Saturday, April 24, 2010

Industrial wind is under attack

by Doug Dingeldein

Opposition to industrial wind turbine installations is growing across Grey as well as in other areas of the Province.

The efficacy of the wind energy component of the Provincial Government's renewable energy initiatives under the Green Energy Act, 2009 and the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 is being called into question by technical experts, economists, health professionals, environmental groups, citizen groups, local governments, and individuals. Hostility to industrial wind mirrors growing opposition in other parts of Canada as well as in countries around the world where there are significant industrial wind installations.

Concerns centre on a number of fronts including:

  1. inadequate health and safety provisions relating to noise generated by the turbines, which translate into inadequate setbacks from residents' homes;
  2. excessive subsidies from the tax base to wind farm developers, which will inevitably translate into significantly higher electricity costs for consumers;
  3. negative impacts on property values for properties near wind developments;
  4. increasing evidence that the economic justification for exploiting wind is flawed;
  5. increasing evidence that the environmental justification for exploiting wind is flawed;
  6. availabiltiy of alternative renewable energy generation  strategies and conservation programs that would be far more effective in reducing dependence on fossil fuels at lower cost; and perhaps the most contentious of all
  7. removal of local planning control over the establishment of industrial wind developments.
In Grey County, Grey Highlands, West Grey, Town of the Blue Mountains and Chatsworth, so far all have called for a moratorium on industrial wind development. Clearview (in Simcoe County next to Grey Highlands) and Mulmur, Melancthon and Amaranth (in Dufferin County), as well as the County of Bruce, including Arran-Elderslie and the County of Wellington are jurisdictions adjacent to Grey that have also called for a moratorium. In total, 54 municipalities (and growing) have supported the request for a moratorium.

Transcripts of the moratorium as well as studies and information related to all of these issues can be found at:

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