“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:
With 294 MW of wind generation capacity, New Brunswick is a leader in integrating wind energy onto our electrical system. NB Power has secured long term wind generation contracts at competitive market rates, providing clean, emission free electricity with stability against the volatility of fossil fuel generated electricity.
The intermittent nature of wind energy requires utilities to provide load balancing using other forms of generation. An additional 208 MW of wind generation is within our regional balancing area, which includes Prince Edward Island and northern Maine, bringing the total wind energy to 502 MW that NB Power is, through agreements, required to balance with its existing generation fleet. For a relatively small power system (with seasonal loads that drop below 1000 MW), New Brunswick has one of North America’s highest proportions of wind generation capacity on its system.
This comes with challenges and costs (my emphasis). At times when generation is exceeding in-province demand, excess generation is often sold at prices lower than the contracted price for wind. Even when NB Power is able to utilize wind generation in-province, there are sometimes missed opportunities to purchase energy from outside sources at a lower cost. With NB Power’s run of the river hydro system, there are times when very low cost renewable generation capacity is available but must go unused in order to accept contracted wind generation.
With the significant amount of large scale wind energy currently being balanced on our system, the next phase of our renewable energy development will focus on smaller scale projects with a particular emphasis on non-intermittent forms of generation, such as wood-based biomass. Wind energy has many benefits and will continue to be integrated in the New Brunswick balancing area, but in measured and manageable stages (my emphasis).
What is wind balancing? Wind balancing ensures that when a wind farm is not generating electricity or generation fluctuates because of weather conditions, there is an additional generation source to fill the gap. These additional sources, usually fossil fuel generators or run of river hydro in New Brunswick, must be able to ramp up or down production on very short notice
These comments within your report indicate your understanding of the limits of wind power.
What we would additionally wish to add in commentary to this document is our supportive concern that
Your desire to embark on additional supplies of wind power in “measured and manageable stages,” is encouraging, but may we suggest that a phasing out of wind power would be even more “measured” and have every cost benefit and human, animal, and environmental benefit possible.
It is worth noting that many countries that embraced solar and wind are now on their financial knees. Spain has lost 2.2 jobs per so called “green” job and Italy has lost 5.4 jobs per so called “green” job.
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.
Additionally, wind power produces extremely small amounts of power, intermittently, with huge back up costs for nuclear, gas, coal, hydro, and ultimately for no betterment of the planet, wildlife, and humans. It is now being seen as a rather fancy financial scheme to enlarge the pocket books of developers, while duping the public about its usefulness, hiding behind the climate change scare mongering that has hammered the world for some 25 years now, and many countries are first hand experiencing the financial ruin that accompanies wind scam activities.
As our knowledge of this scam expands around the world, we look forward to learning about more energy policies that, like yours, reflect on the “precautionary” aspects of wind, and more importantly, to emerging technologies, best practices, and conservation, as yours does. Your commitment to the maintenance of manageable costs of hydro and a balanced and studied energy policy is welcomed. Please note that around the world there is ever increasing disenchantment with wind turbine factories.
The Ontario elections have recently spoken very clearly to Mr McGuinty: rural Ontario with some ~900 turbines ousted 7 Liberal Ministers, (loss of seventeen seats) including the Minister of the Environment. Premier McGuinty’s continued ill-chosen path is to inflict the province with additional 7-9,000 wind turbines, and rural Ontario has responded. These are/were to be placed in wetlands, Important Bird Areas, Prime Agricultural Lands, sensitive shorelines, ancient cultural precincts (Aboriginal Lands), just about everywhere that they should not be.
The path the Liberals have endorsed with respect to Energy is about as disastrous as can be. The hype about needing to close down coal fired plants (only two remain and those are scrubbed to a very high degree), has been fueled with an incredible amount of lack of disclosure, and even subterfuge, as the Liberals were pointed out in the Legislature as having paid $300,000 to Sussex Group Lobbyists to “confuse” the public. Ontario has consistently good to superior air quality, and the bad air days are swept in from the Ohio valley.
As Professor McKitrick of the U of Guelph says in his presentations, “If so many are dying from smog, where are the bodies?” Computer modelling really doesn’t tell the truth here! Asthma, most are now admitting, is mostly due to car exhaust and smoking, and second hand smoke. Ontario, sadly, is awash in misinformation, mostly in urban centres, now.
Despite the political landscape in Ontario, which is divided now really down some serious “turbine fault lines,” there are over 80 municipalities that have called for moratoria, well over 2 million represented in various “concerns groups” around the province, represented by Wind Concerns Ontario and Toronto Wind Action, and many others.
There is a moratorium in place for offshore wind, as well as the TRCA (Toronto and Region Conservation Authority), the largest conservation authority in the province. Ajax and Pickering have moratoria in place as well. There are opportunities for other provinces to learn from Ontario’s malaise and turbine hell.
Most importantly, wind turbines do not do what they purport. They do not produce meaningful electricity. Some say the amount of power is not even just negligible, it is negative, sucking more power than producing. Additionally, industrial wind turbines are known now to be using highly toxic rare earth elements from China, endangering and taking lives in that country, as well as in their dying days, creating mountains of un-recyclable junkyards.
The carbon fibres in the blades cannot be re-used in any fashion and constitute major pollution. Any cycle of life study of wind turbines tells us that this industry is thoughtless, careless, greedy, and fashioned out of equally careless “subsidies” without which it cannot exist.
NA-PAW is committed to sharing our knowledge of the problems of industrial wind turbine energy sprawl. If there is any additional information of a particular kind that would be helpful to you, we have experts from around the world who would be pleased to share with you their knowledge and research.
These include Physicians, including
Please find below some articles (1) that may be of interest, and I hope that New Brunswick can share this information with your Energy Policy Committee persons, and other key energy people in the province. Please also take 13 minutes to view the video, No Safe Place, featuring Dr McMurtry.
Thank you sincerely for your commitment to energy excellence, and we look forward to your continued Canadian, North American, and international leadership in energy development and conservation. It is our fervent hope that the provinces of Canada will shortly expand their understanding that wind turbine factories are not an answer to environmental problems, and indeed will only serve to denigrate every aspect of our lives.
We with humility express the wish that the statement from your energy report, “Wind energy has many bene?ts and will continue to be integrated in the New Brunswick balancing area, but in measured and manageable stages,” might be altered to reflect the energy realities expressed in this letter and by the deficiencies being recognized now world wide, indeed, which deficiencies your report alludes to already.
With best wishes, Sherri Lange:
Sherri Lange is CEO of North American Platform Against Wind Power; Founding Director, Toronto Wind Action;
Executive Director, Canada, Great Lakes Wind Truth; and
Vice President, Canada of Save the Eagles International.