Showing posts with label windpower. Show all posts
Showing posts with label windpower. Show all posts

April 5, 2019

Trump said that wind turbines cause cancer!

Do stress and lack of sleep contribute to the development of cancer, as with other diseases?  Yes.

Does wind turbine noise raise stress levels and disrupt sleep?  Yes.

The World Health Organization has recognized the importance to health of uninterrupted sleep and has recommended outdoor noise limits for wind turbines: <>

It’s very difficult to be definite about any environmentally caused illness, because so many variables are involved. But reports have been consistent since around 2000, when the size of wind turbines increased dramatically, of many people suffering a similar set of symptoms after nearby wind turbines start operating. When they leave the area, they experience relief from the overt symptoms (eg, headache, dizziness, feeling of pressure, stress, depression, irritability). The cause is thus quite obvious.

Pets and other animals are similarly affected.

Dr. Nina Pierpont coined the term “Wind Turbine Syndrome” for those symptoms, which also include sleep disturbance and deprivation, tinnitus (ringing in ears), ear pressure, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia (fast heart rate), irritability, problems with concentration and memory, and panic episodes associated with sensations of movement or quivering inside the body. She attributed these effects to inner ear disturbances caused by infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN), akin to motion sickness.

As with motion sickness, people have different sensitivities, which also complicates the epidemiology.

Interested acoustical engineers then began measuring ILFN near large wind turbines and did indeed find that pulsing ILFN is a characteristic component of their noise.

In fact, the phenomenon had been documented in the early 1980s by NASA scientists investigating complaints by neighbors of an experimental large wind turbine (which size was not available commercially until around 2000).

See: “Health Effects of Noise from Large Wind Turbines

In December 2011, Denmark added a 20-dBA limit on low-frequency noise (10–160 Hz) inside homes.

In Portugal, researchers led by Mariana Alves-Pereira have studied longer-term physical changes in the lungs, heart, and muscles caused by ILFN. They called it “vibroacoustic disease” and have documented conditions near wind turbines that are as bad as for the cases they studied of people living near heavy industrial sites.

The science is still relatively new, but the effect of noise, whether audible or infrasonic, is increasingly recognized as a valid concern in siting wind turbines near homes and places of work.

For example, in 2017 Vermont implemented a nighttime limit of 39 dBA 100 feet from any nonparticipating residence with the goal of keeping the interior sound level below 30 dBA. See also: <>

[Also see: Wind farms do make you sick” (Irish Daily Mail, 16 Oct 2015)]

March 10, 2018

Wind power does not reduce CO₂ emissions.

“In a wind-thermal system, production variations from the intermittent character of wind power results in an increase in system costs and a decrease in the efficiency of wind power as a means to reduce CO₂-emissions from the system. This effect gets increasingly pronounced with increased levels of wind power grid penetration and is due to the adjustment in production pattern of the thermal units to the variations in wind power production. As wind power grid penetration increases, the conventional units will run more at part load and experience more frequent starts and stops. Also, wind power may need to be curtailed in situations where the costs to stop and restart thermal units are higher than the difference in running costs of wind power and the thermal units. Thus, variations in wind power reduce the possibility of the power system to lower CO₂-emissions by adding wind power capacity to the system.”

—“Large scale integration of wind power: moderating thermal power plant cycling” by Lisa Göransson and Filip Johnsson, Wind Energy 2011; 14:91–105


Olaf Errwigge (Facebook) —

There is no argument that burning fossil fuel to generate electricity releases CO₂ into the atmosphere, or that using the wind to generate electricity does not. But it does not follow that adding wind to the grid reduces CO₂ emissions from other sources: Where there is little hydropower (no CO₂ emissions) to balance the highly variable wind, fossil fuel–fired generators are forced to work less efficiently, ie, with more emissions per unit of electricity generated. Furthermore, the best “balancing” plants for wind are open-cycle natural gas–fired turbines (OCGT), which can respond quickly enough to compensate for the continual changes of wind generation. But combined-cycle natural gas–fired turbines (CCGT) are substantially more efficient efficient, such that wind + OCGT may not represent lower emissions than CCGT alone. Thus, wind power’s manufacture, transport, and maintenance would indeed contribute to increased CO₂ emissions. And there is no benefit at all to weigh against its other adverse impacts on the environment, wildlife, and human neighbors.

Result: Wind + fossil fuel generation does not necessarily mean lower CO₂ emissions, particularly in the comparison of wind + open-cycle gas (necessary to quickly respond to wind’s continually variable generation) vs. the much more efficient combined-cycle gas alone.

And, of course, where there’s hydro, that’s the preferred source to ramp back as the wind rises: no CO₂ involved at all.

With virtually no benefits, wind power’s many adverse impacts – on the environment, wildlife, and human neighbors – not to mention its financial cost and the carbon and materials footprint of its manufacture, transport, and maintenance – are impossible to justify.

Also see: Why wind power does not substantially reduce emissions

August 3, 2007

Which side are you on?

Industrial-scale wind development is not green. No development can be green. It can only be necessary and less harmful than it or an alternative might. As in Maryland, where a wind developer's political connections got his and other facilities exempted from environmental review, many developers assert the presumption that wind's benefits trump any other concern and therefore -- despite carving wide strong roads through wildlife habitat and wetlands, clearing several acres per turbine, blasting and filling sites for each platform, pouring tons of cement into the ground, erecting 400-feet-high machines with blades sweeping up to 2 acres at tip speeds up to 200 mph in bird and bat migratory pathways -- they claim that they do not need to be subject to the same review that any other project would have to face.

They also resent local concerns about noise and visual intrusion, and so look to faraway bureaucrats to bypass the democratic process and people's control of their own communities.

In Britain, the national government is poised to shove several projects through against local opposition, claiming them as vital infrastructure (like invading Iraq was vital to our security). These projects include huge waste incinerators, major road schemes, new and expanded nuclear power stations, airport expansions, tidal barrages, and water reservoirs (such as one that would flood 5 square miles in Oxfordshire).

And 16 wind energy facilities.

This is the company they keep. If industrial wind were green, they would not need to pull favors to strong-arm their way into our neighborhoods. But once anyone looks beyond their spiel, that is the only recourse they have.

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, wind turbines, environment, environmentalism, human rights, Vermont, anarchism, ecoanarchism

July 20, 2007

How forest friendly is Karnataka's Wind Energy?

Ameen writes from Tumkur City, India (click the title of this post):

Among the areas where wind turbines have been erected in Karnataka are the hills and highlands of eastern parts of Chitradurga district and in western parts of Tumkur district. We saw these windmills first hand this month and I am sad to say that these windmills have had a very immediate negative impact in the forests where they have been setup.
  1. Each such wind mill has a concrete base of at least 30 feet by 30 feet.
  2. Each one of these has an individual road.
  3. Hundreds of trees have been removed to accomodate these giant "fans".
  4. The transportation of giant equipment requires huge trucks and causes enormous disturbance to the local flora and fauna.
This way almost every hill top of the 273 Sq. km. Mari Kanive state forest and other reserve forests along Tumkur-Chitradurga border has just been devastated. The building of these roads has also opened up the forests for tree looters and the situation according to a local forest watcher is "just out of control in Mari Kanive forests". These wind mills are atop the hills that extend for hundreds of kilometres north, up to Gadag district.

Due to their destructive nature, there already have been protests against the setting up of wind farms in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, namely Bababudan Giris (adjoining Bhadra Tiger Reserve) and Kudremukh National Park.

As a nature lover I have opposed hydro dams as being detrimental to forests. But, by witnessing the damage done by wind farms in Karnataka's forests, I doubt if wind energy in our country is really that green.

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, environment, environmentalism, animal rights

May 19, 2007

Climate, Class, and Claptrap

Garret Keizer has written a powerful "Notebook" piece for the June Harper's Magazine. Every sentence is gold. Buy the magazine and read it. Here is but one excerpt.

If I sound bitter it is partly because I have been vouchsafed a glimpse of the new carbon-trading world order in the New England villages where I have lived, taught, and buried the dead for close to thirty years, and where any egress from one's house now risks collision with an eco-fluent carpetbagger. Apparently, this place that has never had much use to the larger world beyond that of hosting a new prison or a solid-waste dump turns out to be an ideal location for an industrial "wind farm," ideal mostly because the people are too few and too poor to offer much in the way of resistance. So far only one of the towns affected has "volunteered" -- in much the same way and for most of the same reasons as our children volunteer for service in Iraq -- to be the site of what might be described as a vast environmentalist grotto of 400-foot-high spinning "crosses" before which the state's green progressives will be able to genuflect and receive absolution before zooming back to their prodigiously wired lives.

[Read more here.]

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, environment, environmentalism, human rights, Vermont

February 6, 2007

Community outreach, or another broken soul crying for help

Our friends at National Wind Watch received the following e-mail, reproduced here in its entirety. It reveals the brutal instincts, limited cognitive functioning, and ultimately sad lives of many, perhaps most, industrial wind developers. It betrays an utter lack of concern for the environment and for other people.

Subject:  Drunk
Date:     Mon, 5 Feb 2007 19:50:17 -0500
From:     Jay Wilgar <>
To:       <>

You guys are a real treat of an organization.  Get the facts dumb ass.  Give me a call 647-286-4234
The following information is from the web site of AIM Powergen Corp.
Jay Wilgar, Vice President - Field Operations

Jay's career has spanned investor relations and several entrepreneurial ventures. Prior to co-founding AIM he was a partner in Pentagon Capital Partners Inc., an asset based financing company. Jay has often spoken to student groups on small business development and was most recently a judge of the Nestle "Reach for Your Dreams" entrepreneurship challenge. Within AIM, Jay heads up land acquisition and project design team.


In Ontario AIM has identified several project sites that leverage the excellent wind resource of the Great Lakes basin. The most advance project is the Erie Shores Wind Farm located along the northern shoreline of Lake Erie between Copenhagen and Clear Creek. It is anticipated that this project could be commissioned by the first quarter of 2006.

Exploration and development work continues on several other Ontario project sites including the Lowbanks Wind Farm located near Dunnville, and the Simcoe Shores Wind Farm near Beaverton.

AIM has expanded its development activities across Canada with the development and exploration of various sites in the Maritime and Prairie Provinces.

AIM continues to identify and evaluate potential wind power development sites throughout Canada and internationally.

Project Locations in Canada [interactive map]


AIM PowerGen Corporation
200 Consumers Road, Suite 604
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M2J 4R4

Tel: 416-502-0993
Fax: 416-502-1415
Toll Free: 1-877-AIM-POWR (1-877-246-7697)

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, environment, environmentalism, anarchism, anarchosyndicalism, ecoanarchism

January 17, 2007

"Wind power not such a good idea"

Richie Davis of the Greenfield (Mass.) Recorder wrote a fair article (click the title of this post) about opposition to industrial wind energy, featuring a couple of the founders of National Wind Watch.

I want to call attention to the final quote from William Labich, resource planner for Franklin County: "The technology isn’t the issue; it’s the siting of the technology, and how you apply it."

Notice how that attempts to evade the fundamental problem industrial wind energy on the grid has had, namely, showing that the technology actually reduces other sources, especially carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

Saying, as Sally Wright -- of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst -- does elsewhere in the article, that "for every kilowatt hour that you make with a wind turbine, that’s a kilowatt hour not made with a fossil plant" ignores the real-world effect of adding large amounts of a highly variable, intermittent, and significantly unpredictable source such as wind to the grid. The extra work to balance the wind-generated power and the lower efficiency of extra ramping appear to cancel out much, if not all, of the benefits hoped for from wind.

In other words, every kWh from wind may indeed replace a kWh from other sources (and not necessarily fossil-fuel plants), but that is very different from actually reducing the fuel use of other sources, what with standby, spinning reserve, or extra fuel burned in ramping up and down.

wind power, wind energy, environment, environmentalism

January 13, 2007

More about extreme wind turbine noise

Farmers Weekly, 12 January 2007, p. 10, has an article about the Davies, a farming couple in Lincolnshire who have had to sleep away from their home 60 nights since September, because of the Deeping St Nicholas wind energy facility 3,000 feet from their home (see the excerpts from forum posts by "wiggyjane" posted yesterday). The article is accompanied by a sidebar:
The Wind Turbine Noise Working Group has been asked by the DTI [U.K. Department of Trade and Industry] to provide expert advice and guidance on issues surrounding what has become known as Amplitude Modulation of Aerodynamic Noise.

This is a low-frequency whooshing sound caused by the passage of air over turbine blades under certain atmospheric conditions. So far, little is known about the phenomenon or how it might be controlled.

Because amplitude modulation is difficult to predict, it is often not until a turbine is erected and fully working that the noise becomes evident. An acoustics expert, who asked not to be named, said that, although rare, it was becoming more common.

"The concern is that bigger, more modern turbines may be more prone to this problem," he told Farmers Weekly. ...

Because of the nature of sites required for wind farms, turbines are often in areas of low background noise which makes the noise of the blades all the more noticeable -- especially for rural residents used to peace and quiet.

Last month, noise worries contributed to the withdrawal of an application to build three turbines at Weston, Herfordshire. Noise has also been an issue for residents living near wind farms at Bears Down, North Cornwall and Askham, Cumbria.
wind power, wind energy, wind farms, wind turbines, environment, environmentalism

January 12, 2007

Rosenbloom's law of wind turbine output

Eric Rosenbloom, currently the president of National Wind Watch, has observed from cumulative output vs. time graphs (see the samples from Germany, Ireland, and Denmark) the following:

Whatever the capacity factor, or average output over a period of time, any turbine or aggregate of turbines generates at or above its average rate only 40% of the time.
A recent illustration of this law is the output from the 240-MW Maple Ridge wind energy facility in Lewis County, N.Y., as compiled by Richard Bolton:

For this period from July through September 2006, the output represented 25% of capacity, or an average rate of 80 MW. As the graph shows, the facility produced at a rate of 90 MW or more only about 520 out of the total 1,883 hours of data collection, i.e., about 28% of the time. Adding the number of hours that it generated at 80-90 MW brings the time figure close to a third.

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, wind turbines

January 2, 2007

Sierra Club flacks for big energy

The January/February edition of the Sierra Club magazine explores the energy issue, starting off with an essay by the tireless Bill McKibben.

He sets the tone of mockery (of logic, mostly) right away, causing one to wonder just how seriously the Sierra Club wants to be taken in these articles:
Much of what passes for discussion about our energy woes is spent imagining some magic fuel that will save us. Solar power! Fusion power! Hydrogen power!
But not wInd power, Bill?! No -- much of the rest of his article is a paean to wind industry insider Jerome Guillet, a developer of wind energy who boldly envisions more government subsidies to protect his investors.

McKibben is equally courageous, gratuitously attacking most defenders of New England's (and mid-Atlantic) ridgelines as "semi-ridiculous NIVMVDs, or not in view of my deck." He also threatens them, asserting wind "will continue to grow."

This fine nature writing serves only to ignore the many other reasons for opposition, most notably preservation of much needed forest habitat. It is pathetic indeed to see the Sierra Club -- along with many other now mainstream environmental groups -- shutting out environmental concerns and instead acting as peons of big energy.

Another article, by Frances Cerra Whittelsey, looks at the impact of wind turbines on birds and continues the mockery of not only reason but also passion.

Whittelsey first establishes that the decimation of raptors and other birds in Altamont Pass, California, is an exception. (In fact, what is exceptional is that bird deaths have routinely been counted there.) She admits that "at least 22,000 birds, including some 400 golden eagles, have collided with wind turbines (or been electrocuted by power lines) there." Per turbine, however, that's 4.1 birds -- total since the 1980s! That's a lot less than her later-cited study of turbines outside California showing "only" 2.3 birds killed each year per turbine. So if Altamont is a recognized problem, other turbines appear to be even more dangerous to birds ...

Never mind, though, because she then allows the industry trade group American Wind Energy Association assure us that new turbines are safer. Laurie Jodziewicz sez, "today's turbines are taller and more efficient." Yep, they are now "above the flight paths of many birds" -- and now in the flight paths of more birds. And the giant new models are not "more efficient." They are just bigger. More energy per turbine, yes, but not more energy per wind resource, acreage, or area swept by the blades (which are moving 150-200 mph at the tips).

Not reassured? "Some residents remain opposed on aesthetic grounds," writes Whittelsey in an effort to corral anyone left standing after Jodziewicz's not quite incisive analysis. No, Frances. A lot of people remain opposed for other environmental and wildlife concerns as well. You have convinced only a straw doll of your own imagining.

Most people are also not reassured that the industry is now working "to find a means to warn bats away from the spinning blades."

But ultimately, Whittelsey writes, why should we care? Millions of birds are already killed by domestic cats, radio towers, windows, and cars.

With friends like these, wildness ("the preservation of the world," in the words of Henry David Thoreau) clearly doesn't stand a chance.

wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, environment, environmentalism, animal rights