Steven cooper Discusses the Results of His Wind Turbine Study!

Today Tonight Report on Steven Cooper’s Cape Bridgewater Acoustic Study

7tt video still

Cape Bridgewater Report
Rodney Lohse
Channel 7’s Today Tonight
16 March 2015

[Click on the image above and click through for the Today Tonight video. Transcript appears below.]

Transcript

Rosanna Mangiarelli: But we will start tonight with a wind farm war. Those who claim that turbines are having an impact on surrounding communities, versus those who say it’s all in the mind. Now the latest debate centres around a recent Australian study, whose author has found there is a link. While it’s being played down by the industry, those living near the wind farm tell a very different story. Rodney Lohse reports.

Lane Crocket, Pacific Hydro: … can’t identify any causal link between wind farms and health.

Steven Cooper: It depends upon what you define by causal. If you take it as patterns that relate to the hypothesis of different wind speeds orpower outputs, there was definitely a link.

Rodney Lohse: It’s the report that has the wind energy industry in aspin. Same report, two very different interpretations, all depending on what you have at stake.

Lane Crocket: There is nothing in this report to justify any form of compensation.

Steven Cooper: We’ve found certain wind speeds that related to the high levels of disturbance.

Rodney Lohse: According to medical authorities, wind farms are perfectly safe and cause no adverse health impacts. Yet here and overseas, people who live near them say they’re getting sick.

Norma Schmidt from Ontario: You’re not able to do anything. You’re not able to cook. You’re not able to clean. You’re not able to live. You’re not able to work.

Melissa Ware, Cape Bridgewater, Victoria: We’ve actually vacated the house and we’ve been away for about 3 months.

Wind farm victim: Ever since they started turning my ears have been hurting.

Rodney Lohse: But despite this, no one could prove what it was about wind farms that made those living nearby feel unwell. And so they have continued to be constructed in their thousands. Enter Steven Cooper and Pacific Hydro. Stephen Cooper is a acoustic engineer, recognised in this country as an expert in his field, involved in writing Australian standards on noise, especially for the aircraft industry.

Steven Cooper: When I started this study, I was utilising the results of testing in South Australia at the Waterloo wind farm, where residents could perceive the operation of the wind farm without seeing it or without hearing it. And I was linking that perception to what’s called infrasound, which is below the normal level of frequency of hearing.

Rodney Lohse: Pacific Hydro is an energy company owned by Australian superannuation funds and the operator of wind farms in Australia and overseas. Lane Crockett is executive general manager of Pacific Hydro.

Lane Crockett: If you go to the peak medical body they will tell you that there is no causal link between wind farms and health.

Rodney Lohse: It is a concept supported by Sydney University’s School ofPublic Health’s Professor Simon Chapman. Not a medical specialist, but an avowed enemy of wind farm critics.

Simon Chapman: You can see, I’ve put some examples of quotes there, conclusions, there’s no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.

Rodney Lohse: And so Pacific Hydro decided to stump up the money for another study.

Steven Cooper: There are sensations that are recorded … .. I was required to conduct noise and vibration measurements to determine certain wind speeds and certain sound levels that related to disturbances by six specific local residences.

Rodney Lohse: Steven Cooper was looking for a link between something happening at the wind farm and complaints by residents in three houses nearby, each with two residents. His theory, infrasound, low  frequency noise below what can be heard, was impacting residents.

Steven Cooper: What you’re able to do when carrying out tests is that you can demonstrate people can feel infrasound at a level below when it becomes audible.

Rodney Lohse: Pacific Hydro has so far played down Cooper’s study.

Lane Crockett: In our view, the results do not demonstrate a strong enough correlation to support the conclusion of a causal link between the infrasound frequencies in existence, and residents’ observations.

Steven Cooper: We don’t have a correlation with the results because we don’t have enough data. There is definitely a trend. There is definitely a connection between the operation of the wind farm and what the residents were identifying as disturbances. And so it’s open to debate as to what a causal link is in terms of that data.

Rodney Lohse: But the people who were in the study, like Melissa Ware, say it’s sufficient proof to show this isn’t all just in their head.

Melissa Ware: We been talking about the noise and the vibration in our home for a long time, and to have Steven Cooper come and do such an intensive study means a lot to me and to the other residents.

Rodney Lohse: Although hearing impaired, Melissa says she can sense the turbines. Often the sensation drives her from her home.

Melissa Ware: The noise and the vibration come up through the pillow, worse than what, the impact’s worse than when you’re standing, just listening.

Rodney Lohse: For 2 months, the test subjects had to fill out diaries of what they felt, in particular, if they sensed anything, especially a sensation many said made them unwell. This was called “Sensation 5″. And Cooper then tried to correlate that to something possibly happening at the wind farm.

Steven Cooper: The sensation criteria came from a UK wind farm study, which was based on noise and then the word in the severity ranking changed from noise to vibration or sensation.

Rodney Lohse: As this was never a medical study, he can’t say the wind farm was making people sick. But at the exact time people were reporting “Sensation 5″, something was happening at the wind farm.

Steven Cooper: Severity 5 was classified as being a level that was harmful to a person’s health, or was causing them severe discomfort. The residents, in looking at the data, also added that “Sensation 5″ was a level at which they wanted to leave, or did actually leave their property.

Rodney Lohse: The study has already attracted a lot of attention, support and criticism.

Paul Barry: … and Sydney University’s Professor of Public Health, Simon Chapman, was even more damning, telling Media Watch …

Simon Chapman: Scientifically, it’s absolutely an atrocious piece of research, and it is entirely unpublishable other than on the front page of The Australian.

Rodney Lohse: Mr Cooper responded in this way to his main critic, Professor Chapman; and has commenced legal action against him.

Steven Cooper: As far as I understand, Professor Chapman is not a scientist. He is not an engineer. I’ve had eminent acousticians around the world who have can congratulated me on the work, have issued reviews to say that the work is of significance, is of benefit and is a step forward in trying to understand what wind farms are generating.

Rodney Lohse: Doctor Paul Schomer, the Standards Director for the Acoustical Society of America, is one of those acousticians.

Paul Schomer: I think it’s a very good study. It’s the only study in the world, that we know of that’s been done with the cooperation of a wind farm, and so was able to get data that no one else has been able to get.

Rodney Lohse: And its integral in showing a connection between infrasound and human impact.

Paul Schomer: It doesn’t quite form the link between medical issues, it forms the link that people are affected, not by hearing sounds, that there is a pathway to the peoples’ brain, other than hearing.

Rodney Lohse: Doctor Schomer was involved in a similar study in a community called Shirley, in Wisconsin in the United States.

Paul Schomer: Three families in Shirley that had moved out of their houses because of the sound, the problems with the, or I should say the infrasound.

Rodney Lohse: He hopes wind power has an important future in terms of meeting our energy needs, but he also says more needs to be done to understand how it impacts humans.

Paul Schomer: They don’t want to acknowledge problems, it really doesn’t matter what the problem was, it just happens to be infrasound.

Rodney Lohse: For Steven Cooper he says, now it’s time for a well funded medical study.

Steven Cooper: To do medical studies you need to have a character or a signature that you can apply to a wind farm to identify that the wind farm is operating, before you can do the medical studies. What has come out of this work, is that by use of the signature and a level and characteristic that I have determined, allows the medical researchers to now start that work.
Today Tonight

Doctors in Ireland Expose Inadequate Noise Regulations!

Wind farm noise makes people sick,

say Irish doctors:

“change noise regulations

by ottawawindconcerns

 

Here is a story from the Irish Examiner, fitting on St Patrick’s Day.

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Leading doctors have called on the Government to reduce the noise levels of wind turbines — which they claim are four times that recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

The Irish Doctors’ Environmental Association also said the set-back distance of 500m is not enough, that it should be increased to at least 1,500m.

Visiting Research Professor at Queen’s University, Alun Evans and lead clinical consultant at Waterford Regional Hospital Prof Graham Roberts have both expressed concerns over the current noise levels and distance of turbines from homes.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly is currently reviewing the wind energy planning guidelines and the group is calling for both issues to be examined closely in the interest of public health.

The association has called for the introduction of a maximum noise level of 30 decibels as recommended by the WHO and for the set-back distance from inhabited houses to at least 1,500m from the current 500m.

Prof Evans said the construction of wind turbines in Ireland “is being sanctioned too close to human habitation”.

Because of its impulsive, intrusive, and sometimes incessant nature, the noise generated by wind turbines is particularly likely to disturb sleep,” he said.

“The young and the elderly are particularly at risk. Children who are sleep-deprived are more likely to become obese, predisposing them to diabetes and heart disease in adulthood. As memory is reinforced during sleep, they also exhibit impaired learning.”

Prof Evans said adults who are sleep-deprived are at risk of a ranges of diseases, particularly “heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke, and to cognitive dysfunction and mental problems”.

Prof Evans, attached to the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s, said the Government should exercise a duty of care towards its citizens and exercise the ‘precautionary principle’ which is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty.

“It can achieve this by raising turbine set-back to at least 1500m, in accordance with a growing international consensus,” said Prof Evans.

In a statement, the Department of the Environment said that in December 2013 it published draft revisions to the noise, set-back distance, and shadow-flicker aspects of the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines.

These draft revisions proposed: 1. The setting of a more stringent day and night noise limit of 40 decibels for future wind energy developments; 2. A mandatory minimum setback of 500m* between a wind turbine and the nearest dwelling for amenity considerations; 3. The complete elimination of shadow flicker between wind turbines and neighbouring dwellings.

A public consultation process was initiated on these proposed revisions to the guidelines, which ran until February 21, 2014.

“The department received submissions from 7,500 organisations and members of the public during this period. In this regard, account has to be taken of the extensive response to the public consultation in framing the final guidelines,” the department said in the statement.

“However, it is the department’s intention that the revisions to the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines will be finalised in the near future and will address many of the issues raised in that bill.”

*Editor’s note: Ontario’s wind turbine noise regulations, which are based on geography and wind power lobby group instruction, not science, work out to 550 meter setbacks. Health Canada’s Wind Turbine Noise and Health study revealed that problems exist at 55 meters, with 25% of people exposed to the turbine noise and low frequency noise being distressed; 16.5% were distressed at 1 km. The Health Canada research results suggest that a setback should be a minimum of 1300 meters, which means Ontario’s existing noise regulations are completely inadequate to protect health.

Wind Weasels Having a Hard Time Trying to Deny Negative Health Effects From Wind Turbines!

Simon Chapman, Will Grant & Jacqui Hoepner: the Wind Industry’s Health “Expert” Great Pretenders

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It’s been nearly 2 months since Steven Cooper’s ground breaking Cape Bridgewater acoustic study exploded like a small, but rather effective nuclear device – putting him on the international stage – and Scotching, once and for all, the nonsense that wind farm victims’ complaints about sleep deprivation, and other adverse health effects, caused by incessant turbine generated low-frequency and infrasound are simply fictions of their “climate change denying imaginations” (ie the so called, “nocebo” effect) (see our post here).

At the direction of Pacific Hydro and the Clean Energy Council (with Miles George as its head, now the political front for Infigen) the attack dogs over at the ABC’s “Ministry of Truth”, Media Watch (see our post here) launched a vicious, unwarranted attack: not only on Cooper, but on Pac Hydro’s long-suffering victims at Cape Bridgewater – asserting that Cooper’s study was “atrocious” and that the subjects of the study had conspired and colluded to fabricate the data that – according to America’s top acoustic experts, Dr Paul Schomer and George Hessler – proves the relationship between adverse health effects and turbine generated noise and vibration (see our post here).

Media Watch’s hatchet job depended on the “expertise” of several well-known wind industry shills, including a former tobacco advertising guru, and self-proclaimed wind farm health expert, who calls wind farm victims “wind farm wing-nuts” (see our posts here and here) – and a couple of journalist/academics from the Australian National University – Will Grant and Jacqui Hoepner. We’ll return to the “qualifications” of the ABC’s so-called “experts” in a moment, but first a little dissection from The Australian.

Sound advice on acoustics for Media Watch
The Australian
Simon King
2 March 2015

IN its stinging criticism of the research of acoustic expert Steven Cooper on the effect of the Pacific Hydro wind turbines on local residents and the reporting of it by The Australian and Today Tonight, the ABC’s Media Watch program failed to mention that its key expert was a paid advocate for the industry.

Such was the misrepresentation of the February 16 report that Mr Cooper is now considering legal action against the program and is pursuing action against the show’s expert, Sydney University’s professor of public health, Simon Chapman.

In making its case, as well as choosing not to use the opinion of qualified acoustic experts who supported the Cooper research, Media Watch championed the opinion of Professor Chapman, but in doing so failed to mention his conflict of interests.

A paper published in December 2014 by Professor Chapman, Ketan Joshi and Luke Fry titled “Fomenting sickness: nocebo priming of residents about expected wind turbine health harms” included the following conflict of interest statement: “Simon Chapman provided and was remunerated for expert advice on psychogenic aspects of wind farm health complaints by lawyers acting for Infigen Energy in the Cherry Tree VCAT case described in this paper. Ketan Joshi is employed by Infigen Energy. Luke Fry has no conflicts of interest to declare.”

The Cherry Tree VCAT case concluded in 2013.

Referring to the statement, Professor Chapman said on Twitter: “Expert witnesses have a duty to courts, not to those ‘hiring’ them.”

Professor Chapman also has no formal qualification as an acoustician or medical practitioner — his PhD is on the topic of “Cigarette Advertising As Myth: A Re-Evaluation Of The Relationship Of Advertising To Smoking”.

But Media Watch turned to his opinion to say: “Scientifically, it’s an absolutely atrocious piece of research and is entirely unpublishable other than on the front page of The Australian”.

Professor Chapman is so far ensconced in the pro-wind turbine camp that he has very publicly referred to those affected by wind turbines and those involved in the growing amount of evidence from the US and Canada that the vibrations caused by the giant blades can cause a range of conditions ranging from nausea, headaches to sleep deprivation, as “anti wind farm wing nuts”.

In a statement to the federal Senate on June 17 last year, Democratic Labor Party senator John Madigan said: “It is fair and reasonable to encourage people to look behind the blatant campaigning done by people like Professor Chapman of the University of Sydney.

“Professor Chapman has been an outspoken critic of those who have dared to question the wind farm orthodoxy.”

When asked about Professor’s Chapman’s background, Media Watch host Paul Barry said: “We didn’t say that Professor Simon Chapman has given evidence on behalf of wind farm operators, for the same reason that we didn’t say Steven Cooper has given evidence on several occasions for wind farm opponents.

“It’s perfectly clear which side of the debate they line up on and why.”

Barry also pointed to the fact The Australian story published on January 23 said the Cooper study had been independently peer reviewed by Bob Thorne without making it clear Dr Thorne had done paid work for wind farm opponents.

Media Watch has not been the only one that failed to mention Professor Chapman’s past paid work for Infigen Energy. In a February 25, 2014 article published by The Conversation titled “Study finds no evidence wind turbines make you sick — again”, the disclosure statement reads: “Simon Chapman AO receives no financial or other material support from any company or person in the wind energy industry or agents acting on their behalf.”

This is not the first time Professor Chapman contacted Media Watch to push a view.

In 2006 he approached the program indignant over an article in the British Journal of Criminology — which was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald — which showed that the gun laws introduced in 1996 by the Howard government in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre failed to reduce gun homicide or suicides in Australia.

In the 1990s, Professor Chapman was a member of the Coalition for Gun Control.
The Australian

The two sets of reasons in the Cherry Tree decision (referred to above) are available here and here.

Cherry tree witness list

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But – despite the tobacco advertising guru’s claims about being hired as “an expert witness” in the case – you won’t find any mention of him as a “witness”: Infigen never called him as a witness – “expert”, or otherwise. The guru would have never qualified as an “expert” on any issue in the case, even if it had called him: the effect of tobacco advertising on rates of smoking was, funnily enough, not a matter in dispute. Nor, in either of the sets of reasons given by VCAT, will you find any mention of the guru, in any capacity; or any mention of his “expert advice” – VCAT simply had no regard to his, so-called, “expert advice”.

In fact, the guru has never given evidence in any wind farm case – slipping into the witness box to go a few rounds with a skilled cross-examiner just isn’t the guru’s “style” – so much safer for the ego to pontificate from the coward’s castle of a sandstone Uni; or to spin the wind industry’s line, with the eager help of the ABC’s useful idiots, on The Drum, ABC Radio and the ABC’s other propaganda platforms (see our post here).

Then there’s the line from near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen’s head propaganda parrot, Ketan Joshi that the guru: “was remunerated for expert advice on psychogenic aspects of wind farm health complaints by lawyers acting for Infigen Energy”.

That would be the first time in litigation history when “lawyers”, acting for corporate litigants, personally “remunerated” an “expert” witness – or anyone for “expert” advice – in relation to their client’s case.

Joshi – not the sharpest tool in the shed – might not understand the manner in which law firms operate, but we doubt it. There is no way on earth that a hard-hitting firm, like Herbert Smith Freehills, paid so much as a shekel towards the guru’s fees – Joshi’s boss, Infigen stumped up every last cent paid to obtain the guru’s waffle about the obvious health effects of incessant turbine-generated low-frequency noise and infrasound being all in the victims’ heads; and a “communicated disease”, exclusive to the English speaking world.

The guru’s “expert” study – that Infigen paid handsomely for, and that VCAT had no regard to in the Cherry Tree case – was a mighty “fine” piece of work; that made spurious claims – based entirely on what wind power outfits told him – that there were NO recorded complaints from neighbours at numerous wind farm operations around Australia – including Cullerin in NSW, where neighbours had previously lodged 322 complaints, including 93 with the wind farm operator itself (see our post here).

The guru’s late “admission” to have been paid as a wind industry advocate stands in contrast to every other “disclosure” statement he’s made on the topic, including this one (if it looks fuzzy, click on it, it’ll pop up in a new window, use your magnifier and it’ll look crystal clear – as to the “clarity” of the “disclosure”, well, that’s another matter):

Chapman fee disclosure fail The conversation

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The guru raves on about the PhD in Medicine he picked up for his thesis: “Cigarette Advertising As Myth: A Re-Evaluation Of The Relationship Of Advertising To Smoking” – and, on the basis of that “qualification”, purports to give remote, long-distance medical diagnoses – which he says applies to all health effects recorded and reported by wind farm neighbours all around the world. It’s like he’s using some kind of magic stethoscope, mounted in an orbiting satellite.

But the guru is not alone in pushing the envelope, when it comes to claims about being qualified as a “health professional”.

Two of the “experts” relied upon by Media Watch to justify its efforts to slam Steven Cooper’s brilliant study, are journalism and politics student, Jacqui Hoepner; and her PhD supervisor, Will Grant.

Relying on these highly qualified “experts”, Media Watch had this to say:

Paul Barry: Writing in The Conversation, the Australian National University’s Jacqui Hoepner and Will Grant also condemned The Australian’s front page story and the study it was based on, branding it:

“… an exemplary case of what we consider to be bad science and bad science reporting.”

— The Conversation, 22nd January, 2015

The Australian’s response (as covered in this post) was that:

And these two have no relevant qualifications. Grant has a PhD in politics, and Hoepner is a journalist. Neither has either medical or acoustical training or experience.

The Australian

In the middle of the furore that erupted among the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers, as The Australian attacked Media Watch’s woefully inaccurate and patently biased reporting, Jacqui decided to throw some “light” on her “qualifications” as an “expert” on the adverse health effects caused by turbine generated noise and vibration, in this curious little letter to the Oz.

Wind-farm qualifications

Last Monday, The Australian questioned my qualifications (“Legal threat on Media Watch report”, 23/2). I am not a journalist, pro-turbine or an advocate for the wind industry.

I have never received financial support from the wind industry. Where appropriate, I’ve challenged counterproductive actions by individuals or groups in this debate, including wind companies.

My only agenda is to investigate what factors contribute to the symptoms experienced by people living near wind farms in a way that are appropriate to my qualifications.

Jacqui Hoepner, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.

Hmmm, where to start? …

It’s great to see that Jacqui is ready to challenge “counterproductive actions”. However, that leaves the question begging: “counterproductive” to what?

Perhaps a clue was given by the fact that she’s prepared to admit that she has an “agenda”. Although, if she’s not “pro-turbine or an advocate for the wind industry”, as she asserts, just what is she in favour of?

STT thinks a little clue as to what that “agenda” might be, is given by her fellow traveller, and PhD supervisor, Will Grant.

Will Grant

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Will turned up to the great wind power fraud rally, held in Canberra back in June 2013, wearing a giant foam hat – apparently in some kind of nod to Australian political maverick, and 10-gallon hat fan, Bob Katter.

Will was clearly hoping that the rally would turn into a media circus, like the “anti-carbon-tax protests” – where protesters waved banners and placards screaming “Ditch the Witch”, in a pointed message to then PM, Julia Gillard.

Will – you’ll find his manifesto here – was somewhat disappointed to find that the 380 or so who turned up in Canberra from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and as far away as Western Australia and Far North Queensland (see our posts here and here) were, as he put it, “disciplined and on message” – and, much to his chagrin, there wasn’t a “Ditch the Witch” placard in sight (see Will’s lament on The Conversation blog here).

The giveaway as to Will’s true motives pops up in this line from his article that:

“But these academic motivations mask the fact that I also like to quietly troll my political opponents, and this looked like an occasion for a little mischievous fun.”

That glimpse into Will’s true motives doesn’t turn up in his disclosure statement on “The Conversation”, funnily enough.

But the fact that he’s prepared to view wind farm victims as “political” opposition; and to “troll” them “for a little mischievous fun”, gives a pretty fair insight into his agenda, as well as the “unspoken agenda” of his PhD student, Jacqui Hoepner.

But, what of their qualifications?

Will Grant’s “PhD in politics” – awarded for a thesis titled “A Certain India An enquiry into a claim to national territory” – is hardly the strongest starting point for someone looking to investigate the health symptoms associated with, and caused by, incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound.

STT loves the tagline of the ANU unit Jacqui and Will hail from: the “Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science”; how very “Ministry of Truth” – and a fair clue as what this pair are really up to. From her online “bio”, Jacqui points to her undergraduate degree in politics and journalism:

jacqui hoepner at ANU

Again, not the most solid foundation, you’d think, for someone setting out to investigate – as she tells us in her letter – “the symptomsexperienced by people living near wind farms”.

“The symptoms experienced” are either physiological, psychological, or a mixture of both (see our posts here and here).

Now, that narrows down the kind of “qualifications” necessary to investigate those symptoms: either the investigator holds a “medical” qualification and/or a qualification in “psychology”.

Although, to be fair to Jacqui, Will and the guru – qualifications in acoustics, vibration, or mechanical engineering would also hold relevance to the type of “investigation” that Jacqui’s engaged in. But that’s not what Jacqui’s been up to.

Oh no, Jacqui has been doing her darndest to infiltrate communities affected by wind turbine generated noise and vibration – in an effort to expand upon the nonsense “nocebo” story; and advance the “agenda” shared with her supervisor, Will Grant – and all the other wind industry spruikers and shills – that aims to maintain the great wind power fraud, at the expense and misery of hundreds of hard-working country people.

So, as a word of warning, if Jacqui Hoepner contacts you to find out what you think about the turbines thumping and grinding away next to your house, keeping you awake all night and otherwise making your life a misery on earth – STT suggests you delete her emails, hang-up the phone and generally refuse to “play ball” – remember her boss is hoping to “troll” you, and people like you, all “for a little mischievous fun”.

But there’s another element to this little game; and that’s where people like Jacqui hold themselves out to be qualified to investigate health symptoms suffered by people; whether those symptoms are physiological or psychological, or a mixture of both.

Most civilised countries have rules about people claiming to be qualified to deal with or investigate other people’s health problems. Some of those rules take the “game” of people claiming to be “health professionals” fairly seriously.

In Australia, that “game” is governed pretty strictly by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA) – under what’s called the “Health Practitioner National Regulation Law” (see the link here) – which is set out as uniform legislation that operates in all States and Territories, including NSW (for the NSW’s Act click here), which deals with people claiming to hold qualifications as “health professionals” in section 116:

Claims by persons as to registration as health practitioner

(1) A person who is not a registered health practitioner must not knowingly or recklessly –

(a) take or use the title of “registered health practitioner”, whether with or without any other words; or

(b) take or use a title, name, initial, symbol, word or description that, having regard to the circumstances in which it is taken or used, indicates or could be reasonably understood to indicate

(i) the person is a health practitioner; or

(ii) the person is authorised or qualified to practise in a health profession; or

(c) claim to be registered under this Law or hold himself or herself out as being registered under this Law; or

(d) claim to be qualified to practise as a health practitioner.

Maximum penalty –

(a) in the case of an individual – $30,000; or

(b) in the case of a body corporate-$60,000.

(2) A person must not knowingly or recklessly –

(a) take or use the title of “registered health practitioner”, whether with or without any other words, in relation to another person who is not a registered health practitioner; or

(b) take or use a title, name, initial, symbol, word or description that, having regard to the circumstances in which it is taken or used, indicates or could be reasonably understood to indicate –

(i) another person is a health practitioner if the other person is not a health practitioner; or

(ii) another person is authorised or qualified to practise in a health profession if the other person is not a registered health practitioner in that health profession; or

(c) claim another person is registered under this Law, or hold the other person out as being registered under this Law, if the other person is not registered under this Law; or

(d) claim another person is qualified to practise as a health practitioner if the other person is not a registered health practitioner.

Maximum penalty –

(a) in the case of an individual – $30,000; or

(b) in the case of a body corporate – $60,000.

For the purposes of section 116, “health profession” is defined by section 5 to mean: “the following professions, and includes a recognised specialty in any of the following professions – … “(e) medical” and … “(n) psychology”. And “health practitioner” is defined to mean “an individual who practises a health profession”.

So, with Jacqui Hoepner’s wind farm health investigation limited to one about “symptoms”, which can only involve the physiological and/or psychological aspects of human health, if she contacts you to quiz you about your symptoms, you might like to contact AHPRA about what she tells you about her qualifications.

AHPRA is in the business of protecting the integrity of Australia’s health system, by preventing unqualified people holding themselves out as being qualified to investigate, diagnose or otherwise make public statements about the causes and effects of reported and recorded health symptoms: that’s the kind of stuff properly reserved for legally qualified medical practitioners.

So, if you get anybody suggesting to you that they’re qualified to investigate your symptoms, why not give AHPRA a call – or drop them a line? You’ll get the number, the email and postal address right here:AHPRA Contact.

Oh, nearly forgot, there’s a pretty solid case that what the ABC’s Media Watch has done – in holding out Grant, Hoepner and the guru as “experts” qualified to pass judgment on the adverse health effects caused by wind farm noise and vibration – falls smack-bang within section 116(2), by Media Watch using atitle, name, initial, symbol, word or description that, having regard to the circumstances in which it is taken or used, indicates or could be reasonably understood to indicate that:

  • another person is a health practitioner;
  • another person is authorised or qualified to practise in a health profession;
  • or to claim another person is qualified to practise as a health practitioner.

– when none of them hold any qualifications to practise in a “health profession”; or as a “health practitioner”, at all.

As well as being informed about Jacqui’s lack of health qualifications, AHPRA might also like to hear from the guru’s so-called, “wind farm wing-nuts” about Media Watch’s little “holding out” effort too? Why not drop AHPRA a line on both counts?

the platters

Wind Industry Feels Justified in the Slaughter of Wildlife!

Rampant Wind Farm Bat Slaughter: Yet Another “Inconvenient” Truth for the Wind Industry

dead bats1

 

Wind farms are certified bird and bat slaughterhouses, where millions are clobbered, sliced and diced every year (see our post here): wanton avian destruction which is entirely unnecessary and wholly unjustified.

STT has covered the wind industry’s bat slaughter cover up a couple of times – pointing to the mounting piles of bat carcasses left rotting around wind farms as furry, lifeless and ‘inconvenient’ facts of the kind that send eco-fascists into “spin-mode” and their greentard acolytes into a state of enviro-confusion:

Now, here’s yet another take on the pointless and entirely unjustified slaughter of critters that, once upon a time, the reasonable environmentalist would have died in a ditch to save.

Growing “Swept Area” Of Annihilation … Study Points To Wind Turbines’ Barotraumatic Mayhem Of Bats
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
2 March 2015

As wind turbines increase in size and scale, so do their deadliness to wildlife and hazards to human health.

Today’s modern wind turbines now soar to heights of up to over 200 meters, can have outputs of well over 5 MW, and blade tip speeds of over 300 kilometers per hour, thus making them especially lethal to avian wildlife, and hazardous for human health through infrasound.

bat-barotrauma

Source: academia.eu, Erin F. Baerwald et al.

21,000 square meters of “swept area” of annihilation

To give an idea of their scale, Danish company Vestas, for example, offers an 8-MW offshore turbine with a total height of 220 meters that is equipped with a monster rotor diameter of 164 meters. The result: horrendous blade speeds and pressure gradients. Flying wildlife stand no chance. Worse is the growing size of the hazardous swept area.

Vestas boasts that its V164-8.0 MW® turbine has a swept area of more than 21,000 square meters, which is “equivalent to almost three footballpitches“. Vestas bellows: “When it comes to profitability, the bigger the swept area the bigger the revenue.”

Unfortunately for birds and other wildlife it is also: The bigger the swept area, also the bigger the wildlife annihilation area. But wildlife be damned.

Huge number of fatalities

Wildlife fatalities from wind turbines are poorly documented and mostly unknown. Estimates are on the low side and thought to be much higher, as the industry attempts to play down their real danger.

Birds, bats and other animals can be killed by turbines in any one of three ways:

  1. through loss of their habitat due to the disruption of a vast installation area,
  2. direct impact with high speed moving blades (birds) and
  3. from barotrauma, where bats are the primary victims.

The most sinister of the three is barotrauma, which is a common way bats are killed by wind turbines.

An article published at academia.edu by Erin F. Baerwald et al of the University of Calgary confirms the violent deaths that bats suffer from wind turbines. Bats do not even need to come into contact with the moving blades. It is enough for them to be close to the end of a moving blade to become victims of barotrauma. As the turbine’s blade slices by at 300 km/hr, the negative pressure in the blade’s wake causes the air in the bats’ lungs to expand and incur lethal injury.

Barotrauma typically occurs when an organism is exposed to a significantchange in ambient pressure, such as when a scuba diver, a free-diver or an airplane passenger ascends or descends, or during uncontrolled decompression of a pressure vessel.

The academia.edu article writes:

The decompression hypothesis proposes bats are killed by barotrauma caused by rapid pressure reduction near movingturbine blades [1,4,5]. Barotrauma involves tissue damage to air-containing structures caused by rapid or excessive pressure change;pulmonary barotrauma is lung damage due to expansion of air in the lungs that is not accommodated by exhalation.”

Moving turbine blades create zones of low pressure as the air flows over them. Animals entering these sudden low pressure zones may suffer barotrauma; academia.edu article writes:

Pressure differences as small as 4.4 kPa are lethal to Norway rats Rattus norvegicus) [6]. The greatest pressure differential at wind turbines occurs in the blade tip vortices which, as with airplanewings, are shed downwind from the tips of the moving blades [7]. The pressure drop in the vortex increases with tip speed, which in modern turbines turning at top speed varies from 55 to 80 m/s. This results in pressure drops in the range of 5–10 kPa (P. Moriarty, personal communication), levels sufficient to cause serious damage to various mammals [6].” […]

Even if echolocation allows bats to detect and avoid turbine blades, they may be incapacitated or killed by internal injuries caused by rapid pressure reductions they cannot detect.”

188 dead bats examined

Baerwald and her team examined 188 dead bats killed by a wind turbine facility in southwestern Alberta:

Of 188 bats killed at turbines the previous night, 87 had no external injury that would have been fatal, for example broken wings or lacerations (Table 1). Of 75 fresh bats we necropsied in the field, 32 had obvious external injuries, but 69 had haemorrhaging in the thoracic and/or abdominal cavities (Table 1). Twenty-six (34%) individuals had internal haemorrhaging and external injuries, whereas 43 (57%) had internal haemorrhaging but no external injuries. Only six (8%) bats had an external injury but no internal haemorrhaging.

Among 18 carcasses examined with a dissecting microscope, ten had traumatic injuries. Eleven bats had a haemothorax, seven of which could not be explained by a traumatic event. Ten bats had small bullae — air-filled bubbles caused by rupture of alveolar walls — visible on the lung surface (Figure 1A). All 17 bats examined histologically had lesions in the lungs consistent with barotrauma (Table 1), with pulmonary haemorrhage, congestion, edema, lung collapse and bullae being present in various proportions (Figure 1). In 15 (88%), the main lesion was pulmonary haemorrhage, which in most cases was most severe around the bronchi and large vessels.”

In summary, the wind turbines are extremely lethal to wildlife on a scale so horrendous and embarrassing that it is being kept out of the public’s eye. What’s worse is that these turbines, and the growing swept areas of annihilation they bring with them, have been installed by the thousands and plans are being made to install many thousands more – many in natural areas. Wildlife will have no chance.

This is all endorsed by Greenpeace and the WWF.
No Tricks Zone

bat

Aussie Wind Turbine Hosts to tell the Truth About Useless Wind Turbines!

Turbine Hosts Line Up to Tip a Bucket on Wind Power Outfits, as Senate Submissions Deadline Extended to 23 March 2015

John Madigan

The Australian Senate is about to rip into the greatest fraud of all time, with a Select Committee Inquiry into wind farms. Chaired by Victorian Senator, John Madigan, and set to kick off in March, it will operate under wide-ranging terms of reference, as its brief says:

(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee onWind Turbines be established to inquire into and report on the application of regulatory governance and economic impact of wind turbines by 24 June 2015, with particular reference to:

(a) the effect on household power prices, particularly households which receive no benefit from rooftop solar panels, and the merits of consumer subsidies for operators;

(b) how effective the Clean Energy Regulator is in performing its legislative responsibilities and whether there is a need to broaden those responsibilities;

(c) the role and capacity of the National Health and MedicalResearch Council in providing guidance to state and territory authorities;

(d) the implementation of planning processes in relation to wind farms, including the level of information available to prospective wind farm hosts;

(e) the adequacy of monitoring and compliance governance of wind farms;

(f) the application and integrity of national wind farm guidelines;

(g) the effect that wind towers have on fauna and aerial operations around turbines, including firefighting and crop management;

(h) the energy and emission input and output equations from whole-of-life operation of wind turbines; and

(i) any related matter.

Last week, the deadline for submissions to the Inquiry was extended to 23 March 2015 (for more information see Parliament’s website here).

So, if you’re still working on your submissions, take your time to polish them up; if you have already submitted, but have something to add, drop in a supplementary submission; and, if you haven’t started, then there’s no time like the present to get cracking.

For some inspiration see our posts here:

Three Decades of Wind Industry Deception: A Chronology of a Global Conspiracy of Silence and Subterfuge

Pacific Hydro’s “Monumental Own Goal”: Or How Steven Cooper’s Wind Farm Study Helps Sink the Wind Industry

Steven Cooper’s Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm Study the Beginning of the End for the Wind Industry

More Wind Turbine Terror: Blades Thrown to the Four-Winds in Ireland

“Unscheduled” Wind Farm Shut-Down Shows Low-Frequency Noise Impact at Waterloo, SA

BUSHFIRE RED ALERT: Wind Power Really Is Setting the World on FIRE

Victoria’s Wind Rush sees 34,000 Households Chopped from the Power Grid

Why Intermittent Wind Power Increases CO2 Emissions in the Electricity Sector

As to the Inquiry, term of reference 1(d) opens the door to an issue that the wind industry dreads most, and works its hardest to suppress.

Since STT popped up this little post – Unwilling Turbine Hosts Set to Revolt, as NSW Planning Minister – Pru Goward – Slams Spanish Fan Plans at Yass – the number of very angry turbine hosts (ie, those farmers contracted with wind power outfits to permit them to spear giant fans all over their properties) presenting themselves to the Senators sitting on the Inquiry, is growing by the day.

Their fast-filling ranks include those with turbines which have been operating (in some cases, for many years), as well as those desperately hoping to avoid that prospect altogether.

STT hears that these people – many from New South Wales, South Australia, as well as Victoria – have had, as Australians say “a gutful” of the deception, thuggery and bullying dished out by the goons employed by wind power outfits, such as Infigen (see our post here) and RATCH (see our posts here and here and here). No surprises there.

After years of being shunned by former friends and neighbours for introducing turbines into their communities (or signing up for that to happen in future), many turbine hosts are keen to wind the clock back and make amends. Community division, angry former friends and hostile neighbours are just one aspect of what’s encouraging actual and potential turbine hosts to speak to the Senators involved in the Inquiry. For a taste of what real farmers, from real communities, think about wind farms, check out this cracking little video:

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One of the constant threats made by wind power outfits, is that if their actual or potential turbine hosts were to utter so much as a “peep” about the company’s malfeasance and misconduct, they will be breaching the Draconian confidentiality provisions of their contracts.

These threats have, until now, fuelled fears by turbine hosts that have usually prevented them from speaking to anyone; let alone in a public forum, such as a Senate Inquiry.

Fortunately, there can be no right of action for a breach of confidentiality agreements against anybody giving evidence (whether in the form of documents or oral evidence) to their Parliament. Indeed, it’s been that way since 1688. In relation to a previous Senate Inquiry into wind farms and confidentiality agreements, the Clerk of the Senate, Rosemary Laing gave this advice:

I understand that there have been inquiries from potential witnesses who have signed confidentiality agreements with the wind farm operators and who are concerned to establish whether their evidence to the committee would be protected by parliamentary privilege.

The short answer to this question is yes. Section 16 of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987 reasserts the application of Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1688 to parliamentary proceedings and then goes on to explain what those proceedings include. Article 9 provides that the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place outside Parliament. The effect of this protection is that no action can be taken against any person on the basis of proceedings in Parliament and their participation in such proceedings is immune from suit in any court or tribunal. Examples are protected proceedings under section 16(2) of the Privileges Act include:

  • the giving of evidence to a committee, and the evidence so given;
  • the presentation or submission of a document to a committee; and
  • the preparation of a document for the purposes of or incidental to the transacting of any such business.

If a person who is covered by a confidentiality provision in an agreement gave evidence to a parliamentary committee about the contents of that agreement, they could not be sued for breaching the confidentiality agreement. Furthermore, if they were subject to any penalty, threat or intimidation as a consequence of their having given evidence to a committee, Privilege Resolution 1(18) provides that a committee must enquire into the circumstances, ascertain the facts and, if those facts disclosed that a person may have been improperly influenced or subject to or threatened with penalty or injury in respect of the evidence, the committee shall report the matter to the Senate. The Senate may then deal with the matter as a potential contempt which may attract penalties including fines and imprisonment. The action may also be prosecuted as an offence under section 12 of the Privileges Act.

The full advice is available here.

So, for those farmers keen to help put things right in this fine Country of ours, you can feel assured that your Senators will protect you. Not only are you completely free to tell your Parliament about how you have been mistreated, lied to etc; if you face any further thuggery, threats or bullying (whether from lawyers or otherwise), those dishing it out will be squarely in the gun for prosecution for contempt of Parliament.

If you have any questions then STT suggests that you speak direct to the offices of Senators John Madigan, Chris Back, or David Leyonhjelm, whose friendly staff will happily guide you through the process. To contact their offices direct call: (03) 5331 2321 (for Senator Madigan); (089) 414 7288 (for Senator Back); and (02) 9719 1078 (for Senator Leyonhjelm).

No-one has to put up with the wind industry’s lies, treachery and deceit. Last time we looked, Australia was a place where people could speak openly and freely to anyone they liked; our elected representatives included.

For turbine hosts (actual and potential), this Inquiry may be the first and last time you will be able to speak openly in public; and with complete immunity.

As a disgruntled host, you will, however, not only be keen to tip a bucket on just how rotten this industry is, you will also be looking to extricate yourself from contracts that will well and truly outlive you; and continue to vex your children and grandchildren, for a generation or more.

Contracts will be set aside in precisely the circumstances in which you were misled by the developer into entering your contract in the first place.

A representation of a material fact made by a party offering a contract to another party in order to induce them to enter into that contract, which has that effect, and is a false statement, is a misrepresentation. To be actionable, the misrepresentation need only to have induced the contract and does not have to be a central or even important inducement.

Under section 52 of the Trade Practices Act (now see Chapter 2, Part 2-1 of the Australian Consumer Law) contracts will be set aside for misleading and deceptive conduct. This includes the situation where a person offering a contract makes representations (which are untrue at the time they are made) to the other party, which are relied on, and induce that party to enter a contract.

Under both the common law and the TPA and ACL the failure to disclose important facts will amount to a misrepresentation and/or misleading conduct; especially where the facts, if disclosed, would have resulted in a reasonable person in your position refusing to enter the contract being offered. And even more so, where you have asked specific questions about important facts and the developer has said nothing: eg, “are wind turbines noisy?”; or simply lied, by answering “no”. (click here for a discussion of what amounts to misleading and decepetive conduct by silence).

Pursuing your lawful right to have your contract set aside for misrepresentation and/or misleading and deceptive conduct will require some competent legal advice from hard-hitting commercial lawyers, with litigation experience; and, perhaps, a trip to a court of competent jurisdiction.

As to actions against developers pursued by turbine hosts, see our post here.

For friends and neighbours of turbine hosts, this is an opportunity to help people who were duped by a pack of lying hounds into entering contracts which will last for 75 years; destroy everybody’s ability to live in, use and enjoy their homes for miles around – including the hosts and their families; and, under which, the turbine hosts receive a piddling $10,000-$15,000 a year, for a turbine that will receive upwards of $800,000 a year in REC subsidies, alone (see our post here).

As the nervous preacher (always in fear of an actual response) says at weddings, “speak now, or forever hold your peace”.

speak now or forever hold your peace

Windweasels Scurry to Circle the Wagons, as Steven Cooper’s Study “Makes Waves”!

Pacific Hydro Orders ABC’s “Ministry of Truth” to hound Steven Cooper, Graham Lloyd and Channel 7 Over Wind Farm Study

1984-george-orwell-adaptation-slice

Media Watch ‘just skimmed my report’: researcher
The Australian
Sonia Kohlbacher
16 February 2015

A SCIENTIFIC researcher whose groundbreaking study into the impact of wind turbines on nearby residents has criticised the ABC’s Media Watch program, saying its journalist hounded his company about alleged media misrepresentations without reading or understanding his report.

The study by acoustics expert Steven Cooper measured the sensations felt by a group of residents who had complained of health concerns, and matched their diary records with the wind farm operations. The study found a correlation between severe sensations experienced by the small group of residents studied and the power output of the turbines at Cape Bridgewater in Victoria.

The Cooper report has been hailed internationally as representing a breakthrough in the study of wind turbines and possible impacts.

The Australian’s environment editor Graham Lloyd has extensively reported on the findings of the study after they were released last month and has been the subject of inquiries by Media Watch journalist Flint Duxfield.

Media Watch has asked The Australian to justify the prominent coverage it gave to the study.

Mr Cooper was critical of Duxfield when contacted by The Australian yesterday, and said the journalist had failed to properly read his report before making inquiries into its fair and accurate representation in the media.

Mr Cooper said he was appalled by the ABC’s attempts to contact his office, which he said was “hounded” by hourly calls over a four-day period.

“In the end I spoke to them to answer questions and I wasn’t overly impressed,” he said.

“They were after Channel Seven and Graham Lloyd, and in the end his inquiries were about people not reading and reporting incorrect information.

“It got to a point where he was asking questions and I said, ‘You haven’t read the report’, to which he replied, ‘Oh, I’ve skimmed the report’, and I said, ‘Well that’s a problem, you’re here about talking about people misrepresenting but you haven’t read the report’.

“He just tried to talk about people misrepresenting. I did tell him that what Graham Lloyd had presented was correct.”

Media Watch host Paul Barry, responding on behalf of Duxfield, said he was not party to the conversation, “but I can tell you that he is always unfailingly courteous and never hounds anyone — and yes, Flint has read the report”.

Barry claimed that “some eminent Australian scientists” had concerns about The Australian’s coverage of the Cooper report.

Lloyd said the issue was about making sure minority rights were properly respected. “This is not about ideology,” he said. “The absence of high-quality research, as evidenced by the National Health and Medical Research Council’s latest statement, is astonishing.”
The Australian

In Australia, the ABC’s “Media Watch” represents the front line for the Green-blob’s Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” (see our post here); which, on a weekly basis, attacks any journalist with the temerity to question hard green-left shibboleths; such as imminent global incineration; or its other favourite, the wind industry (see our posts here and here).

STT has already covered the rampant institutional bias of Australia’s so-called “National broadcaster” (see our posts here and here).

The latter story involved cutie-pie political commentator, Annabel Crabb, referring to Pac Hydro’s (now well and truly vindicated) victims at Cape Bridgewater as “dick brains”, during a 45 minute diatribe on the ABC’s radio science show.

The audio and transcript of Annabel’s “dick brain” outburst can be found on the ABC’s website here. However, to avoid the need to listen to (or trawl through reams of transcript of) almost an hour of tedious and nauseating ‘green’ group-think, we’ve extracted the relevant parts of the transcript, which is available here.

Most of that broadcast was devoted to the “wonders” of wind power; and denigrating anybody with the hide to raise the issue of the harm caused to wind farm neighbours, or with the sense to question the merits of backing a technology which was abandoned in the 19th century, for obvious reasons (see our post here).

Crabb went on to say that she was in the market for a home right next to a wind farm. Well Annabel, there are several up for grabs at Cape Bridgewater (which their owners have had to abandon), so why not put in a bid?

Given Crabb’s long-winded, nausea inducing rant (on what is supposed to be a serious scientific radio programme); and the continual stream of wind industry goons, parasites and spruikers trotted out on the ABC’s green-left love-in, The Drum, it seems more than just a little rich for Media Watch to challenge The Australian about “the prominent coverage it gave to” Steven Cooper’s groundbreaking study.

But the ABC’s Ministry of Truth, is not so much concerned about “the prominent coverage” given to Steven Cooper’s study, Graham Lloyd’s ‘crime’ against the Party was to have published anything about the study at all.

So too, Channel Seven, when it went to air with its piece on Cooper’s study on its current affairs show, Today Tonight: – available here.

The Media Watch attack dogs were released in response to a direction from Pac Hydro – which is (as a consequence of Cooper’s work) now squarely in the gun, facing $millions in damages claims from its victims at Cape Bridgewater.

Now, with that in mind, it’s no surprise to see Pac Hydro’s goons attacking Steven Cooper directly through the media, as well as attacking two of the most respected and qualified acoustic experts from the US, Dr PaulSchomer and George Hessler. For a taste of their highly relevant qualifications and experience why not check out their thumping CVs here:Schomer and Hessler; and both of them were involved in another proper piece of investigation into the adverse impacts of turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound on neighbours at Shirley, Wisconsin back in 2012 (see this article and our post here).

Dr Schomer and Mr Hessler in their peer review of Cooper’s study, not only endorsed it, but found that the data itself proves a causal relationship between the operation of the wind turbines and the adverse health effects recorded by all of those people who took part in the study (see our post here).

When Graham Lloyd fronted Pac Hydro about the peer review produced by Dr Schomer and Mr Hessler, its spin doctors simply went to ground and refused to comment; a move entirely consistent with stock standard wind industry strategy: lie, cover up the facts and, when all else fails, run and hide (see our post here).

And, further, it’s no surprise at all to see Pac Hydro directing traffic at the ABC and Media Watch, in particular.

While always pitching from the “holier than thou” journalistic moral high ground, Media Watch ain’t afraid to pull its punches, when it’s out to ensure that the wind industry’s narrative is never threatened.

And so it was, getting its “researcher”, Flint Duxfield to repeatedly hound Steven Cooper about media misrepresentation of the study, in circumstances where he clearly hadn’t even bothered to read it. Hmmm. Oh, the irony.

Where Media Watch’s Paul Barry – clearly in damage control – asserts that “Flint [Duxfield] has read the report”, he simply raises two questions: when did he read it? And, if he read it, was he capable of understanding it?

STT’s betting that Duxfield’s efforts went no further than a cursory perusal (the whole thing runs to over 800 pages – the report is available in our post here), but even if we fail to collect on that wager, there is absolutely no chance that he understood it.

No, instead, as with all of the media parrots used by the wind industry, it’s an odds-on bet that Duxfield was simply relying upon the press releases issued by Pac Hydro, in which it’s sought to downplay the significance of the work (which it paid for, and set the limitations on, by the way) and is using in its efforts at serious corporate “damage control”.

STT notes Barry’s claim that “some eminent Australian scientists” had “concerns” with the coverage. No doubt the shills in the employ of the wind industry are deeply troubled by the facts that have emerged at Cape Bridgewater. They’ll have to work overtime from here on to bury them, lie, and otherwise distort and misrepresent them.

And who were these “eminent Australian scientists”?

Why, none other than a former tobacco advertising guru; a “scientist” who has no acoustic training or qualifications; who is not a legally qualified medical practitioner; who was used to front up struggling Danish fan maker, Vesta’s laughable Act on Facts campaign (see our post here); and who has received scathing criticism in Australia’s Federal Parliament on more than one occasion (see our posts here and here). And it must only add to his sense of moral superiority to find himself as the front man for an outfit run by crooks and fraudsters (see our post here).

No, this is all about media manipulation, using the same band of pseudo-scientists, spin doctors and the tactics of ridicule, denigration and personal attack to advance an ideological position in keeping with the Party line.

Not one of the people who they trot out as “eminent scientists” or “experts” have ever bothered to go out in the field; gather any real data; or even speak, in person (ie in the same room at the same time) to the people suffering the known and obvious adverse health effects caused by incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound.

That, of course, would cause them to confront the “problems” face-to-face and eye-to-eye. Much easier to sit in the coward’s castles of sandstone universities and ABC studios, where they will never have to face the wind industry’s victims; or the facts.

And, even where these so-called “researchers” pretend to investigate the issue, they hold no relevant qualifications; such as the wind industry’s latest mouthpiece, Jacqui Hoepner (who’s been flat out running the “nocebo” nonsense on the ABC and elsewhere this week). Jacqui is, surprise, surprise, equipped with nothing more than a degree in journalism and politics (check out her bio here). Hmmmm, how very “Ministry of Truth” …

STT hears, however, that the Ministry of Truth’s attack on Graham Lloyd, The Australian and Channel 7 is about to backfire in spectacular fashion. What’s that saying about keeping your mouth shut when you’re in it up to your neck?

Expect to hear a whole lot more about Steven Cooper’s study, and Pac Hydro’s victims at Cape Bridgewater, over the coming weeks and months.

graham-lloyd

Derek Byrne and his Family, Forced to Endure the Torture From Wind Turbines.

“It’s a disaster”: Family affected by windfarm’s turbine flicker

The family say it makes day-to-day life difficult.

DEREK BYRNE AND his family live around 330 metres from wind turbines, and say that a ‘flicker’ from energy-generating machines is causing them major problems.

They live near the wind farm in Athea in Co Limerick, and the turbines can be seen from their front window.

The wind farm was erected in August 2013, and Byrne said that they’ve been experiencing the flicker since soon after the turbines appeared.

Why it happens

The flicker occurs because when the sun is low and shining from behind the turbine, the blades block some of the light briefly.

They experience the flicker in the whole house, said Byrne, who lives there with his wife and children.

“Even if you’re in a room with closed blinds. The whole house flickers black. It’s every two seconds for about 20 minutes.”

“When the sun is low at both stages during the day the flicker is at its most prominent.”

Byrne said he has been in touch with SSE Airtricity since December 2013, and that they have told him that there is usually a programme to stop the turbines when the flicker occurs.

“After numerous complaints there is still the flicker,” he said.

Like an “airport apron”

The family have also been experiencing noise due to the turbines, with Byrne saying it is akin to “an airport apron at night time”.

He said the noise is obvious “even with all the windows closed and the TV turned up”.

Every morning I arrive home at 7.30am and it’s like arriving into Shannon airport. It is very unpleasant.

Byrne said there are four houses in the area directly affected by the turbines. “Over the Christmas period it was at its worst,” he said. “It’s been a disaster, absolutely a disaster.”

It lasts longer in the winter months, and can happen up to three times a day.

Were they warned about it? “No we weren’t warned anything about the nearest turbine to us,” said Byrne.

“We were informed about six months before it went up,” he said of the wind farm, adding: “We’re not against wind energy or renewable energy.”

“I’m blessed I work night shifts,” he concluded. “It’s very unfair on the children.”

What does Airtricity have to say?

The electricity from the wind farm is generated by Airtricity, but SSE Renewables built the Athea project.

A spokesperson for SSE Renewables said:

We are aware that some residents living close to our Athea wind farm in Co Limerick are experiencing some intermittent issues with shadow flicker.We are investigating the cause of these issues and we’re working hard to resolve them as quickly as possible. We recognise the impact these issues are having on the residents concerned and while we work on putting in place a permanent solution to resolve these issues we continue to maintain regular contact with them.

Of the noise, it added:

“We are also working to implement a noise control system at the site. We will utilise this system to ensure that all turbines at the wind farm continue to operate at industry guideline limits.”

It’s time for the Wind Industry to PROVE that they are reducing CO2, or Go Away!

Senator Chris Back: Wind Industry must prove its CO2 abatement claims

Chris Back

In our last post we tipped a bucket on the central, endlessly repeated lie trotted out by the wind industry and its parasites, that Australia’s great wind rush has resulted in substantial reductions of CO2 emissions in the electricity sector.

In Australia, the central object of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 is for “renewable” energy to “reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector” (see s3). The legislation provides that wind power outfits receive 1 Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) for each MWh dispatched to the grid. That relationship proceeded on the mammoth assumption that – for each MWh of wind power dispatched to the grid – there will be a 1 tonne reduction of CO2 emissions in the electricity sector.

Were the mandatory RET retained in its current form, Australian power consumers will see some $50 billion added to their powers bills and transferred to wind power outfits over the next 17 years (see our post here). With that amount at stake, it would be fair to assume that there was some measurable benefit attached – of the kind envisaged by the legislation (ie substantial reductions of CO2 emissions in the electricity sector) – to what will be the biggest wealth transfer in the history of the Commonwealth.

And, with that amount in play, it would also be reasonable to assume that our political betters had already satisfied themselves that the benefit in question is, in fact, being delivered – and that they are sitting on hard evidence quantifying that benefit – especially since the mandatory RET has been in operation for over 13 years.

A few starry-eyed, policy-pygmies seek comfort in a report by ACIL Allenthat’s been used to pump up wind industry CO2 abatement claims. But that document is nothing more than a desktop study, based on Alice in Wonderland assumptions that: uses irrelevant annual averages for wind power output; bases its conclusions about CO2 emissions intensity from conventional generators on assumed (not actual) thermal efficiencies; and, critically, ignores the actual figures from coal/gas fired generators – in particular, the actual coal/gas use data from conventional generators (which ACIL Allen never bothered to ask for) against which power output comparisons can be made to determine actual (not assumed) CO2 emissions intensity; and, therefore, whether wind power has, in fact, reduced CO2 emissions in the electricity sector.

At no point since that legislation took effect over 13 years ago has the wind industry provided any actual proof that it has in fact reduced CO2 emissions in the electricity sector. In what might come as a rude shock, none of our political representatives on the Federal stage has ever had the temerity to ask for any hard evidence to substantiate the wind industry’s mantra; and have seemed content to oversee the wholesale punishment of power consumers on nothing more than blind faith.

Until now.

Chris Back is a Liberal Senator from Western Australia – and he gets it (see our posts here and here and here).

Chris has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging the wind industry to stump up concrete proof to back its wild claims about reducing CO2 emissions in the electricity sector. Here’s a speech Chris delivered in the Senate last Wednesday.

THE SENATE
PROOF
MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST
Renewable Energy Target
SPEECH
Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Senator BACK (Western Australia) (13:36):

I wish to discuss the renewable energy target review and its report, now that it has actually been handed to the government by the independent panel, chaired by Mr Dick Warburton. I want to make some comments about the review itself.

The first point I want to put to bed is around some allegations that have been bandied about in this place during the week to do with the apparent incompetence of the panellists to review the RET.

I just want to point out that, in addition to Mr Warburton, the other panellists include the eminent Mr Brian Fisher AO PSM, a previous executive director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences. He is a renowned economist.

Another panellist is Ms Shirley Int’t Veld. As a Western Australian, she was the managing director of Verve Energy in WA from 2007 to 2012. Verve was the energy instrumentality that used more renewable energy sources than any other in Western Australia, so I do not know how she could not be regarded as credible.

The other panellist is Mr Matt Zema, managing director of the Australian Energy Market Operator. So I want to dispel the myth that this group was not competent to undertake the work.

For those who might be interested, I will review what the RET is all about. The RET is a government intervention designed to mandate the proportion of electricity generated from selected sources. It is designed to support a policy of at least 20 per cent of Australia’s energy coming from renewable sources by 2020; as such, the policy taxes electricity users and, in some cases, non-renewable generators.

How does it work?

The renewable energy certificate market emerges from the energy targets. Renewable energy certificates, or RECs, are issued to power station generators classified as renewable under the act. They are a form of energy currency as electricity retailers must purchase the RECs to cover their liability. Costs are passed on to consumers through purchase of mandatory certificates by electricity retailers. That, of course, is where it becomes a tax on energy consumers.

The first point I make about the target is that the objectives of the act have not been met, principally because there has not been to any extent a reduction of greenhouse gases in the time the target has been in place.

The second point is that whatever achievements the renewable energy sector has made have largely come from hydroelectricity. Hydroelectricity, as we all know, was around for a long time before the renewable energy target was formed. Having lived and worked in Tasmania and having even had to declare an interest because a company of which I was the managing director actually supplied lubricants and fuels to the hydroelectricity scheme in Tasmania, I place on record that it is a wonderful scheme.

Senator Singh interjecting –

Senator BACK: I want to place on record that I, for one, want to make sure that – whatever outcome is eventually decided by government – the hydroelectricity scheme is enhanced, protected and encouraged independent of the RET system, because it preceded RETs by so many years, as Senator Singh herself indeed knows.

At the time it was suggested that to achieve a 20 per cent contribution of renewable energy by 2020 would require some 41 gigawatt hours to be generated by renewable sources. We know that two things have happened. First of all, there has been a drop in demand –

Senator Singh: Mr Acting Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. I offer a correction to Senator Back; it is 41,000 gigawatt hours, not 41 gigawatt hours.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Seselja): Order! Senator Singh, there is no point of order.

Senator BACK: Senator Singh’s contribution is quite right, for which I thank her. It is 41,000 gigawatt hours. I will check the Hansard to see what I did say.

Indeed, as a result of a reduction in demand, we now realise that to achieve that 20 per cent target the figure is probably closer to 23,000 gigawatt hours. I do appreciate Senator Singh’s keen attention in listening to my contribution. That is the background of the RET.

The RET comes under two broad categories: the small-scale renewable energy target and large-scale renewable energy targets.

The small renewable targets, which are probably 10 per cent or less, are mainly to do with photovoltaics and solar hot water systems. In relation to the small-scale RETs, the recommendation of the panel is that there is probably little if any need for further support at this time. This is because power charges have gone up – somewhat because of the carbon tax, which has now been repealed through the excellent work of Senator Cormann and others – and costs in the solar sector have come down considerably.

Nevertheless, power charges have gone up while the costs of putting photovoltaics on roofs have come down. It is arguable that photovoltaics are now cost neutral. I was the chief executive of an organisation that introduced seven or eight different forms of solar energy many years ago on an island that I had the pleasure of being responsible for and I am a great supporter of solar energy. If indeed there needs to be some continued support for a limited period of time then I would not violently object to that. However, market forces have applied and the costs of photovoltaic installations have come down while electricity charges have come up, and I hope that we are now at the point of cost-neutrality. The panel has said that we are probably already at that point and that, if we are not there currently, we will probably be there reasonably soon.

I want to move to the issue of the large-scale renewable energy targets.

I have spoken in this place before of how concerned I am with regard to the wind energy sector. This report and others support the fact that there is an enormous amount of misinformation out there in the wider community about the large-scale RETs, particularly those relating to the wind industry.

The industry have employed very effective tricks to – I believe – mislead the public into believing that paying them billions of dollars in subsidies will lower power prices. Of course, it will not; there is no evidence to say that it will. The reason that the public is not outraged about this, as I said earlier, is that the public do not pay this money in taxes; rather, they pay it as part of their energy consumption. The modelling has shown that it is possible that some $37 billion over the next 15 years – or $2.5 billion per year – may be wasted on wind farms. Again, because the costs are concealed, they will not be picked up.

Comment was made that currently the RET is responsible for only around four per cent of household electricity bills. I have to say to you that other evidence refutes that. I will quote this document from AGL Energy and then seek the authorisation of the chamber to table it. I have passed the document to others in the chamber seeking authorisation.

The interesting point in the document is that AGL estimate that, in their commitment to buy 1.3 terawatt hours per year through the various wind associated organisations, it will cost them some $32 per megawatt hour above the 2015 wholesale market. They say that as a headline figure that will cost them some $40 million a year more for electricity than would have been the case without the wind strategy in place. I seek leave to table the document.

Leave granted.

Senator BACK: We are seeing the possibility that the estimated cost of the REC scheme could add some $50 billion to power bills over the next 17 years, with some 600 million renewable energy certificates being issued at a unit cost of about $90. So, in other words, we are looking at having $50 billion added to consumers’ power bills, transferred to wind-power companies. I think this is unacceptable.

I know that Senator Polley wishes to follow me and I am anxious to make sure that she is given adequate time to do so, but first I would like to comment on emissions reductions, because I think this is important.

The arguments regarding the long-term effect of the RET on price are fundamentally flawed, simply because the energy generated by wind farms does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector.

I challenge the wind energy sector to produce the evidence relied upon to assert that wind power has reduced GHG emissions in the electricity sector.

Wind power is delivered intermittently, on repeated occasions not at all, meaning of course that the entire installed capacity from wind power has to be matched with equal capacity of fossil fuel generation. I challenge that industry to produce evidence to this chamber to say that what I am indicating is not correct.

Once awareness of the existence of the RET, let alone the magnitude of its cost impact, becomes more widespread in the public arena, support for it will evaporate. Renewable energy is not free. It is high cost compared to alternative forms of generation. It is not commercially viable without large subsidies, which ultimately come out of the consumer’s pocket.
Senator BACK (WA)  

Clearly on a roll, Chris followed up his speech in the Senate with this media release.

Dr Christopher Back
Liberal Senator for Western Australia
MEDIA RELEASE
3 September 2014 

Can the wind industry meet my Emissions Reductions Challenge?

In the Senate today, Senator Back said that the RET acts as a tax on energy consumers and conventional energy suppliers to fund a subsidy to selected renewable energy generators.

“But – and this is the big issue that the Coalition Government is now addressing – after 13 years of operation it has become clear that the objectives of the Act have not been reflected in the outcomes. While the investment in renewable energy sources has increased, from a carbon abatement perspective, the Act has been all but totally ineffective in its objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector.”

Arguments regarding the long-term effects of the RET on price are fundamentally flawed. This is because energy generated by wind farms does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector. In fact, there is some evidence that the addition of wind energy onto the grid actually increases carbon emissions. This is the great tragedy of the scheme.

“My challenge to the wind industry is to produce the evidence relied upon to assert that wind power has reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector at all. Wind power is delivered intermittently and, on repeated occasions, not at all, which means that an entire installed capacity from wind power has to be matched with an equal capacity of fossil fuel generation at all times.”

Grid managers are required to keep fossil fuel generating plants constantly running in the background to maintain balance within the grid in order to account for dramatic fluctuations in wind power output which occur on a minute by minute basis and base-load generators are required to maintain spinning reserve for occasions when wind power output collapses as it does on a routine but unpredictable basis. The requirement to maintain spinning reserve means that base-load generators are burning coal and gas at a constant rate even though no power is being dispatched to the grid.

“The case to abolish the RET is driven by its cost to electricity consumers compared to the corresponding reduction (or lack of reduction) in greenhouse gas emissions achieved through its 13 year lifespan. This cost comparison, extending the RET tax to 2031 for no measurable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector is completely futile. It becomes a drag on the Australian economy and an insidious impost on every electricity consumer in the nation – large and small businesses, families and individuals.”

The wind industry is trumpeting two issues in the media: one is that wind is dropping the wholesale price of electricity; and the second is that the RET will cause the retail price of electricity to fall. Put simply, if wind is causing the wholesale price of electricity to fall, then the renewables industry no longer requires the billions of dollars in subsidy it receives through the large-scale RET scheme, as renewable energy is therefore cost competitive in the market.

In reality, the RET is causing electricity prices to rise significantly as it is the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that is and always has been the fundamental relationship between the power generator and the retailer.

These PPAs lock in prices of up to $120/MWh compared to the average wholesale price of between $30-$40/MWh. The price set by the PPA is paid by the retailer irrespective of the wholesale price. This PPA price is passed on to retail customers along with the retail margin over the life of the PPA which is usually 15 and up to 25 years. I have tabled a confidential document showing proof of this in the Senate chamber today to ensure transparency for the Australian public.

It is a legislated requirement that 600 million RECs will be issued between now and 2031, adding a cost of at least $50 billion to power bills over the next 17 years. This represents a significant wealth transfer to wind power companies from Australian power consumers and achieves no measurable benefit to the environment.

The RET scheme was never intended to act as an unchecked subsidy. “Once awareness of the existence of the RET, let alone the magnitude of its cost impact, becomes more widespread, public support for the scheme will evaporate. Renewable energy is not free; it is high cost compared to alternative forms of generation and commercially unviable without large subsidies. What people need to understand is that they pay these costs in their electricity bills and not through their taxes. It hurts everyone.”
Senator Chris Back (WA).

Proof

Keep Roof Top Solar, (Domestic), and get rid of Wind Turbines….BRILLIANT IDEA!

Angus Taylor: Coalition set to kill the wind industry, while supporting rooftop solar

divide-and-conquer2

With the wind industry reeling after the RET review panel delivered its recommendation to slam the door shut on any more wind farms (see our post here), it’s sought to whip up support for the mandatory RET by enlisting the usual band of useful Marxist idiots (like GetUp! and 350.org) to rally a band of imaginary troops (apparently ready to die on the barricades); and to rattle cans to fund super-shrill ad campaigns. What’s that they say about “astro-turfing”?

What the wind industry has counted on (so far) in its attempt to retain the RET, is support from the solar industry; and its many satisfied customers.

The wind industry and its parasites like to shelter under the same umbrella as the solar boys: blancmanging the two very distinct animals under the “renewables” tagline.

There are, however, a number of key distinctions between the wind industry and domestic (rooftop) solar. The differences are significant, have political consequences, and the Coalition government is alive to them.

Installing rooftop solar has created a big number of specialist installers (mostly electricians and panel fitters) who way outnumber the handful of permanent jobs created in the wind industry. This band (numbering some 18,000) work for, or operate, hundreds of small businesses across Australia; and, therefore, have the potential of becoming very vocal regarding any threat to the small scale renewable energy scheme (SRES) – which doles out subsidies for rooftop solar.

The RET review panel delivered a recommendation that the SRES should be scrapped immediately. However, STT hears that (for reasons that follow) the Coalition are not going to follow that recommendation.

Unlike the wind industry, rooftop solar has lots of friends and no real enemies.

Were the Coalition to cut the SRES, thousands of solar installers would immediately face an uncertain future: no doubt, many would lose their jobs. There are thousands of panel installers who are currently employed or who own business built on the SRES – all feel threatened – and have been lobbying Coalition members for a retention of the SRES.

In suburban Australia, rooftop solar has become an aspirational good – with families planning their next home (or new home) with panels; or otherwise hoping to take up rooftop solar in order to reduce their spiralling power bills. To an extent, given the massive take-up of rooftop solar to date, getting solar panels has become a game of “keeping up with the Jones”.

So, between thousands of rooftop solar installers and tens of thousands of families who see solar panels as a right of household passage (all of them potential Coalition voters), the Coalition faces a serious loss of political capital were it to chop the SRES (as recommended by the panel).

The wind industry, on the other hand, has very few friends and lots of enemies (see our posts here and here). Its “friends” are panicky investors and died-in-the-wool Labor and Green voters (predominantly inner city trendies from the hard-green-left) who would never vote for the Coalition in a fit. Pandering to this lot has no political upside for Tony Abbott and his team.

The wind industry was brought to life by the Large-Scale RET (LRET). The RET review panel has recommended that the current target set by the LRET of 41,000 GWh be slashed and that the scheme be closed to new entrants from here on.

STT hears that the Coalition, starting with Tony Abbott, is all set to follow that recommendation. While Environment Minister, Greg Hunt has been working flat-out in the media, touting claims that the Coalition supports a real 20% target, he couldn’t be more isolated from his own party than if he were Robinson Crusoe. STT hears that, for his recent efforts, young Greg is about to have his wings clipped by the Head Boy (as soon as he returns from his trip to India).

Unlike rooftop solar and the SRES, were the LRET scaled back and closed to new entrants hardly any current wind industry jobs would face immediate threat.

In the wind industry, most of the jobs involve the fleeting work created during wind farm construction (see our post here). Australia doesn’t manufacture wind turbines: every single one of them has been imported from Denmark, India, Germany and China.

In Australia, wind farm construction is almost at a standstill: “investment” in the construction of wind farms went from $2.69 billion in 2013 to a piddling $40 million this year (see this article). So it’s not as if thousands of currently employed construction workers will lose their jobs as a result of changes to the LRET.

As to the few permanent jobs created by the wind industry, most of these involve the repair and maintenance of turbines (changing oil, changing over gearboxes, bearings etc); and these jobs are not under immediate threat – turbines put up in the last decade will continue to need repairs (and more so, as time passes).

Employment in the wind industry is all about what might be; rather than what is. With hardly any jobs under immediate threat, the Coalition has little political capital to lose and much to gain in following the panel’s recommendations regarding the LRET.

The SRES is estimated to cost a further $1.5-2 billion, which is chickenfeed compared to the future cost of the LRET. The wind industry has been, and would be, the only practical beneficiary of the LRET; and stands to reap a further $50 billion in subsidies via the REC Tax levied on all Australian power consumers (see our post here).

From a political perspective then, the options are a “no-brainer”: keep the SRES and kill off the LRET.

By closing off any threat to rooftop solar, the Coalition avoids a battle that it’s likely to lose – and also allows it to target the wind industry standing all on its lonesome.

In the battle to “win hearts and minds” over the fate of the RET, the wind industry has used the solar industry as a kind of “human shield”: avoiding political flack by hiding behind a sea of suburban solar panels; the hundreds of small businesses that install them; and the mums and dads that own (or want to own) them.

With the Coalition coming out in support of the SRES, the political “stink” being kicked up by the solar lobby will simply fade away – and the wind industry will lose its “solar shield”. Oops!

Leading the Coalition’s charge to maintain the SRES (and government support for rooftop solar); and to kill the wind industry (by following the panel’s recommendation on the LRET) is STT Champion, Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor. Here’s a piece Angus penned for the Australian Financial Review, outlining the Coalition’s shift on renewable policy.

Time to get rational about the RET (Renewable Energy Target)
Australian Financial Review
Angus Taylor
4 September 2014

Now that the renewable energy target (RET) review panel has published its findings, it is time to focus on home truths and explode some myths relating to renewables.

As politicians’ inboxes fill with carefully crafted messages from vested interests with huge dollars at stake, it is important to keep a grip on the facts.

First, we need to remember that, strictly speaking, there is no RET. In fact, there are two schemes. The large scale renewable target (LRET) focused mostly on wind, and the small scale renewable energy scheme (SRES), focused mostly on roof-top solar. Many renewables interests, particularly the wind industry, want to confuse the two, because roof-top solar has far more mainstream political support than other renewables. However, the review made quite different recommendations for the two, and the government will need to announce different policies for each scheme.

Second, the review and other recent work showed that there are many cheaper carbon abatement options than renewables. We should not forget that the purpose of the exercise is to reduce carbon emissions, not to build an industry. If an industry emerges out of our efforts to reduce emissions, then well and good, but industry pork-barrelling has not been an aspiration of this government.

Deloitte tells us that we all wear these costs, but the least well-off are hardest hit by higher retail electricity prices, as with the carbon tax. Investment is not a free lunch, and bad investment reduces productivity, wages and jobs, despite all the talk about green jobs. Deloitte’s estimate is that the cost is 5000 jobs and over $1250 in lost earnings for the average Australian.

A FLAWED TARGET

Third, it is now very clear that the 20 per cent renewable target was flawed. In an atrocious decision, the former government decided to translate the 20 per cent target into 45,000 GWh of new capacity, allocating 41,000 of the target to large-scale schemes. This was based on ridiculously optimistic views of electricity demand growth and effectively eliminated demand risk for the renewables industry – a risk that other businesses face every day. In reality, electricity demand has been going backwards, not forwards. The forecaster responsible for the current target, AEMO, has done some serious soul searching and will need to do more.

Fourth, according to the spin from the renewables sector, the schemes are costless, because of a magical impact on wholesale electricity prices. No serious economist agrees that these schemes are costless. The review estimates the cross-subsidy to be $22 billion, and the only serious work done on economy wide impacts (Deloitte again) put that at $29 billion.

The critical question is who wears these costs. In reality, they are shared between electricity consumers (via higher electricity bills), electricity generators and the broader economy. The renewables industry likes to imagine that household bills will not go up, but the review rejects that argument, particularly in the next five years. Of course, if the cost of renewables drops in the longer term – which would be a great thing – then subsidies are no longer necessary.

INVESTMENTS IN GOOD FAITH

Finally, the review panel recognised the legitimate claim from the renewables industry that past investments were made in good faith, and those investments should be protected from changes to the LRET or the SRES. At the same time, non-renewable generators invested in good faith, and have had to wear a massive increase in capacity while demand has shrunk. We shouldn’t forget that many of the shareholders in these companies are mum and dad investors.

As a result of these competing considerations, the panel rightly recognised the need to scale back the LRET to reduce the massive subsidies to the wind industry, while simultaneously protecting past investment. The review offers two options that will strengthen the economy and reduce electricity prices in time, while maintaining a commitment to large scale renewables.

The prospects for solar are quite different and are positive. The SRES is planned to be phased out in coming years and is responsible for a fraction of the renewable subsidies, but much political noise. In the absence of new hugely expensive state-based feed in tariffs, solar’s future is hitched to its ability to cash in on the excessive network charges in electricity bills. We should support that goal.

Vigilance with the facts and measured policy debate will ensure noisy vested interests don’t subvert the national interest.

Angus Taylor is the federal member for Hume.
Australian Financial Review

Angus Taylor

Brazilian Court Lowers the Amount of Electromagnetic Pollution, Allowed to be Emitted by Power lines

Brazilian Courts Order Lower Power Line Electromagnetic Pollution

RETA Lady Justice photo logoRETA Health hazard imageThe Court of the State of Sao Paulo recently determined that the Sao Paulo electricity transmission provider must reduce the level of electromagnetic (EMF) pollution produced by power lines to standards adopted by Swiss law (1.0 microtesla or 10 mG) (Environmental News Network). Currently, EMFs generated by overhead transmission lines in Sao Paulo, and most other places around the world, are at least 10 times higher than this near the lines. (For example, the EMF levels are about 12 to 14 times higher than 10 mG near transmission lines in the Edmonton, Alberta area.)

The court decision was based on the Brazilian Federal Constitution and the United Nations Precautionary Principle, which both declare the protection of health and the environment. The court also widely examined the international research on the effects of EMFs on health, and recognized “the great possibility of the electromagnetic field of low frequency to be a carcinogenic agent in human beings”.