Wind Farm Realities
Wind energy was, at least intuitively, so promising! Most of us know we can’t keep doing what we’re doing – burning through all the fossil fuels we can find – and wind seems to promise a carbon-free, inexhaustible and benign source that doesn’t send money overseas.
As much as all of us would want this rosy picture to be true, the actual evidence so far paints a far different picture. Many people will resist hearing this bad news, but evidence is a better guide to reality than wishful thinking. And the existing evidence says that wind energy has no redeeming value while its downsides are substantial.
The first indication of the failings of wind energy was when the temerity to actually read the references that the wind industry used to “prove” how beneficial and benign wind was. As an example, if you read AWEA’s “Fact Sheet” on 20% by 2030, it claims a savings of 825 million tons of CO2. But if you follow the references to find out how they got that number, you find out that AWEA itself was ultimately responsible for it. Worse, that number was not based on any actual measurements – they simply assumed any energy created by wind automatically lessened emissions by an equal amount, an assumption we know is untrue.
One more depressing observation is that the wind energy movement has acquired almost a religious following, where faith is more important than real-world facts. But while our souls’ origin and destiny may not be knowable, surely the effects of wind turbines on our power grid and environment are. In almost every aspect of wind energy the serious "SCIENTIFIC" studies that would be needed to settle these issues have simply not been done (or at least, not published).
We are in need of:
A study that confirms the carbon dioxide savings advertised by the wind energy industry, based on real measurements on a real grid. You’d think that at least in Germany or Denmark, and maybe Texas or Spain, such figures would be available, but they aren’t. And the more you look into the details and the actual evidence, the more you suspect there’s no savings at all.
A study that shows wind turbine noise levels actually conform to the models that are used to place them. There are several studies that show that too often they don’t, and the complaints from neighbors are growing.
Not only health risks are a factor but financial risks are being impacted by wind turbines. Take Edward and Gail Kenney for instance; They are an Ontario couple who launched a case arguing that nearby wind turbines devalued their waterfront home and should be a factor in their property assessment but they have lost the challenge. The couple has lived on Wolfe Island for 48 years and appealed their property tax assessments on the grounds that the 86 wind turbines erected around their home brought unwanted noise and posed a health concern. The Kenneys' property tax assessment was set at $357,000 in 2010. They had said there had been virtually no real estate sales from over a three-year period near the turbines on Wolfe Island.
As more (and no longer just anecdotal) reports come in, the effects continue to look worse and worse. The fact that we are spending billions of dollars without any empirical indication it will do anything but further destroy our environment is a problem in itself, indicating a real lack of scientific proficiency. In spite of conclusive studies not being available, there is enough evidence to form solid opinions on the various issues relating to the wind energy industry, and as much as wind turbines seem truly effective and benign, the evidence points differently.