Turbines are affecting people: Lynn

 Grey-Bruce medical officer of health Dr. Hazel Lynn:
“All of the studies rejected the null hypothesis that there was no association. Every one of them found that there was an association.”
 

Of hundreds of credible studies around the world on wind energy, none conclude there is no association between the towering turbines and adverse health effects.
That’s what Grey-Bruce medical officer of health Dr. Hazel Lynn and her researcher, Dr. Ian Arra, will present to the public health board Friday.
The report follows plaintive calls last fall from local residents who live near wind turbines for the health unit to investigate potential ill health effects.
Lynn has been asked repeatedly over the years by municipalities and residents to conduct a study on how turbines might be affecting people’s health, which they say include migraines, insomnia, heart palpitations and other symptoms. She has rejected the requests because of the time and cost involved and because the health unit is not a research institute.”
But last September, after an emotional delegation appeared before the health board, Lynn agreed to do a comprehensive search of the most current and credible studies available.
“(The conclusions are) not new, but it’s further confirmation that these are not NIMBYs, these are people affected by these things,” Lynn said Tuesday in an interview. “All of the studies rejected the null hypothesis that there was no association. Every one of them found that there was an association.”

Please continue reading at the Owen Sound Sun Times:
There is a poll at the end of the article: “Do you believe wind turbines can make people sick?

Related: .pdf of report presentation slides

Wind running from Demand

Using the term “wind beats coal in Ontario” in a “Google” search gets 3 million hits, meaning the IESO press release of January 11, 2013 announcing wind production was 3% of Ontario’s generation versus 2.8% for coal in 2012 was noticed. Why wind beat coal is not explained;it is simply cited as a fact. Wind is granted “first-to-the-grid” rights, which means it must be accepted. In Ontario beating coal is not a big feat as coal is only significantly called on when our peak demand is closing in on record levels, meaning it is presented asthe last generation source that will be used. By this time next year that option will be unavailable in Ontario.


The recent cold spell in Ontario and Quebec highlighted coal’s usefulness however as Quebecers were encouraged to reduce their consumption and Ontario cranked up coal production (partially to assist Quebec) despite outgoing Premier, Dalton McGuinty’s recent pronouncement January 10, 2013 that Ontario Power Generation will close their remaining coal plants! McGuinty said; “We’ll replace our dirty, outdated coal-fired electricity plants — the biggest source of air pollution in Canada — with cleaner burning natural gas, and renewable energy such as wind and solar,” The biggest source of air pollution in Canada is the transportation sector not the coal fired electricity plants. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s 2010 Air Quality Report indicates that “transboundary” and “transportation” are the two biggest factors determining Ontario’s air quality.


Ontario’s “dirty, outdated coal-fired electricity plants” are far from being the biggest source of air pollution in Canada, they are not outdated (many have modern scrubbers to remove most particulates) and they cannot be replaced by “renewable energy such as wind and solar.” As Quebec experienced record demand on January 23rdand Ontario experienced it’s highest winter demand in 2 years January 24th, solar was unproductive, and wind only slightly better. 2500MW of renewable capacity was generating a little over 100MW per hour (4% of capacity), while coal units generated almost 2000 MW per hour (67% of capacity). For the month of January wind generation’s capacity was 43% which is less then it produced in the same month in 2012. This is the third month in a row where wind production has been less then the comparable month a year earlier.

Claiming that renewable energy could replace coal, is tantamount to claiming the world is flat. To bring that point home the following chart depicts the average percentage production of capacity from Ontario`s industrial wind turbines over the 6 years 2006 to 2012 and recent average consumption demand by month.
The chart clearly shows that as seasonaldemand falls wind production rises, and as thedemand rises wind production falls. Wind production is available when its oftennot needed, and frequently not available when it is!

Ontario’s peak demand months are in the summer which is wind production is at its lowest levels.

Wind turbines penchant for producing intermittent power also causes problems with management of the electricity grid and concern that it will cause blackouts. As a result of the latter Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operation (IESO) recently amended its rules related to the dispatching of “variable renewables”. The amendment will result in wind and solar companies suffering revenue losses and could save Ontario’s beleagured ratepayers $225 million as was reported in a recent TorStar article. As as result 13 (renewable) energy companies have appealedto the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to get the new IESO rules overturned.

The grid’s reliability has become a major problem in the European electricity marketplace where the intermittent output from Germany’s extensive wind and solar generators causes major problems with manufacturers halting their production lines when the grid produces surges.  Additionally Poland and the Czech Republic have both told Germany they will no longer be able to use their transmission lines to carry or receive power from Austria because it is destabilizing their grids. Germany and Austria have a reciprocal arrangement allowing Germany to lay off their excess generation and take back hydro when wind and solar are either not producing or producing at very low levels. Germany also grant first-to-the-grid rights to wind and solar generators.

How the former Premier McGuinty had the nerve to claim renewable energy will replace 3,000 MW of coal serves to prove his naivete about the energy sector in the province. Even if IESO win their battle at the OEB, ratepayers will still be paying hundreds of millions for electricity that simply is a supplement to the province’s gas generators. Those first-to-the-grid rights granted to the wind and solar companies means ratepayers will pay twice for the same amount of energy!

Parker Gallant & Scott Luft

Cutbacks to existing contracts rattle Europe’s renewables proponents

Germany is attempting to control electricity costs after it’s EEG, considered a renewables’ surcharge, jumped to over 5 euro cents/kWh in this, a German election, year. This despite the relatively small contribution of wind (8%) and solar (5%) to total 2012 electricity generation in Germany (bdew figures).
The German Energy Blog explains proposed changes to the EEG, with perhaps the biggest surprise being a straight 1.5% cut in payments on existing contracts. German Renewables groups proposed alternatives (Bloomberg) essentially to stop excluding industry from paying for renewables (industry has benefitted from falling market rates as costs were increasingly transferred from market pricing to the feed-in tariff’s fixed rates), and the government cutting back on it’s tax haul.
Regardless of the choices in controlling consumer cost, it’s a lot of effort for 13% of supply. 

Spain gets far more than 13% of it’s supply from renewables – the Canadian Broadcast Corporation noted wind producting 25% of Spain’s electricity in January. Spain celebrated with another round of actions (details at Lexology) to curtail a massive $28 million euro tariff deficit, growing at ~5 billion euro dollars a year,
The cuts, expected to save ~1 billion euros a year – keeping in mind the deficit is ~5 billion – have foreign “investors” feeling litigous, according to Reuters

The entire article can be read at Cold Air Currents

Dr. Kouwen’s Grey Highlands Study and Sustainable Shetland Update: Wind Wise Radio

Wind Wise Radio has posted preparatory material for tonight’s Wind Wise Radio program featuring “Dr. Nicholas Kouwen, P.Eng, Distinguished Professor Emeritus University of Waterloo.”

Dr. Kouwen’s Grey Highlands Study and Sustainable Shetland Update Wind Wise Radio:

WWR advises discussion will reference this graph

Dr. Kouwen’s groundbreaking work over the past year has revealed that the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s noise limits are being exceeded a majority of the time near industrial wind turbines (IWT’s) at locations in Grey Highlands, ON, Canada. Furthermore it appears the MOE model is flawed and “substantially underestimates” wind turbine noise. We spoke with Dr. Kouwen about his methodology and ongoing work.
Dr. Kouwen’s full report can be found here.
The flawed Ministry of Environment Guidelines here.

View at Wind Wise Radio:

(note… they record the programs and you can listen at any time afterwards, even if you haven’t reviewed the material)

CanWEA Spins Truths

When presented with a statement that says: “We are pleased to see that more than 80 % of respondents were not at all disturbed by wind turbines, but we would like to see a higher figure.” most people would quickly agree that the remaining 20% of respondents must have been disturbed!

Put that statement in the hands of the wind spinners however, and the claim is made that;

“A June 2012 survey from the Danish Ministry of Energy, Climate and Buildings, however, showed that 83 per cent of Danes support continued development of wind power both on- and offshore.”

This is how CanWEA viewed the commentary on that June 2012 Danish survey and reported on it in a press release on February 8, 2013 where they try to discredit the CBC documentary “Wind Rush” that had been presented the previous day on the “Doc Zone”.  The documentary was critical of industrial wind turbines principally because they cause health problems because of “noise” issues. The documentary didn’t examine the costs to ratepayers, nor the requirement to back up wind generation with fossil fuel generators, nor the effects on the natural environment through the killing of birds and bats, nor did it look at the negative effect on property values that industrial wind turbines have!

The documentary dealt only with the health issues and it was damning, particularly in Ontario where it suggests the government rushed ahead without proper due diligence in respect to siting wind turbines because of inadequate setbacks.  The documentary also featured commentary from highly regarded Dr. Nissenbaum, a member of the advisory group, with the Society of Wind Vigilance.  CanWEA’s press release comments that much of what Dr Nissenbaum has researched “has been reviewed by experts at the first Environmental Review Tribunal.” The apparent illusion they are trying to create with that statement is unknown but I believe the inference is that Dr. Nissenbaum’s research was overwhelmed by the experts of the pro-wind segment.  What CanWEA don’t say in their press release is that those “experts” were hand picked by the Renewal Energy Approval (REA) holder’s high priced Bay Street legal counsel to ensure they would sway the Environmental Review Tribunal.  Despite that the Tribunal found; 

“This case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.”

CanWEA’s efforts are aimed at stifling debate and to continue the proliferation of industrial wind turbines throughout rural Ontario. They claim in the same press release; “As the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, CanWEA supports the responsible and sustainable development of wind energy.”

Based on the way CanWEA spin their critique of “Wind Rush” it is the opinion of this writer that “responsible” doesn’t include how they spin information. CanWEA took that negative Danish report indicating that 9% (115 humans) of the 1275 people surveyed who stated they were “disturbed by wind turbine noise “to a major extent,” or are “moderately” disturbed and claim the Danes think wind turbines are great.

Is this the renaissance of the “Marlboro Man” holding a wind turbine instead of a cigarette or can we simply put it down as wind spin?

Parker Gallant,
February 11, 2013

Turbines ‘tarnish property values’

Turbines ‘tarnish property values’ | The Australian:

A FEDERAL magistrate has accepted that wind farms slash the value of surrounding properties, saying she found it “hard to imagine” any prospective buyer could ignore such development.
In a decision believed to be the first time an Australian court has recognised the adverse financial impact of wind farms for neighbours, magistrate Kate Hughes ruled a property would be worth 17 per cent less if a 14-turbine facility were erected next door.
For one part of the property, in regional Victoria, she accepted a 33 per cent fall in value was likely.
The ruling came in a family law case published this month amid separation proceedings for the couple who own the property.
Ms Hughes heard two separate valuers had agreed the wind farm would have a negative effect on the adjacent property, which the couple has divided into three blocks. “The expert value of the three blocks of land varies significantly depending on whether or not it is assumed the proposed wind farm will go ahead,” Ms Hughes said in her judgment.
“The impact of the proposed wind farm is apparent from the valuation report.”

Complete article at The Australian (subscription)

Donations to Ontario’s Political Parties: Earmarked for Favourable Results!

Ontario’s voters who follow the news are probably aware that “Working Families”, on its website, describes itself as; “a not-for-profit organization that has the support of more than 250,000 members (and growing) representing a cross-section of Ontarians that aims to support, promote and advocate the interests of working families.” Working Families is really not an organization with 250,000 members but is an organization backed by several unions with 11 of them identified on their “about us” webpage.  Perhaps those unions have that many members but to proclaim that it “has the support” of 250,000 is a big stretch in its claim.  If one remembers the 2011 election campaign the efforts expended by the “Working Families” coalition were considerable and estimates in the media indicated they spent upwards of $9 million on various media ads warning of the dangers of electing the Tim Hudak led PC Party. Their campaign and ads harkened back to the “Harris” days and the reputed devastation he and the PC party had caused for “working families”! The ads were in very close harmony with the Liberal Party’s message that reverberated in the prior two elections and was continually used by the Dalton McGuinty Liberal MPPs in the Ontario Legislature to put down their principal opposition party. That same chatter continues although the support that the “organization” gave to the Liberals back in 2011 seems to be shifting to the NDP perhaps as a direct result of Bill 115 which forced a contract on the teachers unions by the Liberals.

The shift in support may be a forerunner to what will happen in the upcoming by-elections that will be held in Dwight Duncan’s and Chris Bentley’s ridings. A look to the past to see exactly where the parties obtain their funding and an examination of donations to the three principal parties from certain sectors for the 2011 year is interesting and discloses some disturbing facts.

Party Donation rules in Ontario are generous as Elections Ontario discloses; “There are three types of eligible contributors: Individuals who are Ontario residents; Corporations carrying on business in Ontario that are not registered charities; and Labour councils and trade unions with bargaining rights for employees in Ontario” and the donation amounts are generous being;

“Eligible contributors can contribute up to $9,300 to a central party in any year and an additional $9,300 for each campaign period.

This open faced sandwich allows corporations with multiple subsidiaries to donate up to $9,300 for each subsidiary and for unions with multiple locals to do the same. If one examines the donations made by unions and corporations (see below definitions) in 2011 it is interesting to see the effects of those rules.

Looking at the contributions to the three largest “parties” in 2011 and to their respective “election campaigns” it is quickly established the Elections Ontario rules are utilized to their fullest. From research it was determined that the (identifiable) unions collectively donated (rounded to the nearest thousand) $1,730,000 to the three parties. Looking at the “green” (those [identifiable] who have received OPA renewable energy contracts) corporations and large corporate entities (those who benefit from major government contracts) one can determine they collectively donated $800,000 to the three major parties.

Looking further at the breakdown of “union” donations it is seen that the Liberal Party received $948,000 (55%) versus $695,000 (40%) for the NDP and $87,000 (5%) for the PC Party of their 2011 donations.

On the” corporate” side the Liberal Party received $466,000 (58%) versus $308,000 (39%) for the PC Party and the balance, $26.000 (3%), went to the NDP.

Collectively the Liberal Party received 56% of the union/green corporate donations, the NDP 28% and the PC Party 16%. So the question emerges; which party is beholden to either or both of these groups?

The Liberals and the NDP received over 125 donations from unions and their locals as should be obvious from the above total union donations. A couple of the more notable ones are the Ontario Elementary Catholic Teachers Association who donated over $78,000 to the Liberals and $79,000 to the NDP but only $2,000 to the PC Party. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation donated $75,000 to the Liberal Party, $44,000 to the NDP and $15,000 to the PC Party. The Liberal Party also received over $60,000 in donations from 11 of the Labourers International Union of North America locals as another example.

On the corporate side two major companies who have benefited from provincial government contracts worth billion of dollars hedge their bets by donating to both the Liberals and the PC parties. Aecon (Mattagami hydro is a $2.6 billion build) donated $25,000 to the Liberal Party and $41,000 to the PC Party whereas Ellis Don (several hospital builds worth billions plus court houses, etc.) donated $74,000 to the Liberal Party and $59,000 to the PC Party. Needless to say the NDP received no donations from either of these major contractors but probably benefited from the unionized trades that both of these corporate entities employ on these government contracts.

What the foregoing demonstrates is that the Elections Finances Act needs an overhaul to prevent this influence peddling. Elections Ontario in their 2010/2011 Annual Report recommended “that an independent task force be established to investigate options regarding how to improve third party advertising rules in Ontario.” Elections Ontario in their report to the Legislature suggested that the review consider the following.

1. Should Ontario adopt third party spending limits?
2.Should Ontario adopt third party contribution limits?
3. Should Ontario try to limit third party advertising spending to the amounts it raises prior to and during an election?

To the best of this writer’s knowledge nothing has been done to curb this electoral abuse and one would hope that the next session of the Legislature gives the Elections Ontario recommendations a priority and establish a task force.

Evidence of how the tap is turned on or off can be found in the recent Liberal leadership conference. As most of the candidates running for the leadership bid found out the well from the various teachers unions had run dry. Ms Wynn received donations of a paltry $28,000 from 12 unions (none from the education sector) whereas she received $25,000 from the Insurance Bureau of Canada alone and $22,000 from the “green” developers. No doubt the Insurance Bureau contribution influenced her response to the Leader of the NDP, Andrea Horwath when she proposed a 15% cut in auto insurance premiums.

The time has come to take the influence peddling out of the party donations pot and place it squarely with the Lobbyist Registry where it will at least be somewhat transparent!

Parker Gallant,
February 11, 2013

Health Canada Releases Revised Research Design for the Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study

Following is Health Canada’s press release announcing revisions to it’s Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study; the release includes the link to the Updated Research Design and Sound Exposure Assessment

Health Canada Releases Revised Research Design for the Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study:

OTTAWA -Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced Health Canada published a revised research design for the wind turbine noise and health study, which is being carried out in collaboration with Statistics Canada.
The proposed research design was posted on the Health Canada website in July 2012 for public comment and over 950 comments were received during the 60 day public consultation period. After an evaluation of feedback received during the consultation, the Expert Committee introduced changes to the research design including an assessment of infrasound and changes to the questionnaire administered by Statistics Canada. The Expert Committee includes specialists in areas pertaining to noise measurement, health assessment, clinical medicine and epidemiology. 

“Our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadian families, and this study is in response to questions from residents living near wind farms about possible health effects of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “The Expert Committee has carefully reviewed and evaluated the feedback received during the public consultation and has taken it into consideration when developing the revised research design.”
Study results are anticipated in late 2014. An initial target sample size of 2,000 dwellings will be selected from 8-12 wind turbine installation facilities in Canada. In addition to taking physical measurements from participants, such as blood pressure, investigators will conduct face-to-face interviews and take noise measurements inside and outside of some homes to validate sound modelling.
The revised research design is available on the Health Canada website. A summary of the public comments received during the consultation period and the responses from the Expert Committee are also available on the website.

City of Kawartha Lakes Council to send strong message against wind turbine project

“If you let three in…you’ll be letting in hundreds…the only safe places in Ontario will be Muskoka, Caledon and King City.”

Several members of Manvers Wind Concerns show up at City Hall to oppose wind turbine project
(KAWARTHA LAKES) They were on their feet applauding when it was over. City of Kawartha Lakes council voted 15-2 in support of a staff recommendation urging the Province to refuse an application for the Sumac Ridge wind turbine project in Manvers Township.
“They’re coming – unless you can stop them.”
That’s what Paul Reed of the Manvers Wind Concerns group told City of Kawartha Lakes council on Tuesday (Feb. 5), as dozens of people packed the public galleries in council chambers.
At a special council meeting, there were 18 speakers on the agenda. The overwhelming feeling is that wind turbines have a negative impact on health, property values, wildlife habitat and overall quality of life.

Continue Reading at mykawartha.com

Some things Never Change: Old news about Wind Energy, Same Old Problems

If one is to believe the constant and consistent views emanating from CanWEA, AWEA, and all the other WEAs (wind energy associations) from around the world, wind energy is great: wind is free, wind is non polluting, wind is non-evasive, wind turbines are ascetically pleasing, wind turbines are a tourist attraction, wind does not kill as many birds as cats, noise from wind turbines doesn’t cause health problems and wind turbines don’t cause property values to fall and above all wind development creates jobs.

The CanWEAs of the world tell us to look at Germany, Spain or Denmark as prime examples of their preaching. The latter of course is the modern birthplace of electricity generation from wind turbines and hosts two major manufacturers; Vestas and Siemens. According to a recent article Vestas and Siemens together employed slightly more then 12,000 people in 2010. Now if one travels back a decade ago, another article “The Danish Dilemma” published in 2002, reported that there were almost 14,000 people employed in the wind turbine manufacturing sector in Denmark. At the end of the year 2000 Denmark had installed wind capacity of 2300 MW and at the end of 2012 this had grown to 4,162 MW yet the number of jobs had dropped.  Despite the foregoing evidence from the “birthplace” of the modern wind turbine market, CanWEA in their “WindVison 2025” paper, was forecasting 52,000 jobs if Canada would simply target the 20% level of production they alluded was the amount of electricity the Danes generated from wind turbines. The trouble is the Danes only consume about 7% of the electricity generated from wind turbines and the rest is exported at cheap prices because it generally presents itself when its not needed. Germany is the main beneficiary of that cheap power and sells expensive power back to the Danes when those wind turbines are fallow.
Many of our ruling elected politicians actually believe the rhetoric from the CanWEAs of the world about job creation, emission free renewable energy, particularly when wind turbines are mentioned. The Ministry of Energy has consistently ramped the job numbers up in their press releases beginning from the day former Energy Minister, George Smitherman claimed Ontario would create 50,000 jobs by the end of 2012 through the the Green Energy Act. The last press release that spoke about jobs was from current Energy Minister, Chris Bentley dated December 14, 2012 where he claimed 28,000 jobs had been created. Trying to find those jobs however is impossible whereas examples of jobs reputedly created and then lost are quite visible. One example is WindTronics where the Provincial Liberals handed them a grant of $2.7 million in September 2009 but by March 2012 they had left Ontario to do their manufacturing in Michigan.  Another is Siliken who closed their Windsor solar manufacturing plant in May 2012 and yet another is DMI who closed their tower manufacturing operation in Fort Erie. Collectively those three closures represented 600/1,000 jobs which this writer assumes are still included in the 28,000 claimed by Minister Bentley.

Of course the falsehood about job creation is only one aspect of renewable energy and for rural Ontario the bigger issues relate to health and the effect on property values when those turbines suddenly pop up. The WEAs of the world all claim no effect is felt for either of those issues but from the dated “Danish Dilemma” report it would appear that those claims have been around for well over a decade. The wind proponents, using their wealth, have managed to hide the negative news from the gullible politicians. The following is an excerpt from that decade old Danish report that shows those effects on health and property values have been around for quite a while:

Mounting disquiet
In addition come complaints from the immediate neighbours of wind turbines, electricity consumer organisations, and knowledgeable and less knowledgeable citizens. There are warnings to solicitors and estate agents about reduced property values close to turbines (LNtV, 2000a) and also mounting protests against specific site developments (Andersen, 2001a). In this country of only 5.3 million people, over 600 complaints to the Environmental Complaints Board about wind turbines were submitted between 1998 and August 2000, of which 60 cases were upheld. In rural areas, most complaints related to impacts mainly associated with aesthetic and environmental considerations, shadow cast, glinting effects and noise, although a few cases were concerned with infringements of local regulations (Pihl-Andersen, 2000).

The IWTs being erected in Ontario would dwarf most of the 6,200 turbines (Danish Energy Agency) that were then located in Denmark at the start of this century and germinated those 600 complaints. Those 6,200 turbines had a total rated capacity of about 2,400 MWs meaning their average individual capacity was less then 400 kWs or only 50% of the iconic 350 foot 700 kWh Exhibition Place turbine. Their height was approximately 50 metres (195 feet) which is less then half of most 1.5 MW turbine heights. The 2 MW or 2.5 MW industrial wind turbines being erected throughout Ontario are taller still; reaching over 500 feet in many installations. To put the latter in context for people in urban communities, the City of Toronto has only 28 buildings taller then 500 feet.

Now for many people in Denmark the problems caused by those [little] wind turbines back in the late nineties led to regulations being established by some of the Danish counties as the following excerpt from that “Danish Dilemma” report indicates: 

In an assessment of the location of a turbine in the landscape an evaluation must be made of the interaction between the turbine and landscape elements such as churches, burial mounds, characteristic landscape forms and the distance to groups of buildings”]. Turbines may no longer be erected within 500 metres of dwellings.”

So even though some Danish counties were establishing 500 meter setbacks over a decade ago, for wind turbines half the height and a quarter of the capacity of current IWTs, the best Ontario’s politicians and bureaucrats could come up with for setbacks was 50 meters more!

It becomes painfully obvious that the concept of research never crossed the minds of those Ontario bureaucrats or their Liberal political masters when they were rushing to set Ontario’s ratepayers up; to reward the developers, cause health problems, reduce property values, kill birds and bats, damage our tourism industry and drive our electricity bills up! In Denmark over a decade ago they even upheld 10 percent of the complaints submitted, whereas in Ontario thousands of complaints are simply ignored by the Ministries of Health, Natural Resources, Environment and Energy.

At least the residents of Denmark have retained some democratic rights unlike Ontario where we have seen ours exorcised by the current authoritarian government.

Parker Gallant,
February 5, 2013