Green Energy Policies Driving Up Carbon Emissions

Ontario green policies actually driving up carbon dioxide

JACK MACLAREN, SPECIAL TO THE TORONTO SUN

FIRST POSTED: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2016 05:14 PM EST | UPDATED: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2016 05:33 PM EST

Wind turbines
Wind turbines near Strathroy, Ont., west of London. (Mike Hensen/Postmedia 

The Ontario Liberals’ Green Energy Act is meant to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by generating power from wind turbines and solar panels.

We already know this has turned into a wasteful boondoggle — just look at your hydro bill. But there’s another problem with the Green Energy Act, which I was shocked to learn about.

A 2015 report from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) makes the alarming case that Ontario green energy policy is actually driving up carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Wind and solar energy seem like good, clean sources of energy. But wind power is intermittent, and about 40% of the generated power arrives when load demand is low. Solar energy is also intermittent and capacity is very low. All this means that wind and solar power are expensive and unreliable.

Basically, windmills and solar panels only produce power when the wind blows and the sun shines. They need backup in the form of other power sources to provide constant electricity when you need it. Ontario has gone with natural gas backup because that is the cheapest source of energy currently available. Other options were available, including nuclear and hydro plants, but natural gas was chosen.

This is unfortunate because nuclear and hydro do not emit CO2, but natural gas does. So as we dial down nuclear and hydro, we are doubling up on CO2 emissions from natural gas.

According to OSPE, Ontario currently produces electricity at less than 40 grams of CO2 per kWh. But wind and solar with natural gas backup release about 200 grams of CO2 per kWh.

Now, the trouble of building all the windmills and solar panels wouldn’t be so bad if it were actually worthwhile. But it isn’t. We do not have a cheap and effective way of storing the energy generated by wind and solar power. Simply put, storage is too expensive at the moment.

Adding solar and wind power to the Ontario grid just doesn’t make environmental or economic sense. Continuing to add wind and solar can only be justified on ideological grounds.

Admittedly, the Wynne government announced a halt to further wind and solar contracts. I’m not sure how long they’ll put their ideology on hold, but this is a short-term solution anyway.

We need to use more of our cheaper hydroelectric and nuclear power. And we need to stop exporting power abroad at low prices.

We all want to do the right thing for our environment and we all want clean air to breathe and water to drink. I sincerely believe it is important we strive for a cleaner and safer future.

But no one likes being misled or lied to. The Ontario Liberal government’s Green Energy Act is an environmental and economic disaster. As both a farmer and a civil engineer, I know about protecting the environment as well as long-term sustainability. Farming teaches you to understand the risks and benefits of co-operating with Mother Nature. Similarly, engineers are required to build things: We build things to last, and we do so in the public interest.

So I think most Ontarians would agree with me when I say that we need to have affordable, clean, reliable, and sustainable sources of energy which do not increase CO2.

Unfortunately the Green Energy Act just hasn’t got it right.

— MacLaren is the MPP for Carleton-Mississippi Mills 

Yet Another Study Showing Harm From Wind Turbines…

September 2016Sweden    Shared by: Friends Against Wind

Physiological effects of wind turbine noise on sleep

Swedish study into wind turbine noise suggests that it can have an effect on sleep – even in young fit healthy subjects.

Sleep disturbance
“The presence of beats and strong amplitude modulation contributed to sleep disturbance, reflected by more electrophysiological awakenings, increased light sleep and wakefulness, and reduced REM and deep sleep.”

By Michael G. Smith(a), Mikael Ögren(b), Pontus Thorsson(c), Eja Pedersen(d) and Kerstin Persson Waye(e)

(a) University of Gothenburg, Sweden, michael.smith@amm.gu.se
(b) University of Gothenburg, Sweden, mikael.ogren@amm.gu.se
(c) Chalmers University of Technology Sweden, pontus.thorsson@akustikverkstan.se
(d) Lund University, Sweden, eja.pedersen@arkitektur.lth.se
(e) University of Gothenburg, Sweden, kerstin.persson.waye@amm.gu.se

Abstract

In accordance with the EU energy policy, wind turbines are becoming increasingly widespread throughout Europe, and this trend is expected to continue globally. More people will consequently live close to wind turbines in the future, and hence may be exposed to wind farm noise. Of particular concern is the potential for nocturnal noise to contribute towards sleep disturbance of nearby residents. To examine the issue, we are implementing a project titled Wind Turbine Noise Effects on Sleep (WiTNES). In a pilot study described in this paper, we performed an initial investigation into the particular acoustical characteristics of wind turbine noise that might have the potential to disturb sleep. Six young, healthy individuals spent 5 nights in our sound exposure laboratory. During the final 3 nights of the study, the participants were exposed to wind turbine noise, which was synthesised based on analysis of field measurements. Exposures involved periods of different amplitude modulation strengths, the presence or absence of beats, different blade rotational periods, and outdoor LAEq,8h = 45 or 50 dB with indoor levels based on the windows being fully closed or slightly open. Physiological measurements indicate that nights with low frequency band amplitude modulation and LAEq,8h = 45 dB, slightly open window (LAEq,8h = 33 dB indoors) impacted sleep the most. The presence of beats and strong amplitude modulation contributed to sleep disturbance, reflected by more electrophysiological awakenings, increased light sleep and wakefulness, and reduced REM and deep sleep. The impact on sleep by these acoustic characteristics is currently the focus of interest in ongoing studies.

Download the study

Presented at the 22nd International Congress on Acoustics in Buenos Aires in September 2016

Corruption in the Wind Industry….

Dozens of energy projects referred to DOJ

Credit:  Written by Claire Withycombe/Capital Bureau | Portland Tribune | 31 October 2016 | portlandtribune.com ~~

SALEM – Wind, solar and ethanol projects were among the dozens of renewable energy projects referred for investigation to the Oregon Department of Justice by auditors of a discontinued state tax credit program, according to a list released Friday.

The list was compiled by Marsh Minick, P.C., a private firm that conducted an audit of the Department of Energy’s Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) program under contract with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office.

That audit was released in early September.

Auditors didn’t find “direct evidence” of fraud, they wrote in their audit report, but said they found “circumstantial evidence” suggesting suspicious activity in a number of BETC projects.

According to the documents listing those projects, there were several projects that exceeded limits on eligible costs.

Oregon statutes limited eligible costs to $20 million per renewable energy facility per year.

Representatives of two groups identified as having projects exceeding eligible costs in the report, Klondike Wind Power and Pacific Ethanol, on Friday defended the projects that received the tax credits.

Klondike Wind Power, known as PPM Energy, Inc., later becoming Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., which then was renamed Avangrid Renewables, had four projects. According to the report, each of them were treated as distinct facilities, qualifying them to receive four times the eligible costs.

Art Sasse, a spokesman for Avangrid Renewables, said the following about the Klondike Wind Power projects in a statement late Friday:

“We’re happy to work with the DOJ to show that we followed both the letter and spirit of the law whenever we utilized the BETC. We built four distinctively different wind farms at our Klondike complex, with each phase of construction representing a different time frame, with placed in service dates that are years apart, with various models of turbines and different customers for each wind farm.”

Pacific Ethanol had two project files in Boardman, Ore., one for ethanol production, and another for ethanol distribution, according to the report.

The auditors noted that the two projects had “similar yet different names,” were located at the same site address and had the same applicant. Those factors raised “red flags” under state administrative rules.

Together the projects had eligible costs totaling $29 million, according to the auditors’ report, exceeding the $20 million limit.

Paul Koehler, a spokesman for Pacific Ethanol, said that the Boardman plants continue to operate.

“I think the Boardman, Ore., ethanol project is a very good example of the use of the Business Energy Tax Credit,” Koehler said.

Cascade Grain Products, Willow Creek Energy and the Portland General Electric Company were also identified as companies with a project or projects that exceeded eligible costs.

Media representatives of these three companies – or companies that subsequently acquired them – could not be immediately reached for comment late Friday.

Cascade Grain Products had two projects: an ethanol production facility and an ethanol distribution facility.

Willow Creek Energy, a subsidiary of Invenergy LLC, had a project that was approved for a tax credit with eligible costs of $22 million, as did Portland General Electric. The specific nature of these projects was not identified in the auditors’ report.

Solar World AG had two projects that exceeded eligible costs. Those two projects had originated as five projects, according to the report. The five original projects were merged into two.

A spokesman, Ben Santarris, said that his company operates according to the “highest ethical and legal standards.”

Auditors stated that in emails, state officials agreed to approve eligible costs that differed from what was permitted under state statute.

The auditors also identified several “projects of concern” in the list released Friday by DOJ, but noted that its list of “concerning” projects was not comprehensive.

“Due to the volume of projects where red-flag activity was observed, investigative efforts were motivated by perceived risks,” the auditors wrote. “This should not be considered a comprehensive list or a complete investigation.”

There are 15 headings in that section of the report, which list individuals or companies, some of which had multiple projects.

A joint legislative committee has been tasked with making recommendations for the future of the department. Their next public meeting is Nov. 4.

“We’re committed to working with the DOJ on any next steps they take,” Oregon Department of Energy Spokeswoman Rachel Wray said in a statement Friday.

Loud Noises Are Slowly Ruining Your Health (Windpushers still in denial)

Loud Noises Are Slowly Ruining Your Health

Noise pollution is a lot worse for you than you may have thought. According to the World Health Organization, it’s the second biggest environmental cause of health problems in humans after air pollution. Studies from 2012 suggested it contributed to 910,000 additional cases of hypertension across Europe every year and 10,000 premature deaths related to coronary heart diseases or strokes. Closer to home, a 15-year study found that there was a higher rate of cardiovascular and stroke-related deaths among those living near to the rabble of Heathrow—something residents are sure to cite in the wake of ministers approving a third runway there.

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So why isn’t anyone talking about it?

“Noise is invisible,” says Poppy Szkiler of Quiet Mark. “I think that’s why the problems associated with it have been ignored, until now.”

Quiet Mark provide a universal stamp of approval for products and companies that recognize the importance of reducing their acoustic footprint. They were born out of the Noise Abatement Society, established in 1959 when John Connell—Szkiler’s grandfather—wrote an angry letter to the Daily Telegraph bemoaning the increasingly invasive levels of noise in the world around him.

He was flabbergasted by the response—”Sackfuls of letters in agreement,” says Poppy—and lobbied Parliament so hard for change that the Noise Abatement Act was passed in 1960. Ever since, the Noise Abatement Society and Quiet Mark have flown the flag for a quieter society. Last week saw the release of their crowdfunded film, In Pursuit of Silence, which examines the way excessive noise has slowly infiltrated every aspect of our lives, and why human lives depend on our ability to combat it.

“Noise abatement is a bit like smoking,” says Szkiler. “It’s a public health issue. One day people just realized you shouldn’t smoke inside buildings. I think we’ve coped with noise for such a long time, but people are starting to recognize the value of a quieter life.” As proof, she points to a partnership with John Lewis, which got involved with Quiet Mark after customer research suggested 65 percent of its customers craved more peace and quiet.

source vice.com