August 11, 2007
Now some information from France
Is wind power a lot of hot air?
President of the environmental company, Fédération Environnement Durable, Jean-Louis Butré, has labelled the drive for wind energy “a strategic error on a national scale.” He says wind energy actually increases demands on thermal energy reserves.
He said: “Wind turbines only work 20% of the time so we need to have back-up energy – in France this comes from thermal energy and natural gas, in Germany it comes from burning fossil fuels.
“So the more we rely on wind energy, the more we are actually producing gases which contribute to the ozone effect.”
Mr Butré believes the cost of wind energy is prohibitive.
“Wind energy costs two to three times the price of other forms of electricity, which would result in people paying an extra €200 or €300 for each electricity bill.
The homes of residents living near a turbine may also be worth 30% less.
“France is a country which relies on tourists yet turbines are ruining our landscape.”
Germany, currently the leader in wind energy and considering a ban on nuclear energy, has just ordered the construction of more than 20 power stations using coal as an energy source, as a back-up energy supply.
Expats Kath and Ian Haines moved to the peaceful hamlet of Peusicot near Genouillé (Poitou-Charentes) last year, unaware that a wind park with eight 135m turbines was to be built just 650m from their door.
Now they fear their house will be worth a third of the original price and worry how the turbines will affect their health.
Mr Haines said: “Everyone knew about the turbines but no one – not the mayor, estate agent or members of a local group campaigning against the turbines, said anything until two weeks after we had moved in. It was like a bombshell – we felt devastated.
“We are worried about possible nervous complaints as a result of vibrations from the turbines, and they are supposed to be noisy at night.
“We have been told it will take two years to set up the turbines and we are worried about how large machines and road traffic will fit down the tiny lane.
“We expect our property to drop by at least one third in value. The turbines will affect wildlife, bird migration, everything.”
Wind generated electricity is more expensive to produce, costing between €40 and €55 per megawatt hour compared to coal and gas which cost €30 and €45 per megawatt hour to produce.
The cheapest energy form is nuclear, costing just €26 to produce.
Source The Connexion