Friends of Arran Lake Wind Action Group Bruce County, Ontario
AN INFORMATION UPDATE FOR ONTARIO ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS
Keith Stelling, MA (McMaster), MNIMH, Dip. Phyt., MCPP (England)
1.0 The history of human technological innovation is littered with projects that have had to be abandoned because they were based on a narrow theoretical view that failed to take into account the whole picture. The commercial exploitation of wind energy is fast showing signs of such failure.
The last ten years in Europe has provided ample opportunity to evaluate the real costs and claimed benefits of industrial wind turbines based on actual operating statistics.
· Studies by public electricity distributors now challenge the very assumption upon which the ecological value of commercial wind power is based: that it reduces carbon emissions.
· Energy experts report that industrial wind power is proving to be exceptionally expensive to consumers once required backup and additional infrastructure are factored in. The high cost is caused by
(a) the need to maintain backup generating reserve to cover times when the wind does not blow.
(b) The need to stabilize the grid when wind produces power that is not needed by current demand.
(c) Government subsidization and tax benefits for the wind industry.
· New studies show that the perceived benign environmental footprint of the industrial wind turbine does not correspond with the latest field studies of effects are being provoked by wind turbine installations.
In the United States, Senator Lamar Alexander put it bluntly when introducing his Envirnonmentally Responsible Wind Power Act of 2005:
“My studies suggest that at a time when America needs large amounts of low-cost reliable power, wind produces puny amounts of high-cost unreliable power. We need lower prices; wind power raises prices.”
In Ontario, – Tom Adams, formerly of Energy Probe, wrote in the National Post on 20 November, 2007:
“Without radical technological advances, wind power will only burden Ontario consumers.”