing to focus on only one scenario, the study failed to consider a broad range of equally or more plausible scenarios for the evolution of Canada’s electricity grid,” the Canadian Wind Energy Association said.
WHERE ONTARIO’S POWER COMES FROM

For the year 2013:
Nuclear: 59.2%
Hydro: 23.4%
Gas: 11.1%
Wind: 3.4%
Coal: 2.1%
Other: 0.8%

For one minute in time:
(Oct. 13, 2014, 8 a.m.)
Nuclear: 65.8%
Hydro: 24.6%
Wind: 5.9%
Gas: 2.7%”

Source: Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator

Skyway 8: Back-room deals, spin as turbine numbers climb

Transformer at Skyway 8: more than 5 turbines coming, people
Transformer at Skyway 8: more than 5 turbines coming

The Skyway 8 Project in Southgate Township, County of Grey, presently owned by Capstone Infrastructure, has been a myriad of confusing and secret deals as well as a debacle of onus ownership.

The five  95-meter turbines totalling 9.8 MW and transformer(s) are well within Grey County and Southgate’s borders yet the township of Melancthon had more correspondence, updates and notifications with the proponents than either Grey County or Southgate township. In fact, an invitation to a BBQ celebrating the end of construction was on the Melancthon council agenda June 5, 2014. Nowhere was it found in any newspaper in Southgate nor mentioned at Southgate council or on their website.  The power lines from the transformer(s) were supposedly buried on a little used portion of the Melancthon 260 road allowance in order to join up with a HONI less than four miles away.

A document produced by the Grey County TAPS (Transportation and Public Safety) Committee dated December 19, 2013, said oversized and overload permits had not been submitted, two entrances on Grey Rd. 8 must be reduced to the required size/width by the proponent post construction, and there would be no request to install power transition equipment within the Grey County. This document went to county council and was passed as resolution CC12-14 on January 9, 2013.

The two entrances off Grey Road 8 have not been reduced and a washed away south east corner of Grey Rd. 8 & Southgate Road 10 has not been repaired. Some time ago I contacted the CAO of Grey County with no response, and twice to the CAO and the Public Works Manager (PWM) of Southgate Township. I received a reply from the PWM that he would contact the county CAO. To date no further correspondence has been received.

The transformer that was specifically not to be in Grey County is indeed well within the boundaries of Southgate Township, a municipality of Grey County.  An electrical worker on the transformers was asked why the need for transformers of this size when there are only five turbines. The worker replied “Five? There’s a whole lot more than five turbines coming.”

This is an area which has declared itself an unwilling host.

The original application to the MoE, granted September 29, 2011, approved  103 – 105 dBA for the turbines and 67 dBA for the transformer. That was amended  July 29, 2013 to increase the dBA for the transformer to 94 dBA. Both dBA allowing for the cooling fan noise.
In an article published in the Dundalk Herald September 17, 2014, the author says Samsung is planning 65 more turbines. He also says the project was received with broad acceptance by local residents and municipal council. One wonders why then there are three For Sale signs and one For Rent sign nearby. He does not stipulate which municipal council. Melancthon was a willing host at the time of negotiations.

One land owner that has two of the turbines and is eagerly waiting for approval of the 65 larger turbines planned as he has signed up for more was interviewed. He also has solar panels and is paid 80 cents per kilowatt under the FIT program. He says the money is secondary.  A neighbour of his who signed up three years ago for a turbine and is also waiting for the next phase said “the people who protest the loudest are people who live outside the area.” He went on to say that “the people that are protesting are ones that can’t get one.” A pat answer we have heard time and time again by the proponent’s script writers.

The neighbour also mentioned in the interview a petition she started that was in favour of the project  and had 100 signatures. In fact, it was an online survey with approximately 75 signatures, the majority of whom not only don’t live in the area but do not reside in Canada. A legal survey which was signed by over 720 residents of Southgate were not in favour of IWT’s was presented to Southgate council in March. Pecuniary interests were not declared at Southgate council even though at least one incumbent has  recently admitted he is getting 28 turbines on 14 farms he owns during the next phase.

Needless to say, the upcoming municipal election is clearly about “Trusted, Timely Transparent Decision Making.”

Louise Morfitt Hall is a resident of Southgate, and is running for council in the municipal election, October 27

 The views expressed here are those of the author.

Turbine noise health report to be published today

“…association exists between wind turbine noise and distress in humans…”

A comprehensive report based on a literature review will be published today in the online journal Cureus. www.cureus.com

Dr Ian Arra, associate medical officer of health for Grey-Bruce, will present the paper today at a meeting of the Canadian Public Health Association in Toronto.

The results of the review are: “The presence of reasonable evidence that an association exists between wind turbines and distress in humans. The existence of a dose-response relationship (between distance from wind turbines and distress) and the consistency of association across studies found in the scientific literature argue for the credibility of this
association. Future research in this area is warranted as whether causal relationship exists or not.”

Economist Jack Mintz on Ontario: cancel FIT

Jack Mintz
Special to The Financial Post
April 8, 2014

Canada’s ‘sagging middle’ hurting the rest of Canada

With Quebec’s election over, we can turn to Ontario where a scandal-plagued Liberal government will soon present its 2014 budget – and possibly trigger a spring election. Ontario is sagging under the weight of monstrous public debt, uncompetitive energy prices and rising taxes. Given Ontario’s size, other regions of Canada are being hurt.

Ontario has only one way out: economic growth. Luckily, the American economic recovery will significantly benefit Ontario. However, it won’t be enough. The government needs to get its house in order.

Pushing aggregate demand with deficit spending won’t achieve growth. Economic stimulus might provide some short-term relief but won’t generate sustained expansion. Instead, growth will be attained with supply-side policies by reducing onerous regulations, providing some smart tax reforms and shifting to growth-oriented spending, especially to address the notorious Greater Toronto Area infrastructure problem.

Nor will growth come from expansionary public programs like the proposed Ontario pension plan. Forcing people to hold assets in a government-sponsored plan might be helpful to some but it will be just another form of new taxation for others, who are already have adequate savings for retirement.

Ontario’s growth has lagged the rest of Canada, averaging less than 1% annually since 2009. Employment since 2009 has increased by 375,000 but the employment rate has fallen to U.S.-levels of 61.4% as of March 2014, far less than Alberta’s at almost 70%.

Ontario‘s fiscal picture is also not pretty, with gross debt over $290-billion (net debt is $272-billion), requiring $10.6-billion in taxes to cover interest charges. This expense is enormous, about one-half of education expenditures.

The average Ontario debt interest rate is only 4% but interest rates are expected to rise within the next few years. Each point increase in interest rates will add at least another $3-billion in annual interest expense.

Ontario’s energy prices are soaring….

Read the full article here.

New paper on infrasound from Dr Alec Salt: time to eliminate this problem

What you can’t hear CAN hurt you: Salt

A new paper from Dr Alec Salt, Professor of Otolaryngology at Washington University, on infrasound produced by large-scale wind turbines, long-term effects of exposure to infrasound, and the quality of noise measurement being used by governments and industry.
His conclusion is that: the time has come to acknowledge the problem and work to eliminate it. He also says the wind power development industry needs to be held to a higher standard of health and safety than it currently is.
Read the paper2014 SaltLichtenhan Acoustics Today, and our thanks to Dr Alec salt for forwarding a PDF of the paper for us to share with you.
Wind Concerns Ontario, in our continuing campaign to spark responsibility in the Ontario government for this burgeoning public health problem, will be forwarding the paper to the appropriate officials.
Feel free to share it with your Member of Provincial Parliament.

Please link to the paper via our WordPress site, here.

Community group says Suncor wildlife assessment not adequate

sarnia_observer

Anti-turbine group says assessment falls short

1297245856272_AUTHOR_PHOTO
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer

Tundra swans in flight.  OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
Tundra swans in flight. OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
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A Plympton-Wyoming group opposing Suncor Energy’s plans to build a wind farm in their community says the company’s study of the potential impact on migrating tundra swans is inadequate.
But, the company says it met provincial requirements in its application for environmental approval for the 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind Energy Project.
That application is currently being reviewed by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment.
“As part of the application for ministry approval, Suncor completed a natural heritage assessment to assess any potential impacts to significant habitat necessary to sustain wildlife, including birds,” said ministry spokesperson Kate Jordan.
That assessment will be considered as part of the review, she said.
“No decisions on the proposal has been made,”Jordan added.
The group, We’re Against Industrial Turbines, Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PM,) has been going through Suncor’s application documents and issued a press release pointing to a one-day site observation report that included a swan count carried out in 2012.
“I don’t think they gave an adequate look at it,” said WAIT-PW spokesperson Ingrid Willemsen.
“I think they need to look at an appropriate time for migration, and see that they wouldn’t interfere with the flight patterns.”
The Lambton Heritage Museum said Tuesday that thousands of swans could be seen in farm fields on the nearby former Thedford bog, a traditional stopover on the swans’ spring migration to nesting grounds in the Arctic.

Read the full story here.

Forbes: IPCC deliberately excludes important climate data

Capital Flows

March 31, 2014

The IPCC’s Latest Report Deliberately Excludes And Misrepresents Important Climate Science

By Joseph Bast
This week, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is releasing its latest report, the “Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report.” Like its past reports, this one predicts apocalyptic consequences if mankind fails to give the UN the power to tax and regulate fossil fuels and subsidize and mandate the use of alternative fuels. But happily, an international group of scientists I have been privileged to work with has conducted an independent review of IPCC’s past and new reports, along with the climate science they deliberately exclude or misrepresent.
Our group, called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), was founded in 2003 by a distinguished atmospheric physicist, S. Fred Singer, and has produced five hefty reports to date, the latest being released today(March 31).
So how do the IPCC and NIPCC reports differ? The final draft of the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers identifies eight “reasons for concern” which media reports say will remain the focus of the final report. The NIPCC reports address each point too, also summarizing their authors’ positions in Summaries for Policymakers. This provides a convenient way to compare and contrast the reports’ findings.
Here’s what the reports say:
IPCC: “Risk of death, injury, and disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal zones and small island developing states, due to sea-level rise, coastal flooding, and storm surges.”
NIPCC: “Flood frequency and severity in many areas of the world were higher historically during the Little Ice Age and other cool eras than during the twentieth century. Climate change ranks well below other contributors, such as dikes and levee construction, to increased flooding.”
IPCC: “Risk of food insecurity linked to warming, drought, and precipitation variability, particularly for poorer populations.”
NIPCC: “There is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2levels. Farmers and others who depend on rural livelihoods for income are benefitting from rising agricultural productivity throughout the world, including in parts of Asia and Africa where the need for increased food supplies is most critical. Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2levels play a key role in the realization of such benefits.
IPCC: “Risk of severe harm for large urban populations due to inland flooding.”
NIPCC: “No changes in precipitation patterns, snow, monsoons, or river flows that might be considered harmful to human well-being or plants or wildlife have been observed that could be attributed to rising CO2 levels. What changes have been observed tend to be beneficial.”
IPCC: “Risk of loss of rural livelihoods and income due to insufficient access to drinking and irrigation water and reduced agricultural productivity, particularly for farmers and pastoralists with minimal capital in semi-arid regions.”
NIPCC: “Higher atmospheric CO2concentrations benefit plant growth-promoting microorganisms that help land plants overcome drought conditions, a potentially negative aspect of future climate change. Continued atmospheric CO2 enrichment should prove to be a huge benefit to plants by directly enhancing their growth rates and water use efficiencies.”
IPCC: “Systemic risks due to extreme [weather] events leading to breakdown of infrastructure networks and critical services.”

NIPCC: “There is no support for the model-based projection that precipitation in a warming world becomes more variable and intense. 

Read the full story here.

Australian Medical Association: you’ve got mail

Since the Australian Medical Association came out with its “surprising” (Dr Robert  McMurtry’s reaction) statement on wind turbine noise and health, people from around the world have been writing to provide the AMA with more information, and demand a retraction, reports Wind Victims Ontario.

A full report of the global reaction may be found here including copies of letters that have been sent.

The Waubra Foundation in Australia has a full list of letters sent, in alphabetical order; if you wish to contact the AMA, be sure to visit the Waubra Foundation link first, and copy them on your correspondence.

Here are some sample letter:

 

Picture

22nd March, 2014
The Australian Medical Association Position Statement: “Wind Farms and Health” 2014 has provoked instant national and international condemnation from those who have first hand knowledge of the damaging impact of wind turbine noise, including impacted residents, researchers, and professionals providing either clinical care or acoustic services.

Some people are writing privately to the AMA, urging them to remove or update the ignorant AMA position statement, whilst others would like their views made public. As the Waubra Foundation becomes aware of letters written to the AMA and receives permission to reproduce them, they are being posted below.

The Waubra Foundation’s Open Letter to the AMA is here.
Gardner, Mrs. Ann Nine Questions for the AMA   
     My name is Ann Gardner and I have lived and worked happily and healthily for 34 years, on my husband’s and my farming property in south-west Victoria until October 2012, when the first only 15 turbines of the Macarthur wind farm began operation, and threw our lives and those of many others, into turmoil.
     At the time of writing this letter I am suffering terribly from the infrasound emitted by the 140 turbines located FAR TOO CLOSE to our property.
     I have a bad headache. I have a very strong pain shooting up through the back of my neck and into my head. I have extremely sore and blocked ears and very painful pressure in my nose. I have pressure in my jaws and my teeth. My heart is POUNDING .….. I can feel the vibration going through my body, through the chair, like an electric charge. I have just taken yet another two tablets to try and alleviate the pain.
     I am also exhausted, as last night, along with every other night, I spent more time awake than asleep. The infrasound in our bedroom, was appalling .….. I could feel the vibration through the mattress and the pillow, like an electric charge through my body. My head felt as if a brick was on it, and the pressure and pain in my nose was extreme. I have always been a very sound sleeper, that is until October 2012. I am now lucky if I am able to get two or three hours sleep each night, in my own home.

Gallandy-Jakobsen, GretaAMA Concerned About Machines Instead of Human Beings
Do you remember your oath as a member of the medical profession?
At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:

  • I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
  • I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
  • I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
  • The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
  • I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
  • I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
  • My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
  • I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
  • I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
  • I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
  • I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

Enbom, Dr Hakam, MD, PhD. Otoneurologist, Angelholm, Sweden
“Thus the conclusion is that low frequency sound and infrasound from wind power has the qualities to trigger increased sensitivity and eventually migraine headache or other migraine-symptoms – such as vertigo or tinnitus (without headache).”

Hopkins, Dr Gary D. Emergency Physician, South Australia
“I am rendered speechless by your irresponsible, ill researched, ill advised and reckless statement that those who might suffer physical effects from the presence of turbines are suffering a psychological condition (anxiety). Indeed your very statement itself causes anxiety in those likely to be effected ( “who will believe me when I tell them I feel sick ” ? ).”

McMurtry, Professor R. Researcher, Expert Witness, Former Dean Medical School, Ontario, Canada
“I am writing to comment on the AMA Position Statement. The position statement is surprising. It is not well informed, references are absent and the authors of the document are undisclosed. Many of the phrases and claims in the document faithfully reflect wind industry claims, claims which cannot be substantiated.
Review of the existing evidence in which direct assessment of exposed individuals has been carried out uniformly reveals adverse health effects2. The common denominator of complaints consists of sleep disturbance, inner ear disturbance and stress response. These are serious adverse health effects. These adverse health events have been reported globally in the media and grey literature.”

Palmer, William. Professional Engineer, Ontario, Canada
“I wish to express to you my grave concern that the Position Statement as it is issued is not consistent with the Code of Ethics of the Australian Medical Association
There is obviously a need for discretion, but this information is from the public record:

  1. A gentleman in his 50’s who stood at a public meeting to declare he was suffering no adverse health effects from wind turbines near his home suffered a cardiac arrest and died within one week of his declaration.
  2. A young lady in her 30’s suffered an unexpected sudden cardiac arrest and died.
  3. Another gentleman in his 60’s had a cardiac arrest while out fishing and could not be revived.
  4. Another gentleman in his 60’s suffered a cardiac arrest while driving and passed away.

None of these individuals’ deaths were expected”

Papadopoulos, George. Pharmacist, Yass, NSW
“Both AMA position statements reflect an abstract position that does not examine reality.
It seems that the AMA perceives information and open discussion as a threat to the mental wellbeing of the modern Australian.
The harm wind turbines can cause has been described by NASA scientists in the 1980’s. The response by Sarah Laurie to the AMA is very comprehensive and makes the case clear”


Reider, Dr Sandy MD, Primary Care Physician, Vermont USA, has treated impacted residents
“As a rural primary care physician (graduate of Harvard Medical School in 1971) in northern Vermont, USA, I have observed first hand the adverse health effects experienced by individuals living too close to the two large wind projects that have been brought online in the area over the past few years.”

Tibbetts, Dr. Jay J. MD, Primary Care Physician, Wisconsin, USA, has treated impacted residents
“Over the past four years the Board has studied the deleterious effects of IWT’s on human health.
We have the Shirley Wind Farm in our county. It consists of eight 500’ 2.5 megawatt IWT’s. The effects on our citizens living in the immediate vicinity i.e. 2–3 mi. of the nearest turbine has been devastating. Ear pressure , pain, tinnitus, vertigo, headache, nausea, chest pain pressure, abdominal pain, poor concentration, sleep deprivation, irritability and depression are some of the symptoms our citizens are experiencing. These symptoms are not unique to our facility but are reported world wide and a direct effect of ILFN. Three families from Shirley Wind have abandoned their homes and several others would move save for financial reasons.”

Toronto Star on the Blandings Turtle

Blanding’s turtle has won a temporary reprieve.
Hello, it’s me again.

Blanding’s turtle blocks turbines again

A judge has placed a temporary halt on a wind farm that naturalists say could harm the threatened animal in Prince Edward County.

By: Business reporter, Published on Wed Mar 26 2014
Blanding’s turtle has won a temporary reprieve, as a court blocked construction of a wind farm that could damage its habitat at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County.
That means construction of the wind farm can’t start before next fall at the earliest.
Mr. Justice R.A. Blair of Ontario Court of Appeal issued an order Tuesday placing a stay on construction until the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists can seek leave to appeal an earlier court ruling.
Gilead Power wants to erect a nine-turbine wind farm at Ostrander Point. It was at first blocked by an Environmental Review Tribunal, which said the development might harm the habitat of Blanding’s turtle.
The naturalists had also argued that the development threatens migratory birds, bats, and the unusual local ecosystem.
A divisional court ruling earlier this year threw out the tribunal’s decision, and said the wind farm could proceed.
Gilead said following the divisional court ruling that it would start construction this spring.
The naturalists then sought leave to appeal the divisional court ruling — and asked Blair to block activity on the site until that application is decided.
Eric Gillespie, lawyer for the naturalists, said in an interview Tuesday that it will take several months for the two sides to file their arguments on the leave application, and for the court to consider them….

Read the full story here.