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

The Wind Turbine Scam is Destroying Our Economies, as Well as Our Communities!

Professor Ross McKitrick: Wind turbines don’t run on wind, they run on subsidies.

economics101

As STT followers are acutely aware, wind power is an economic and environmental fraud. Because wind power can only ever be delivered at crazy, random intervals – and, therefore, never “on-demand” – it will never be a substitute for those generation sources which are – ie hydro, nuclear, gas and coal (see our posts here and here and here and hereand here and here and here and here).

Were it not for government mandates – backed by a constant and colossal stream of subsidies (see our post here) – wind power generators would never dispatch a single spark to the grid, as they would never find a customer that would accept power delivered 30% of the time (at best) on terms where the vendor can never tell customers just when that power might be delivered – if at all (see our post here).

Ultimately, it’ll be the inherently flawed economics of wind power that will bring the greatest rort of all time to an end. The policies that created the wind industry are simply unsustainable and, inevitably, will either fail or be scrapped.

The Canadians are reeling under the ludicrous wind power policies of a hard-green-left Liberal government, clearly intent on committing economic suicide. Power prices – driven by exorbitant guaranteed rates to wind power outfits – have rocketed – tripling in less than a decade, driving energy intensive businesses – like manufacturing – out of business or offshore – stifling business investment – killing off or threatening thousands of sustainable (unsubsidised) jobs across Canada and otherwise creating economic chaos (see our post here).

The scale and scope of Canada’s wind power disaster hasn’t been lost on top energy market economists, like Ontario’s Professor Ross McKitrickfrom the University of Guelph.

Downwind - Ross McKitrick - Uni of Guelph (Time 0_06_00;22)

Ross was interviewed for the brilliant Sun News documentary ‘Down Wind’ by presenter, Rebecca Thompson, which has been extracted in the video below. The transcript appears below.

****

Downwind – Ross McKitrick – Uni of Guelph

Downwind – Ross McKitrick – Uni of Guelph

 

Rebecca Thompson: First we turn to Professor Ross McKitrick, an economist. He recently published a very scathing review of how economically unsound the Ontario Liberal government’s Green Energy Act is.

Professor Ross McKitrick: Well the important thing to understand about wind turbines is that they don’t run on wind, they run on subsidies.

Rebecca Thompson:  We went to see McKitrick at the University of Guelph.

Professor Ross McKitrick:  All the arguments that they’ve put forward for the Green Energy Act they really turned out to be phoney once we looked at them closely. They said that it would improve the economy, reduce air pollution emissions and it would replace coal fired power. And the problem is with the first one, it is not going to improve the economy because of what you are doing is replacing power that costs 3 to 5 cents per kilowatt hour to generate, and you’re replacing it with power that costs at least 13 1/2 cents per kilowatt hour to generate. So you’re raising the cost of doing business, it will drive down the rate of return in manufacturing and mining and that has to translate into job losses and reduced investment and shrinking the economy.

Rebecca Thompson: So you’ve pointed out that wind energy in fact, isn’t in the public interest in the short term but will it be in the long term?

Professor Ross McKitrick:  Nobody was building wind turbines in Ontario until the government started throwing money at it. It is not a profitable source of electricity, it’s not cost-effective. Wind turbines can’t compete on the wholesale market without a lot of government support.

Rebecca Thompson: The system used to fund wind energy in many places around the world is called a Feed-In-Tariff (FIT).

Professor Ross McKitrick:  And that means if you build a bank of wind turbines somewhere, and you get the contract that everyone is looking for you get a guarantee of 20 years being paid 13 1/2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the electricity that’s generated while the wholesale rate in Ontario is typically between 2 – 4 cents per kilowatt hour.

Rebecca Thompson: The Ontario government piggybacked off what is a European idea of a feed in tariff policy where the prices are locked in for 20 year contracts. And here’s another head scratcher …

Professor Ross McKitrick: The other provision of the contracts is that the system has to buy the power from you whenever you produce it. So the standard power plants, nuclear plants and hydro plants and so forth – there is no guarantee for them to buy their power, they have to compete on a wholesale market they have to price their product, in this case electricity, so that the system operator will buy it. With wind turbines, if the blades are running, the system operator has to buy it. Now they have adjusted that slightly in the last year because of this problem of the system operator being forced to buy tons and tons of power when it doesn’t need it, at 13 1/2 cents per kilowatt hour and sell it on the export market at one or two cents per kilowatt-hour – it was costing hundreds of millions of dollars a year for the system operator to do that. So the province now allows the system operator to reject some of the power that the wind turbines produce and instead the province will pay the wind turbine owners a benefit for what they call ‘deemed production’. So it’s really just transferred that same costs on to the taxpayer now.

Rebecca Thompson: The bottom line is pretty good for the wind energy sector.

Professor Ross McKitrick:  They get a 20 year contract to sell wind power at far above market rates and it doesn’t matter that they are generating power at times when the province absolutely doesn’t need it, and we can’t use it, and we just have to try to find some neighbouring jurisdiction to buy it from us. We used to have a few large power plants in Ontario and we had our grid that was optimised to source electricity from a few large central locations. We’re now shutting down the large central locations and replacing them with this proliferation of tiny little unreliable wind farms and you have to build a whole new grid to accommodate that. So that’s again an extra cost to get something that we already had.

Rebecca Thompson: What’s more is that the Green Energy Act hasn’t even come close to creating the number of jobs the Liberals claimed it would.

Professor Ross McKitrick: It turned out that the province had claimed that there were going to be 50,000 new jobs created from the Green Energy Act. When the Auditor General asks them to back that up because it doesn’t really make sense that this would create any jobs – what they admitted was they were really talking about were temporary construction jobs – as you put up wind turbines you need some workers in to do that. But then once the wind turbines are built, then those jobs disappear and there are no ongoing jobs. In economics, it’s an old fallacy, what’s called the broken window fallacy. If you go around breaking shopkeeper’s windows, since they have to hire repair people to fix the windows then you’ve somehow improved the economy. But, you haven’t. All you have done is increase the cost of having what you had before – which was windows in stores.

Rebecca Thompson: If the new shift to green power is so inefficient why hasn’t anyone working in the system spoken out?

Professor Ross McKitrick:  There are a couple of reasons. The power workers union has spent money on advertisements. They did try to fight against the closing of Lambton and Nanticoke – they understood that this was a bad deal for the workers in the province. But they did want they could. But it’s hard to be up against a government that is pushing so much propaganda on coal. There were people certainly in the power generating sector that understood that the government’s numbers weren’t correct and didn’t add up. But, they were effectively muzzled.

Rebecca Thompson: McKitrick speaks to people all the time about the changes in the system.

Professor Ross McKitrick:  I do find people working in the power sector, they know that this is a crazy system. These wind farms are displacing hydro electricity which is just a waste on every level because we have the hydroelectric facilities, they don’t generate any air pollution emissions. They give us reliable, predictable baseload power. And now we run wind turbines and let those hydro-facilities sit idle. So people who work in the sector, they can see what’s going on and they know that this is a waste. But, for understandable reasons they’re not about to make a big noise about it because they could lose their jobs if they do.

Rebecca Thompson: Whether any government would actually be able to get out of existing contracts is debatable. Ross McKitrick says it’s possible.

Professor Ross McKitrick: One option might be to buy out some of the wind turbine companies and take those wind turbines off the grid, or only use their power when they’re competitive. In Europe, what governments have started to do though is put on special new taxes on renewable sources, solar and wind, to try and recover some of these costs. Alternatively, the government may look to try and tear up the contracts and accept the legal liability that goes with it, but it’s not going to be easy.
Sun News: Down Wind

Down Wind, which runs for 96 minutes, can be purchased as a file and downloaded or as a DVD for those in the US and Canada (here’s the link). For those outside the US and Canada the file can be purchased and downloaded (using this link). If you’re in there fighting the great wind power fraud, Down Wind is essential viewing.

For a detailed synopsis of Down Wind – see our post here.

down wind

The People of Ontario Want, and Deserve, Some Straight Answers!

 

Eric Jelinski
Eric Jelinski 9:38pm Aug 12
Sharing a letter that a friend has sent to Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Energy,

Dear Minister Chiarelli,

RE: Electricity Questions:

As you may or may not be aware for the past several years I have taken an interest (some would say compulsive) in the electricity sector and during that time have written extensively in several media outlets including the Financial Post. I also took directorships in organizations like Energy Probe and Wind Concerns Ontario both of whom have expressed concern about the aggressive push, by your government, for the addition of unreliable, intermittent and expensive wind and solar electricity generation. This letter is not meant to argue your support or otherwise of “renewable energy” but to present questions that baffle me and many others. The questions are outcrops of the various legislative and regulatory changes the OLP have made from within your ministry since first elected as the governing party in 2003. The questions below are begging for answers so I would greatly appreciate your giving serious thought to them and recognize that the intent is for enlightenment. Convince me and others that your Ministry does have a plan that will present industry with competitive electricity pricing without driving residential ratepayers into “energy poverty”!

Here are my questions:

Q.1.The Ontario government hands out up to $8,500 to purchasers of EVs (electric vehicles) if they buy a high end $85,000 Tesla automobile and presumably don’t collect an “ecotax” but if an Ontario resident purchases a 12 volt replacement battery for their car they pay $15.00. A Telsa battery is 375 volts so shouldn’t your government be collecting an ecotax of $470.00 from the buyer instead of handing out $8,500 as a grant?

Q.2.Why do all of the local distribution companies (LDC) hand out discount coupons encouraging us to purchase CFL bulbs that contains mercury; a deadly toxin and where the packaging suggests you almost have to use a hazmat suit if it breaks to clean it up?

Q.3.Why does the Ontario Ministry of Energy classify “conservation” as a generation source of electricity if we can’t plug our toaster into an outlet powered by “conservation” that will actually toast it?

Q.4.What grid is “conservation” generation connected to and is any of it exported?

Q.5.Why did you, as Energy Minister, order the creation of a service “Stream” that offers large industrial companies very cheap rates, for “consuming more electricity” when the rest of Ontario is told to “conserve?

Q.6.Why is the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) allowed to claim they will pick up your “old” fridge or freezer for “FREE” when they know the costs to pick them up are billed to the ratepayers via the Global Adjustment Mechanism (GAM)?

Q.7.Why do all the TV, radio and newspaper ads that the OPA and the LDCs contract for in the media, at the end of the commercial, say or state: “paid for by the OPA” when the truth is that the ads are “paid for by the ratepayers of Ontario via the GAM?

Q.8.Why are average ratepayers obliged to pay the costs of meteorological stations erected at industrial wind turbine installations to measure the electricity they may have generated but are being paid to NOT PRODUCE power?

Q.9.Why is the 36 page submission to the OEB (EB-2013-0326) by the OPA for the $483.4 million “Conservation” spending planned for 2014 considered a “business plan” when they have no specific information on the makeup of that almost $500 million spending of ratepayer dollars?

Q.10.Why does the term “Global Adjustment Mechanism” contain the word “Global” when the makeup of the GAM is all driven by the contracts signed by the OPA and other directives/regulations issued by the Ministry of Energy and apply only to Ontario’s ratepayers?

Q.11.Why is the 10% reduction on our electricity bills (due to expire December 31, 2015) referred to as a “Clean” Energy Benefit when it is a benefit that is the responsibility of the taxpayers; so shouldn’t it be labeled a “Taxpayer Energy Benefit?

Q.12.Why are consumers of electricity charged for electricity they never consumed, ie; “line losses”, no matter how far they are from the generator of that electricity and why has it been moved from the “electricity” line to the “delivery” line on our bills?

Q.13. Don’t you think this (Q.12.) is something that David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services should look into and perhaps seek clarification on Q.6. And Q.7?

Q.14.Why hand out grants (funded by Ontario’s ratepayers via the GAM) of $650 towards the installation of energy efficient air conditioners while handing out only $431.76 on average (2012) to a only a few (.002% ) ratepayers suffering from “energy poverty” and may have to freeze in the cold or forgo nutritious food because their local distribution company has cut or threatened to cut their power?

Q.15.Why did you claim Ontario had generated a $6 billion profit from selling our excess electricity via the export market when that number was simply what we received for selling excess power that ratepayers had paid for at prices that were multiples of the $6 billion?

Q.16.Why did George Smitherman negotiate that “sole sourced” Samsung contract without the company having demonstrated any previous expertise in the generation of electricity from either wind or solar?

I have many more questions related to the activities of your Ministry over the past decade but have kept the list relatively short so I sincerely hope you will have the time to answer the few that I have raised. With the legislative recess set to go through to October 20, 2014 it would appear that you or your Ministry staff will have more than sufficient time to respond.

On another note some of my questions are directed at the Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change who are responsible for the issuing of the Renewable Energy Approvals (REA). Rather than writing a separate letter to Minister Murray I would appreciate it if you could have someone in your office co-ordinate his Ministry’s response. I have copied him via his e-mail address but for your edification here are those questions!

Questions for your colleague, Glen Murray in the Ministry of the Environment Chair:

Q. 1. Why does the Ministry of the Environment [and Climate Change] issue Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) when the applications are incomplete and lacking in the detail required under the rules/regulations established under the Green Energy and Economy Act?

Q.2. Why is the MoE not equipped to measure “infra-sound” when it has been found to be a major issue in many jurisdictions; causing health problems and is measurable?

Q.3. Why is the MoE unable to order compliance requirements to wind turbine developers when their “audible” noise limits exceed the guidelines/rules established?

Q.4. Why does the MoE issue REAs that are located in Important Bird Areas (IBA) that may endanger many “species at risk”?

I wish to thank you, Minister Chiarelli and Minister Murray, in advance, for your anticipated cogent reply to each of my questions as it will assist me and many of my friends, relatives and media followers in understanding exactly what it is that the Ontario Liberal Party is attempting to do with the Energy sector in the Province. The impact of the “sea change” that has occurred in the “Energy” portfolio are immense, affecting so many facets of the lives of the residents of the province. The latter point is particularly noticeable when toting up the directives (85) that the Ministry has issued to just the OPA since that entity was created by one of your predecessors, Dwight Duncan, in the Energy chair you now occupy. Many other directives/letters have been issued to the OEB, the OPG and Hydro One so it is obvious that there is a plan. I believe it is important to convey to the residents and voters exactly what that “plan” is and why it has been enacted in Ontario but is being abandoned elsewhere around the world.

I await your edification!

Wind Industry Tries To Silence Dissenters. No Truth Allowed!

Top Professor Fired for Exposing Huge Wind Energy Scam

wind-farm-landHenrik Møller, Denmark’s leading academic expert on noise research, has been fired by his university after exposing a far-reaching cover up by the Danish government of the health risks caused by wind turbine noise pollution. 

Shock and outrage at this latest example of the heavey-handed cover up of government-backed junk science has brought strong condemnation from independent scientists. John Droz Jr, a respected critic of wind farms, has issued the following condemnatory response:

As you probably know, a passion of mine is defending my profession (Science) from assault.

This is approaching a full-time job, as those promoting political or economic agendas are painfully aware that real Science is a major threat to their aspirations — so they are aggressively attacking it on multiple fronts. (See ScienceUnderAssault.info.)

We now have yet another distressing example, where a leading scientist has lost his job — apparently for the crime of being a conscientious, competent academic, focused on quality research (instead of chasing grant money).

Dr. Henrik Møller, is an world-renown expert on infra-sound, and has published several high-quality studies on low-frequency acoustics (like hereherehere, and here). More recently, some of these have dealt with industrial wind energy noise (e.g. here — which was peer-reviewed).

He has been praised as Denmark’s “leading noise researcher.” What’s even more important is that he has been courageous enough to have publicly spoken out against poor government policies, as well as the misinformation disseminated from the wind energy cartel.

In Denmark there have been several newspaper reports about this surprising firing, but I’m sending this to the AWED list as such an event should have much wider coverage.Here are English translations of a few Danish articles (I have the originals as well). It seems to me that some of the key points made in them are:

— Dr. Møller has had thirty eight (38) years of distinguished service for Aalborg University.

— Ironically, this institution publicly prides itself as looking out for its professors: “At Aalborg University we focus intensively on staff welfare and job satisfaction.”

— He was the only one of 200± researchers at the Department of Electronic Systems in Aalborg who was let go…

— The purported reason for his firing, is that the professor is no longer “financially lucrative” for the university…

— Despite claiming that the termination was due to a shortage of funds, the university had recently hired two additional people in the same department…

— Dr. Møller’s reasoned responses were:

1) During the last year he may not have produced that much income, but in many other years his work resulted in substantial profit to the university.

2) Statistically, approximately half of the faculty would be operating at a loss — so why single him out?

3) In his prior 38 years of employment, and reviews, he was never informed that his job was solely dependent on outside funding.

4) Additionally, prior to the sacking, he had not been informed that his income production was a problem that need to be addressed — giving him a chance to do so.

— The Danish Society of Engineers, and the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs, have gone on record stating that it is unreasonable to dismiss researchers due to a lack of grants. Furthermore they reportedly said such a policy is contrary to the Danish University Act, which specifies that the purpose of research is to promote education, not to be a profit-making venture…

— The VP of the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations stated that it’s rare that a Danish professor is fired.

— It has been reported that the wind industry has frequently complained about Dr. Møller to his boss (Dean Eskild Holm Nielsen)…

— Consider this: the same Dean Nielsen was a keynote speaker at the Wind Industry Association’s meeting, the day after he fired Dr. Møller!

— As one article explains, this termination might have also come from the fact that the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has a very close association with the wind industry, and that Dr. Møller’s scientific research had resulted in embarrassing revelations.

— The same article states that with Dr. Møller out of the picture, wind industry friendly DTU will now take over responsibility for assessing acoustical impacts of industrial wind turbines on Danish citizens. (I wonder what conclusions they will reach?)

As one report accurately stated: it takes courage for academics to focus on scientific research, instead of pursuing outside funding.

Please consider writing a short, polite email to Dr. Møller’s boss (the person who fired him), Dean Nielsen (dekan-teknat@adm.aau.dk),  objecting to this shameful termination. It would be helpful to cc a reporter at an important Danish newspaper: Axel Pihl-Andersen (axel.andersen@jp.dk), and bcc Dr. Møller (henrikmoeller2@gmail.com).

Regards,

John Droz, Jr.

Physicist & Environmental Advocate

PS — Although his studies on industrial wind energy only comprise a small amount of his thirty eight years of academic work, they may have resulted in the most notoriety.

Since many of the people on this list are interested in that topic, here are a few other examples of Dr. Møller’s work related to wind energy, in his words:

1) We made an analyses of a wind project in Maastricht, planned to possibly have turbines from a Danish company. The City Council stopped the project after our report — a result that did not make us popular with the Danish wind industry.

2) A reason why we seem to be a nuisance to the wind industry in Denmark is that we keep finding errors in noise calculations and evaluations. As an example, we found serious errors in the environmental impact assessment behind a new law on a wind turbine test center, and the law had to be changed.

3) We also revealed that in a big Vestas promotion, they mixed up two acoustical terms (and Vestas had to change part of their campaign). I’m afraid there are only Danish newspaper articles about that — which is unfortunate, because it was quite funny.

4) We also criticized Danish regulation of wind turbine noise, which resulted in feature articles in Danish newspapers. I am not sure if others have been translated, but here is one example.

5) We also put together some web pages about the Danish wind regulations, which made the wind industry complain about me to the Dean (again).

Windweasels Think The Rules are made to be Broken!

Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman calling on energy minister to make wind farm proposal transparent

By Tara Bowie, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman

Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman

 

Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman is calling on the minister of energy to make wind farm proposal processes more transparent to the public and specifically provide information requested about the local Gunn’s Hill wind farm proposal.

“Firstly, I would like to reiterate my position that it is unacceptable that approvals such as this one do not require municipal approval and public consent. In addition, applications can be changed without public involvement, as has happened with the Prowind application,” Hardeman wrote in the letter addressed to Bob Chiarelli, minister of energy.

“East Oxford Community Alliance, a community group opposing the Gunn’s Hill development, has found 26 pages of discrepancies, incomplete documents and inaccuracies yet the ministry has deemed the application complete.”

Hardeman also requested the minister explain why his office has not provided information on the grid connection change proposal, and provided concerns that his constituents are now engaged in costly and lengthy Freedom of Information requests.

Discrepancies and incomplete documents include what Prowind Canada Inc. spokesperson Juan Anderson calls a “small administrative error” of inverting the digits of a location for one turbine proposed for the now 18-megawatt project.

The error located on the paper plans puts one of the turbines about 26 metres from what would be its physical location if the proposal receives approval.

In addition to this error, a previous noise study was included when the proposal was officially changed to reflect the use of a different wind turbine model than the original application. The change of wind turbine model decreases the megawatts of the project from 25 megawatts to 18 megawatts.

Anderson explained as the size of the turbines decreased, so did the noise impact of the project, so public comment did not to be reopened.

“We waited for the ministry’s direction on how to correct the fact we did not have the correct noise report. We actually asked to post for public comment. We re-opened public comment to Aug. 8,” he said.

Anderson explained the change in turbine models came when it was realized the small project might be waitlisted and not able to get the blades when needed.

At the same time, the turbine models were changed, Prowind changed its proposal regarding how the project would connect to the electrical grid.

Originally the project would be cabled to the nearest transmission station, near Woodstock. Now the connection site is much closer and does not require cabling.

The East Oxford Community Alliance has a pending Freedom of Information request regarding correspondence between the Ministry of Energy, Hydro One, and the Ontario Power Authority.

As of most recent correspondence, the request will cost almost $800 to complete and take an additional five months to prepare.

“We can’t get our hands on any document the proponent says is complete and accurate … everything has changed and its no longer the same project. This should be concerning to the public and it makes it difficult to provide public input when all the information is not there,” Joan Morris from the East Oxford Community Alliance said.

 

Wind Developers Always Try to Conceal the Facts!

East Oxford group files FOI for wind farm details

By Jennifer Vandermeer, Norwich Gazette/IngersollTimes

The alliance (EOCA) has filed Freedom of Information requests and asked the Ontario Ombudsman to look into it because of the number of changes that have been made to the project without due process for the public to participate.

Joan Morris, spokesperson for EOCA, said one issue is the “substantive changes” to the project since it was first filed with the MOE and considered complete and accurate.

“A change to the project area was announced to the public only four days before the application was deemed complete by the Ministry on February 7, 2014,” Morris also said in a press release. “Apart from a cover page from the Ministry of Environment, none of the documents for public review and comment were modified to account for the changes.”

Morris said this left hundreds of pages of irrelevant information in the project proposal, with the public left to figure out what information remained relevant.

“It’s impossible for the public to even know what this will look like,” she said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon.

In the EOCA’s letter to the Ontario Ombudsman’s office, the group also points out that it has identified many inaccuracies, deficiencies and out-dated information in the proponent’s documentation.

The ministry deemed the Renewable Energy Approval documentation for the Gunn’s Hill project to be complete despite a change in the project announced only four days before posting it to the Environmental Registry.

“This is unacceptable,” the letter states.

“Our legal advice suggests that it appears the Ministry of Environment has not only allowed this to occur, but has participated in this process by providing the developer with a cover letter absolving the developer of the obligation to revise documents prior to… posting,” the letter further states, before asking the Ombudsman’s office to investigate the process of decision-making the MOE uses regarding renewable energy projects.

This action by EOCA comes at the same time Wind Concerns Ontario sent its own letter asking the Ombudsman to investigate aspects of the approval process for wind power projects that have been deemed complete but do not include all information.