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Category — Canadian wind issues

Wind Propaganda by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Orwellian greenwashing calls for correction)

“In its heyday the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was a bastion of objectivity. However this show revealed nothing but wind apologetics. The absurdities were thick and one-sided without a single thread of verity.”

Recently the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) pretended to take on the endless debate around the topic most people know little about – the health problems created by industrial wind turbines. The results were quite disappointing.

The Sunday, October 21st program (two segments) skated around the issues like Barbara Ann Scott.

The first segment was a cut and paste “documentary” by a novice reporter from Kincardine, Ontario about people in her “home town.” Frustratingly, and sadly, this entire set up piece merely touched at the edges of the actual concerns many of which have been reported on CBC by actual CBC reporters. This set the tone for a familiar experience – greenwashing.

John Twidell Misdirection

The second segment, 17 minutes, was devoted to a chuckling grandfatherly engineer and long-time proponent of industrial wind, John Twidell. The UK’s Twidell is former editor of Wind Engineering Magazine and has served as an advisor on wind and renewables to the UK government. He was a member of the lobbyist organization British Wind Energy Association.

The dubiously reverential tone of the interviewer, Karin Wells, permeated this piece of wind turbine propaganda. So why did this ignite us so? After all we are used to the green propaganda machine. [Read more →]

December 4, 2012   35 Comments

Windpower Case Study in Ontario (Part 2: Adverse impacts on nuclear plants and general health)

[Editor’s note: Part 1 of this case study addressed the false claim that wind has any appreciable impact on reducing coal-fired generation. This part focuses on the little known considerations relating to the effect on nuclear plants that must be cycled to balance wind, which counters claims that wind power improves general health.]

“Excessive baseload generation largely due to a contractual requirement to buy all available wind output might make it look like wind is supplying an increasing fraction of the energy supply (in TWh), while the nuclear supply appears to be decreasing. But in reality, the reduction in Bruce B unit output to permit this fallacy cannot be justified economically, nor is it a wise and conservative operation of a nuclear station.”

The following eight charts extracted from the Sygration website, which allows plotting of the Ontario IESO electrical generating unit performance, demonstrate that not only are wind turbines ineffective to replace coal, in actual fact, they do considerable harm to the stability of the electrical supply, and increase the risk of upset and accident at a nuclear generating station.

Wind Performance Data

The charts below show the output of the four Bruce Power B generating units 5,6,7,8 – first for the 3 months of April through June 2011, and then for the 3 months of October through December 2011.

Each of the charts shows situations when the outputs of the Bruce B units were reduced to 550 MW. These deratings are due to surplus baseload generation, largely driven by the policy of the IESO to accept all available wind generation, even if the system does not need it, and even when it requires selling the output at high negative cost to neighbouring utilities in order to prevent an excess generation situation which would make the system frequency rise above 60 Hz, generating instability. [Read more →]

March 1, 2012   7 Comments

Windpower Case Study in Ontario (Part 1: Coal-fired generation not displaced)

[Editor Note: This case study of Ontario, Canada (one of the least emissions-producing electricity systems in the world) by a veteran energy engineer uses available data to shed light on unfounded claims about industrial wind turbines. Some aspects of the Ontario situation are unique, but many considerations are applicable to all countries/states/provinces. Part II concludes this case study tomorrow.]

“Even while wind was at peak operation, the coal generators served as backup (at low load) to be able to respond rapidly to the anticipated, and actual, drop in wind output that occurred just hours later.”

It has been claimed that industrial wind turbines allow Ontario to shut down coal-fired electrical generating stations. But the facts reveal this to be a myth.

The following graph shows how Ontario has generated its electricity from 1988 to 2011. It presents a pretty clear picture of what happened from an energy point of view, showing the generation sources for each year. Energy is measured in Terra (1012) Watt hours.


In 1988, Ontario was using coal (about 35 TWh per year), hydro (also about 35 TWh per year), and nuclear (about 65 TWh per year). Those sources met the load of about 135 TWh.

In the early 1990s (1992 and 1994, and 1995), Darlington Nuclear generating station came into service. As nuclear output increased to about 92 TWh, the coal generation dropped to about 15 TWh in 1994. Also, a slight recession was causing the Ontario electrical load to drop a bit.

In the latter 1990s, as the economy recovered some, a decision was made to lay up Bruce A and Pickering A nuclear stations, and focus limited resources on bringing the newer “B” stations at Bruce B, Pickering B, and Darlington up to a higher operational level. Nuclear generation dropped to about 60 TWh. Coal picked up the slack, rising back over 40 TWh. [Read more →]

February 29, 2012   18 Comments

Letter to Premier of New Brunswick on behalf of North American Platform Against Wind Power (Wind opponents, argumentation in action)

“Wind turbines are manufactured out of oil and gas, transported using oil and gas, are extremely intensive on landscapes (the cement plugs are mammoth and often require cement factories to be built nearby in order to accommodate chains of turbines in construction), are well known to cause harm to human health when sited too near (some expert physicians suggest 10 mile setbacks), and the international bird and bat kills annually are respectively estimated at eight million and sixteen million.”

Dear Honourable Premier Alward, and Honourable Minister of Energy, Mr. Leonard

Congratulations on the release of the New Brunswick Energy Blueprint.

There are many encouraging features to this thoughtful document, and it is easy to see that a generally balanced, sensible and sensitive approach has been achieved, after consulting many experts.

I would like to comment on the “renewables” section, Section Eight [pp. 20–21], which addresses, as part of your energy platform, a commitment to wind power. It is encouraging to see that wind power for your beautiful province is not celebrated as a “cornerstone technology.” It is encouraging that your report cautions about the wind’s variability, the high cost of this power, and the omnipresent need for backup.

Wind Energy (Section Nine) [p. 22] states: [

November 21, 2011   1 Comment

Ontario’s Great Windpower Escape: A Setback Only

[Sherri Lange's previous reports on the Ontario wind siting battles are "Wind’s Political Trouble in Ontario (Secretive Samsung deal, power rates at issue)' from May 11 and Ontario Update: Offshore Wind Moratorium Decision Hangs Tough, Onshore BAU Targetedfrom April 8.]

In an Elvis-has-left-the-building-but-might-be-coming-back kind of moment, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) in Ontario announced to that the Kent Breeze turbine project could continue. The appellants failed in this instance to prove that there would be “serious” health effects posed by the project, ERT determined.

The Tribunal did leave the doors open for future challenges, however. And not all is lost: this project was the first ever public legal challenge based on health and safety concerns.

Expect victories in the future. On the heels of this pro-wind decision that despaired many around the world tuned into this legal challenge, came Carl Phillips’ release of an epidemiological study: there are very real and verifiable health consequences for living too near turbines.

More significantly, the publication of a whole peer-reviewed journal, with ten lines of evidence, from the likes of Dr Robert McMurtry, Order of Canada; retired Pharmacologist, Carmen Krogh; Alec Salt; Bob Thorne; Martin Shain; and John Harrison, has put health consequences in the middle of the wind power siting debate. (The special edition on turbine effects and human health is here.) [Read more →]

August 4, 2011   7 Comments