January 18, 2005

Website will 'blow away myths' about windfarms

The Scottish government has announced plans for a web site to give people "'the hard facts' on renewables and wind energy and allow for informed debate -- something pro- and anti-windfarm campaigners have long called for." They say it will "blow away the myths."

But it will attack only charges by opponents. It will leave untouched all claims made by supporters. It will also feature long-refuted polls showing public support, even as they receive thousands of letters opposing the proposed wind farm in Lewis.

Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace, in announcing the site, urged those opposed to wind energy to "engage in a debate based on the facts." Ah, Mr. Wallace, that is in fact what we ask of you. Republishing on a government site the trade group British Wind Energy Association's spiel does not make it true.

On Greenpeace U.K.'s Yes2Wind forum, a simple question was recently posted: "I gather that the question is whether whatever benefit they provide is worth the expense and impact of their construction. Can someone cite some data showing how much fossil and nuclear fuel use has been reduced where wind farms are operating?" There has yet to be an answer.

Nobody arguing for utility-scale wind power has been able to cite such basic data to support their claims. It seems, Mr. Wallace, that it is you and your friends in the wind biz who are averse to facts.