Far greater setbacks from wind turbines necessary, to maintain max. 45db noise level.

Irish government modelling of wind energy potential

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Today, 16 January 2017, almost four years on from the first public call for submissions on the proposed revision of the 2006 wind energy guidelines, we are sharing information in relation to modelling undertaken by the RPS Group, in 2015, which was commissioned by the Sustainable Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for the then Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources (now the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment) and the then Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (now the department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government).

RPS were commissioned to model Ireland’s land area and power generating potential from wind energy developments, taking into account a number of variable factors including:

  • Turbine size, type and hub/tip height;
  • Noise and shadow flicker;
  • Proposed setback distances;
  • Minimum wind speeds;
  • Terrain contours; and
  • Ground factors.

The background to this modelling was the proposed technical revision to the Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006. As regular readers of this blog will be aware the proposed technical revision has turned into a political hot potato with no Minister yet willing to stand up to the wind industry, despite the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment declaring that the current guidelines are ‘not fit for purpose’. The proposed Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and further consultation have still not been commenced.

Nevertheless, the discussion in the RPS Group, Report on Wind Turbine Noise Modelling, of 11 May 2015 is startling for most communities, as RPS through consultations with the wind industry expect tip heights of between 150m to 175m to be the norm for future developments, with 200m tip heights being required for some low wind sites.  Possible setback distances emerging from the acoustic modelling are also quiet frightening (see copy of table 3.2 below).

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Documents, in PDF, we are sharing are:

Further iterations of the modeling then followed which were also released:

Please note these documents were shared with us by a friend of this blog, who gained access to them under the Access to Environmental Information Regulations.  Access was only granted following a number of Appeals to the Commissioner for Environmental Information; with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, further delaying release for three months despite the Commissioners decision.  We are heartened that the Commissioner in deciding that these documents should be released stated:

In my opinion, it is at least possible that disclosure of the withheld information would help the public to scrutinise the reasons put forward by politicians in delaying this important policy decision.  I therefore accept that this public interest argument would favour disclosure now, before a decision is made.

… if disclosure were to lead to a submission being made to the Department which was of such import that it could not be ignored, such a submission would appear to be highly important and very much in the public interest. There is a strong public interest in making the decision [in relation to the revised guidelines] as soon as possible, but there is also a strong public interest in getting it right.
For these reasons I am not persuaded that disclosure would be contrary to the public interest. As that is my conclusion, I must find that refusal to provide access to the withheld information is not justified on this ground.

With the Commissioners words ringing in our ears we are calling on our readers and followers to review, scrutinise and find flaws in the reasons relied upon by your politicians and policy makers.

We are also welcoming guest blogs on this issue and if any of you out there want to provide some much needed technical analysis of these documents and to publish on this blog (or to make a valuable submission to the Minister), please e-mail us at: cawt.donegal@gmail.com.

Enercon Forced to Accept Liability for Harm Caused to Neighbours of Irish Windfarm!

Families forced from homes due to wind farm noise win court case

A number of families in Co Cork who were forced to leave their homes because of noise from a nearby wind farm have won a significant case in the High Court this week.

The families claim they have been severely impacted by noise since the wind farm began operating in 2011.

This is the first action of its kind in Ireland and may now open many wind farm developers to the prospect of legal challenges from families in similar situations.

The case was taken against wind turbine manufacturer Enercon who have accepted full liability for causing nuisance to seven families who live up to 1km from the wind farm.

The case will return to the High Court in 2017 to discuss punitive damages.

Promises in Government over the last four years to introduce planning regulations regarding wind turbines have failed to materialize.

According to out-dated guidelines, turbines may be built 500m from homes. In many cases, including this, wind turbines have been built closer than 500m.

A spokesperson for Wind Aware Ireland said: “There now is a possibility for multiple legal actions against wind farms right around the country.

“The legal implications for the wind industry are significant. The use of inadequate and out-dated planning guidelines may come back to haunt the industry, planning authorities and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE).”

On election, Minister Naughten promised that new planning guidelines would be in place within 3 to 6 months of the formation of the new government.

Conference Warns: Health Effects of Wind Turbines, Should be Taken Seriously!

Sleep disturbance emerging as major public health concern, particularly affecting children and older people

Alun Evans, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology in Queens University, Belfast said it was “quite possible” if the Dublin array, a proposed €2 billion project which would see 145 wind turbines constructed 10km off the east coast, goes ahead that up to two million people could be exposed to infrasound, a “sizeable minority” of who could potentially experience sleep disturbance.  Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Alun Evans, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology in Queens University, Belfast said it was “quite possible” if the Dublin array, a proposed €2 billion project which would see 145 wind turbines constructed 10km off the east coast, goes ahead that up to two million people could be exposed to infrasound, a “sizeable minority” of who could potentially experience sleep disturbance. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

 Health studies into the effect of wind turbines on those living in their vicinity must be explored to prevent potential health problems, a conference on public health heard yesterday.

Alun Evans, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology in Queens University, Belfast was speaking at the 2014 Summer Scientific Meeting at the Royal College of Physicians the second day of which was held in Dublin yesterday.

He said it was “quite possible” if the Dublin array, a proposed €2 billion project which would see 145 wind turbines constructed 10km off the east coast, goes ahead that up to two million people could be exposed to infrasound, a “sizeable minority” of who could potentially experience sleep disturbances.

Prof Evans said there was “clear evidence” that, as the size of wind turbines had increased, so has the infrasound and low frequency sounds generated by them and that they were now emitting “serious amounts of noise”.

“When you measure them with the correct filters you find they are producing noise levels which are far above what’s supposed to be permitted,” he said.

He said while many people are not affected, that others could experience sleep disturbance, adding this in turn leads to increased blood pressure which he said is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Prof Evans said that, while he did not want to sound alarmist, the effects were such that they needed to be taken seriously and investigated further.

Quoting a 2009 WHO report on night noise, Prof Evans said sleep disturbance was emerging as one of the major public health concerns of the 20th century and something which particularly affected children and older people.

He said sleep was “absolutely essential, central to the normal physiological function of the brain and the body” and was necessary for facilitating learning.

However, he said the noise generated by wind turbines were particularly intrusive and incessant, describing it being “like a train that does not pass”.

Citing a 2012 editorial which he co-wrote with Chris Hanning, an honorary consultant in sleep medicine for the British Medical Journal, he said there could be no reasonable doubt that industrial wind turbines, either singly or in groups of wind farms, generated sufficient noise to disturb the sleep of those living nearby.

Prof Evans said wind turbine syndrome – a controversial term coined for the symptoms reportedly experienced by people living in the vicinity of windfarms including sleep disturbances, headaches, dizziness, nausea, tinnitus and inability to concentrate – was real and should be further explored.

He also pointed to other potential health implications including blade flicker and stress caused by impact on house prices, an inability to sell the property and impacts on the community.

Prof Evans said “proper evaluation and proper monitoring” of the potential effects of wind turbines, including cohort studies and smaller intervention studies needed to be carried out, including sleep laboratory studies.

He also called for the Government to carry out a full economic appraisal of wind turbines.

Windweasel Lies Not Fooling Anyone!!

Wind Power: Failing to “win hearts & minds” – or “when push comes to shove”

April 26, 2014 by  Leave a Comment

Wherever it tries to set up shop these days, the wind industry faces growing “community opposition”.

This “dreadful” phenomenon has arisen all over the world. Could the “soundtrack” to this video provide a clue, perhaps?

Covered in this post – Cape Bridgewater locals have not only had to tolerate an endless barrage of turbine generated low-frequency noise and infra-sound since 2008 but, for the last 3 years, long-suffering neighbours have also had to put up with an excruciating “screech” emitted by Pac Hydro’s giant fans and heard in the video, which has become a periodic feature of daily life at Cape Bridgewater since 2011. There has been more than just a little “community opposition” to Pac Hydro and its non-compliant operations at Cape Bridgewater. Funny about that.

Although to term what’s happening in communities around the world mere “opposition” is to understate the sentiment that led somewhere between 7,000-10,000 Irish protestors to hit the streets of Dublin a couple of weeks ago – on the offensive against the great wind power fraud there (see our post here).

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“Opposition” doesn’t explain 7,000 Irish protestors.

And it was something more than mere “opposition” that caused a group of normally timid Taiwanese – opposed to giant fans being lobbed into Yuanli Township, Miaoli County – to storm its Economic Ministry and stage a sit-in (see the story here). The crowd wasn’t large but they were, after all, taking their lives into their own hands – the last time this group protested about the project they were beaten to a pulp by a squad of the developer’s goons (see our post here).

Now that the wind industry and its parasites have been squarely rumbled on the fact that wind power represents the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time, their “sell” has become a whole lot harder.

Communities in Australia, Europe and North America are getting organised and fighting back hard. It’s not just “opposition” it’s a form of “seething outrage”.

A while back we likened the response of affected and threatened communities in Australia to the wind industry’s “Vietnam” – where, like the United State’s military – its people “on the ground” failed to “win the hearts and minds” of locals (see our post here).

Ecofascist bloggers have now started claiming that it’s all the developers’ fault because they failed to put enough effort into “community consultations”. Apparently, all these angry people need is a little more “education”. They need to be “corrected” in their red-necked, climate-change-denying ways so they can see more clearly the “wonders” of wind power. If they did “opposition” to wind power would melt away like snow in springtime. Ah, Stalin would be proud.

All that it takes, apparently, are some “well-oiled” words of wisdom on the “wonders of wind” (provided, of course, by the Clean Energy Council) – a cup of tea and some lamingtons.

Fine in theory, but in practice “community consultation” – when run by a team of determined thugs, liars and bullies merely serves to galvanize the majority of any threatened community firmly against the developer and what it’s trying to “sell” (see our post here).

Holding “consultations” where prospective turbine hosts literally beat up their opposition (as happened at the meeting run by CERES on Yorke Peninsula, SA in January last year) to prevent the “correct message” being spoiled by pesky questions from people who get the fact that the whole thing is a fraud of the highest order could be just a little “counter-productive” to efforts to “win hearts and minds” (see our post here).

And when the developer gets one of its goons to try to and infiltrate their opposition prior to a planning panel meeting by lying to locals about his identity in a series of emails – as RATCH’s Nick Valentine did (aka “Frank Bestic”) – the developer has probably already lost the “game” (see our posts here and here and here).

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Hey Frank, surely this will get ‘em back on side!

The communities set upon by the wind industry and its goons today aren’t the receptive audience they were even 12 months ago.

These people now have a keen and thorough understanding of the scale of the wind power fraud – both economic and environmental. They’re well aware that wind power can only ever be delivered at crazy, random intervals; that it disappears entirely from the grid hundreds of times each year; and, therefore, requires 100% of its capacity to be backed up 100% of the time from conventional generation sources.

And, they’re alive to the fact that when wind-watts go missing power consumers (which they all are) foot the bill for the insane costs of running fast start-up peaking power plants, mostly Open Cycle Gas Turbines which belt out of 3-4 times the CO2 per unit generated compared to coal/gas thermal and cost around $300 per MW/h to run (compared to $25 per MW/h for coal/thermal).

In Australia, they also understand that wind power generators secure guaranteed minimum payments from retailers with 15 year Power Purchase Agreements of between $90-120 per MW/h which is 3-4 times the cost of power from conventional generators. They’re onto the workings of the mandatory Renewable Energy Target and the fact that the Renewable Energy Certificates dished out under it have directed more than $8 billion from power consumers to wind power generators, with another $50 billion or so to head in the same direction over the next 17 years. And they haven’t missed that fact that all of that will be paid for by power consumers – killing (real) industries and punishing the families who can least afford it.

They’re also well aware that incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infra-sound will drive them nuts at night and result in sleep deprivation and other associated adverse health impacts – and that, as a result, they may well have to abandon their homes – just like 40 other Australian families already have (see our post here).

So, when the wind industry goon – or one of its parasites – stands up at a “community consultation” and starts telling a community that its time to “take one for the planet” these people are entitled to be more than just a little sceptical about the spruiker’s story – and maybe, just maybe, a little hostile to fact that they are being taken for fools.

But, these days, what incenses them most is that all of that insane cost – and all of that unnecessary suffering – is all for NOTHING – because, in the end result, wind power fails in it’s only purported justification: it cannot and will never reduce CO2 emissions in the electricity sector (see our posts here and here).

The Canadians are hip to the facts above and have mounted huge protests against the roll-out of giant fans in Ontario (see our post here).

In Ontario, thousands of individuals have taken up the cudgels, forming hundreds of groups and launching dozens of websites – no doubt spurred on by the thuggish treatment dished out by local wind weasel, Nextera aka Next-terror to a diminutive young mother named Esther Wrightman (see our posts here and here).

Well, Next-terror – true to name and form – is at it again with its latest project causing the local community to fight back, with some of them taking matters into their own hands.

Wind farm approval sparks rage
petroliatopic.com
Lynda Hillman-Rapley, QMI Agency
21 April 2014

The recent green light given the Jericho Wind Project has some demonstrators seeing red.

What had been peaceful demonstrations has now turned to anger, vandalism and criminal charges since energy company Nextera received its approval recently to build a 92-turbine industrial wind farm in Lambton and Middlesex counties.

That OK may have prompted the graffiti splashed on Grand Bend Highway 21 businesses and the municipal sign April 18.

The entry sign north to the Caldwell Banking sign “Stop wind power” was clearly written in red paint. At the Ausable Inn, one car was splashed in red paint and the tires slashed.

When asked if she was aware of the damage in Grand Bend and if her group of protesters had any knowledge of who did the spray painting, Lambton Shores resident Laureen Maurizio replied the act was deplorable and destructive and there would be “hell to pay” if she found out it was one of their protesters.

“We are here to educate; not aggravate,” she said.

Fellow protester Bob Lewis said while they have always displayed peaceful demonstrations, he could see that changing and become aggressive or violent as people become more frustrated.

The OPP charged two protesters recently with assault and uttering threats following aMarch 18 meeting at South Huron council.

“This whole Green Energy Act is unconstitutional! It was done in a manner that prevented public input and impeded the democratic oath taken by government officials,” said Maurizio.

She has called on council to request the Ontario Ombudsman to launch a criminal investigation into the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Ontario Energy Board, Ontario Power Generation, Hydro One and the Ministry of Environment, as it relates to the Green Energy Act.

Bill Weber, mayor of the Municipality of Lambton Shores, told the QMI Agency “it’s disappointing that it would come to this in Lambton Shores.”

Even more frustrating for Weber is that the municipality – which includes Grand Bend – is one of nearly 100 unwilling host communities in Ontario.

The municipality has been fighting to keep turbines out of the community and stands largely on the same side as those in the anti-wind movement.

“Everyone understands the frustration that the anti-wind people have, that’s the frustration the municipality has with the Green Energy Act,” Weber said, adding he does not believe this destruction helps to further the protesters’ cause.

Provincial approval to build 92 new wind turbines near Grand Bend was handed down recently and although Grand Bend is not directly involved in the wind debate, yet, the businesses may have been targeted because they are close to homes and apartments being rented by wind company employees.

“The OPP understands this is a very sensitive issue in our communities. Bottom line is, it’s mischief, it’s against the law and we’re not going to tolerate this,” said Lambton County OPP Const. Chrystal Jones.

Weighing in on social media, one poster said “Shameful! This is not about wind power being a good or bad thing – this is about morons out vandalizing neigbourhoods!”

Another agreed, stating “Did they think this was going to change anything? What a bunch of fools!”

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment has issued a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) for the company’s proposal to build a 150-megawatt wind farm spanning Lambton Shores, Warwick Township and North Middlesex.

Some final details still need to be worked out, but construction of the Jericho Wind Energy Centre is expected to begin as soon as possible, said Ben Greenhouse, director of development with Nextera Energy Canada.

The project has been in the works since 2008, he said, and was submitted for ministry approval 14 months ago.

“We’re excited,” he said, noting a laydown yard — headquarters for construction — will soon be built on Thomson Line, north of Jericho Road and south of Northville Road.

But not everyone is enthused about the approval.

Lambton Shores resident Marcelle Brooks, with the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, has been a vocal opponent of the project.

“It was just devastating that our voices simply aren’t being heard.”

Members of the Lakeshore Coalition met with the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group to discuss what actions can be taken to appeal the decision.

“The fight isn’t over yet,” Brooks said. “The ministry’s working against us; we have industry working against us. But we’re fighting for our homes, for our communities.”
petroliatopic.com

While the spokespeople for the community groups quoted above are right to deplore the vandalism committed by a few hotheads, it won’t be the last time people from affected or threatened communities take the law into their own hands.

These people are, quite rightly, angry; and, funnily enough, angry people sometimes react angrily. When faced with institutional corruption and entrenched government-endorsed treachery, lies and deceit – the better angels of patience, reason and rationality can end up taking a backseat.

But, there have been more than a few occasions in human history where citizens have tossed patience and reason aside and risen against the tyranny of the state – and the powerful few that have benefited handsomely from that tyranny. And very few of those scores were settled over cups of tea and lamingtons.

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If only Marie Antoinette had told them to eat lamingtons, instead.

Ireland fighting back against wind turbines!

Wind energy ‘ineffective’ at reducing CO2 emissions, group claims

Wind Aware Ireland says Ireland must not be turned into a ‘pin cushion’ for pylons

10th April 2014
By.Sorcha Pollak

Non-profit Wind Aware Ireland (WAI) has launched a website calling on the Government to reform its “unsustainable” wind energy policy. WAI argues that wind energy doesn’t reduce CO2 emissions “in any meaningful way” and actually makes wind energy more expensive.

“Wind produces little or no energy 70 per cent of time,” said WAI chairperson Henry Fingleton. He argues that after 20 years of investment in wind energy, we’re only saving around 2 per cent on overall fuel imports.

Wind energy also requires a permanent backup called “spinning reserve” which allows gas and coal plants to run in the background in case the wind dies. This further reduces the quantity of saved energy.

Mr Fingleton says energy projects need to be “environmentally, economically and socially” sustainable.

“The current debate has largely focused on community concerns about noisy turbines, reduced property values, damaged landscapes and the health impacts of living close to turbines or pylons, ” he said.

“The debate on wind energy must be widened,” he added. “If wind energy is ineffective at reducing CO2, why are we having a conversation about location of turbines and pylons?”

He says the current Government policy, which he calls “shoddy and flawed”, has failed to carry out a proper cost benefit analysis of wind energy initiatives.

Labour Senator John Whelan, who spoke at the website launch, claims the planning guidelines for wind farms have been “kicked to touch” until after the elections.

“This is a developer led project to make a small number of people wealthy at the expense of our tourism, our landscape, our visual amenity and our agri-food sector,” Mr Whelan said.

He added that wind energy is not a midlands or local issue. “It concerns every citizen in this country not to destroy the landscape and turn it into a pin cushion for turbines and pylons.”

According to director of Social Justice Ireland Father Sean Healy, climate change is the “game changer of the 21st century”.

“We need genuine engagement and more deliberative democracy, not this pretence that people are being consulted” he said, adding that the Irish Government needs to develop an “integrated and global” approach to the growing problem of climate change.

The Irish Wind Energy Association has expressed concern that the WAI are using inaccurate and selective information to fuel negative misconceptions about wind energy.

“The campaign launched today overlooks the considerable economic and social benefits wind energy development has brought, and will bring, to Ireland, which includes many thousands of jobs,” said Kenneth Matthews, CEO of IWEA.

“Wind energy is by far the best renewable energy source to help Ireland achieve its objectives and the alternatives proposed by anti wind energy groups are simply not viable.