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Electricity from Wind turbine farms Ireland facts and lies

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Sceala Clann T.D.
Location: Derry roots

Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     Electricity from Wind turbine farms Ireland facts and lies

Reading here and there. Seems like Ireland is getting the hard sell on the benefits of wind energy. And the same old lies from the profiteers of wind turbine farms, people who really don't give a damn.
The people of Ireland should stand back and ask more questions.
Wind turbine farms are a disaster, a nightmare for those unfortunate enough to have to live near one.
Irish Community Images
For those who think that wind farms are green and environmentally friendly - have a look at this 6-minute video about wind turbine construction - followed by the truth - the reality of what it is like living near a electricity wind farm.
What it will be like living anywhere close to a Wind farm plant in Ireland

The sales pitch -
the lies by wind farm salespeople
" When they first came to sell us the wind farm - they said there would be hundreds of jobs, thousands of additional jobs, for and out from the local community.

The reality
"Only one job was offered - a security guard on minimum wage" and he only lasted for a short period.
And on the biggest wind farm
"Four of five jobs of security guards on minimum wage"

According to the wind farms fact sheet the wind farm employs just two local employees on a full time basis.
Did you expect those who make big profits, would tell you the truth and the whole story of wind farms. Duh.
Professor Michael J. Trebilcock of the University of Toronto writes an interesting article (April 2009) in Canada’s Financial Post, entitled "Wind Power is a Complete Disaster". As he correctly points out, wind power in other countries (Denmark, Germany) has not reduced CO2 emissions nor closed any coal powered plants. In fact, emissions have gone up and new coal plants have gone online. His comments reflect a professional career studying economic regulation, including a year as Research Director of the Ontario Government's Electricity Market Design Committee (1998).

Our Chicago friends warning.
They asked the UK Scientist David Bellamy for advice - what follows is the answers that he sent them back.
Beware of the promises and lies the wind farm profiteers will sell you. Educate your neighbors who may be tempted to sell their souls to the profiteers of destruction.

The claim - Wind farms provide thousands of jobs
This is a lie and the main false sales claim told the world over, to get a buy in to the supposed benefits of electric Wind turbine farm projects.
There may be a small number of construction jobs on offer while the access roads to the site are being built, but the on-site work to erect the actual turbines is a specialist job that will only be carried out by the contractor. Once the turbines are up, wind farms are operated remotely, sometimes even from abroad, so no ongoing local jobs are likely.
As you will read later Wind farms actually cost jobs especially in rural areas possible for tourism.

The claim - Wind farms generate cheap (or even free!) electricity
This is not true.
A false claim about Electricity from Windmill turbine farms.
The electricity generated by wind turbines is much more costly than that from conventional power stations, because the price has to include enough to cover the subsidies paid to the wind farm companies for operating them. UK electricity prices have already gone up, and are predicted to go up by a further third over the next decade, to pay for our commitment to renewables.

The claim - Wind power is reliable because the wind is always blowing somewhere
More Lies about the benefits of wind powered Electricity.
That is not the case. Meteorologists can list many periods, often in very cold winter weather, when there is so little wind that the contribution to the grid is negligible. In addition, wind turbines only start generating when the wind is blowing at about 10mph, and have to be turned off for safety reasons when wind speeds reach about 55mph. In fact, on average, for about 110 days a year any individual turbine may generate no electricity at all. That means a back-up supply always has to be available – which is why no countries have been able to shut down their conventional power stations.

Wind farms only last for 25 years and are then removed The key components of the turbines, namely the gears, normally last only about 10 to 12 years before they need replacing. Very few wind farms are as much as 25 years old yet – but we know of several cases where the operators have taken the opportunity to rebuild much sooner than that, erecting larger turbines than originally installed. So it is safer to assume that a wind farm, once built, will effectively be a permanent feature of the landscape.

The claim - Wind farms are not noisy
More Lies about the consequences of living near Electricity from Wind turbine farms.
Wrong. There are plenty of examples where residents have suffered ill health effects caused by both noise (and on occasion shadow-flicker) when living too close to turbines. Some people, including some farmers, have even been forced out of their homes as a result. There is no legal setback distance from homes in the UK, though the Scottish Executive recommends 2kms as a desirable minimum.
The Danish government has stopped erecting onshore turbines because of the health problems associated with noise.

The claim - Wind farms generate hardly any complaints
More Lies about Electricity from Wind turbine farms.
A report by the University of Salford in 2006 showed that about 20% of wind farms had already generated formal complaints. That work is currently being updated, as there are many more wind farms today than in 2006 and their technology has allegedly improved. The current work shows that the 20% level of complaints, however, remains steady.

The claim - Wind farms don’t cause a fall in house prices
Lies about the consequences of living near Electricity from Wind turbine farms.
Wind farm developers make this claim but there are certainly cases where people have difficulty in selling their homes once turbines are present. In one case, the vendors were legally obliged to compensate the purchasers by 20% of the house value, plus interest, for selling without having disclosed the presence of a wind farm proposal. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors surveyed house values near wind farms and found that about 60% had declined by amounts varying between 5% and 50%.

More research on the effects of property
Evidence from Denmark, the USA and the UK indicates that houses in the vicinity of turbines lose 25 to 30% of their value. Houses close to a turbine could be unsellable.

There has been a legal ruling against a couple in the Lake District who sold their house without telling the buyers that a wind farm was likely to be built nearby. The judge upheld the purchasers' claim that their house had been devalued by noise pollution, light flicker and damage to visual amenity caused by wind turbines and ordered the vendors to pay compensation of 20% of the purchase value of the house.

In May 2005, a local resident near Brechfa reported in the Carmarthen Journal that:
"Our property, in the middle of the proposed TAN8 site (Strategic Area G) had a firm offer of £318,000. One week later our prospective purchaser, who incidentally knew about the turbines and had no problem with them, said they would do us a favour and take it off our hands at a big financial risk - for a reduced £250,000 which was higher than the 40 per cent we could expect to get, being near turbines!"

In July 2005, a study was made of a sample of properties near a proposed wind farm at Esgairwen Fawr, near Lampeter, Ceredigion, by Gareth Scourfield. Eight properties were valued and estimates made of the loss due to nearby wind turbines. Total loss for the eight properties was in excess of £1.5 million, or typically 20 – 25% on each property

The claim - Wind farms have no damaging effect on tourism
Irish Community Images
More Lies about the consequences of living near Electricity from Wind turbine farms.
The earliest wind farms had such novelty value that they were almost tourist attractions in themselves – but even the developers admit that this no longer applies. One caravan site near Harrogate, for example, has seen a drastic drop in income since four turbines were erected nearby. The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, has recently released a ‘Tranquillity Map’ of the UK because it is clear that tourists are increasingly looking for peace and quiet when they go away from home.

Other research on the loss of tourism.
Evidence from Europe suggest a 40% drop in tourism in areas where there are wind farms. The 2002 Visit Scotland Survey of visitor attitude showed that tourists avoid landscapes with wind turbines.
Tourism over wind projects example of Wales
Tourism earns £2 billion a year for Wales. It contributes 7% to the GDP.
Agriculture contributes 2%, the electricity industry also contributes 2%.
A typical wind farm employs just one maintenance person.

The effects of a drop in tourism will be felt most keenly in rural areas. Most tourists come to Wales to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside and to engage in outdoor activities. Wind farms are incompatible with this type of tourism.
Wind farms actually cost jobs
The result will be fewer visitors to rural areas and, therefore, fewer tourism-related jobs in communities where employment opportunities are already very limited.

The claim - Wind turbines pose no danger to birds and bats
More Lies about the consequences of living near Electricity from Wind turbine farms.
Not true. Small birds can often avoid rotating blades at short notice (though remember that the tip of a turbine blade is moving at about 200mph) but larger birds such as eagles have much more trouble in diverting to avoid them. Birds that fly around at dusk or during the night are far more at risk than daytime birds. Bats are affected in a different way: They are seldom hit by the blades but they can suffer what is known as ‘barotrauma’ where the change in pressure near the blade tip kills them by damaging their lungs.

The claim - Wind farms are a safe form of technology
On the whole this is true (though there may be adverse health effects as noted above). Accidents can happen, however; there have been some examples in Britain of blades collapsing or flying off, and one or two cases of turbine hubs catching fire. A different concern is ‘ice throw’ which happens when ice forms on the blades, usually overnight, and may be flung off in chunks when conditions warm up. This may be a particular concern for farmers with livestock.

Lines of pylons are needed to take the power away from the site
This is not true. Typically, the cables are laid underground from the turbines within the wind farm site and are then linked to overhead lines on wooden poles to connect with the Grid. One worrying aspect, though, is that the developer of a wind farm does not have to seek planning permission for connection, or even to indicate what the proposed route for connection will be, because that is a matter for the Regional Electricity Supplier to address. Permission to the RES is more or less automatic.

The claim - Wind farms reduce CO2
False claim about the benefits of Electricity generated from Wind turbine farms.
Wind farms contribute very marginally to reducing CO2 mainly because an alternative power source has to be kept running at all times for the periods when the wind stops blowing. If we were to rely entirely on wind, we would need to learn to live with a very uncertain and intermittent electricity supply!

Well at least wind farms are better than nuclear power stations
Maybe. It would take about 6000 wind turbines, spread over perhaps 40 square miles to produce as much electricity as the one coal-fired power station at Ferrybridge, or nearly 3000 turbines, spread over 20 square miles, to match one of the two nuclear reactors at Hartlepool. But in both cases the power stations would still be needed as back-up for the 110 days when all those wind turbines would produce no electricity at all.

Finally, some Good News:
The price of carbon credits on the Chicago Carbon Exchange has collapsed to 5 cents a ton and the exchange has decided to cease trading.

Watch how these families lives were made unbearable by living near a Wind turbine farm.
You people in Ireland should appreciate the tranquility of your landscape while you can.
This is the real experience of people unfortunate to have to live near a wind farm.
Like this quote
You really have to feel for these people you have no? idea of the reality until a 410 foot (40 story building) is absolutely ruining your life - and financial well being with your home value reduced to one quarter of its worth - at least the? LLC Energy scammers can now buy a new mercedes and second home - probably not next to a wind turbine.
The facts of a life near a Wind farm plant
What it will be like living anywhere close to a Wind farm plant in Ireland

More known Health issues
It was reported in July, 2009, that the number of people in Ontario, Canada, reporting adverse health affects due to wind turbines continues to rise. The new total is now 86 which is an additional 33 new victims. This is a disturbing 62% increase from 53 as reported in the first WCO (Wind Concerns Ontario) community-based self reporting survey earlier this year, made public on April 22, 2009.

Dr Nina Pierpont has done substantial research on these health issues and written a new book on the subject of health hazards from the vibrations of wind turbines, referred to elsewhere on this site as vibro-acoustic disease. Click here for more details, and to download a pre-publication copy of Dr. Pierpont's new book on the subject from her website,

Wind Turbine Syndrome is the clinical name she has given to the constellation of symptoms experienced by many (though not all) people who find themselves living near industrial wind turbines: sleep problems (insomnia), headaches, dizziness, unsteadiness, nausea, exhaustion, anxiety, anger, irritability, depression, memory loss, eye problems, problems with concentration and learning, tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

As industrial wind-plants proliferate close to people’s homes and anywhere else people regularly congregate (schools, nursing homes, places of business, etc.), Wind Turbine Syndrome likely will become an industrial plague.

Research in Portugal published in May, 2007, also demonstrates that wind turbines in the proximity of residential areas produce acoustical environments that can lead to the development of "Vibro-Acoustic Disease" in nearby home-dwellers. Go to our 2007 news page for more details.

Other medical studies indicate that onshore wind farms can be a health hazard to people living nearby because of the low-frequency noise. Low-frequency noise travels further than audible noise; it is ground borne and felt through vibrations, which can resonate with the human body. For some people there is no effect, but for others it can be very disturbing. According to a report by Dr Geoff Leventhall, a fellow of the Institute of Physics and Institute of Acoustics, 'Low-frequency noise causes extreme distress to a number of people who are sensitive to its effects.'

Research by Dr Amanda Harry showed that all but one of the 14 people living near the Bears Down wind farm in Cornwall had experienced increased incidents of headaches, and 10 said they had problems sleeping and suffered from anxiety. According to Dr Harry, a local GP in the area, there was a range of reported symptoms from headaches, migraines, nausea, dizziness, palpitations and tinnitus to sleep disorders, stress anxiety and depression.

Dr Bridget Osborne, a doctor in Moel Maelogan, north Wales, where three turbines were erected in 2002, has presented a paper to the Royal College of General Practitioners in which she reported a marked increase of depression suffered by local people.

The Danish government has stopped erecting onshore turbines because of the health problems associated with noise.

SHWAG (Seamer and Hilton Wind-farm Action Group) an action group in the northeast of England near Middlesborough published a report in January 2009 describing many of the risks to the general public from wind turbines including noise, light flicker and the growing number of accidents worldwide involving giant turbines catching fire, shedding blades or parts of blades and throwing large ice lumps.
Electricity from Wind turbine farms Ireland facts and lies.

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