Environmental Scientist Exposes Wind Farm Scam


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“Eventually the obsession of our politicians with tower blocks was seen to be one of the greatest follies of the age. In time to come – it may be sooner than we think – the obsession with wind power will likewise come to be seen as an even greater folly”

Recently released, in The Wind Farm Scam, Dr. John Etherington argues that wind farm technology is a wholly counter-productive and undesirable response to the problems of climate change and electricity generation. Dr. Etherington is a former Reader in Ecology, Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science and former co-editor of the Journal of Ecology.

The Wind Farm Scam explains that the intermittent nature of wind power cannot generate a steady output, a fact that necessitates back-up systems from coal and gas-powered plants that significantly negate any reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, there are the ecological drawbacks, including damage to habitats and wildlife, and the far from insignificant aesthetic drawback of the assault upon natural beauty which wind turbines entail.

Moreover, wind power is being excessively financed at the cost of consumers who have been neither consulted nor informed that this subsidy is being paid from their bills to support an industry that cannot be cost-efficient.

With the recent proliferation of local groups opposing wind farm planning applications (now over 300), and the increasingly frequent and challenging discussions on wind farms in all the media – including a round condemnation by James Lovelock on the BBC’s Hard Talk programme – this meticulously researched and compellingly-argued book could not be more timely.

As Christopher Booker says in his introduction:

“Eventually the obsession of our politicians with tower blocks was seen to be one of the greatest follies of the age. In time to come – it may be sooner than we think – the obsession with wind power will likewise come to be seen as an even greater folly”

The Wind Farm Scam: Isbn 9781905299836, £9.99, published 30th September 2009 by Stacey International

Please contact David Birkett on 020 7221 7166, 07982 75 4646 or by e-mailing him at marketing@stacey-international.co.uk

Notes for Editors

Publication of The Wind Farm Scam comes at a crucial time, as our government appears determined to confront public opposition to deployment of wind power. Just a few months ago Energy Secretary Ed Miliband publicly stated “It is socially unacceptable to be against wind turbines.” And more recently Huw Irranca-Davies, DEFRA minister for marine and natural environment, supported the fast-tracking of wind power through the planning system by allowing developers to finance local projects. Such action is contrary to the government’s own 2007 policy set out in “Delivering Community Benefits from Wind Energy Development: A Toolkit” which contained the categorical statement that: “To put it simply, planning permission cannot be ‘bought’.”

Despite the government’s statement that 81% of people are in favour of wind power and that 62% would be happy to live within 5 km of a wind power development, media polls have recently shown a consistent 70% to 90% of people opposing local wind farm development. For example, whilst this book was in press, the Scottish “Lochaber News” asked if councilors should approve a plan for wind turbines, to which question the poll gave a resounding “No – 90%”. We are not alone. In Germany, usually presented as a showcase for wind power, the response to the State of Brandenburg’s decision to increase the already large areas covered by wind farms, was a local petition of 27,000 signatures opposing the decision.

Proponents of wind power repeatedly stress that opposition is based primarily on the impact on landscape, but justify this by the need to “tackle climate change” through reduction of carbon dioxide emission. As this book shows, the saving of CO2 proposed by government’s own 2010 target for electricity generated by renewables is a minute 0.04% of the global total and, by 2020 this will not have grown in any way comparably with the huge increases of emission from the developing world. To achieve the target, installed capacity of wind will have grown to near 50 gigawatts which according to predictions by wind farm operators E.ON UK and Iberdrolla, will necessitate up to 90% of this 50 GW being backed-up by conventional power stations. Paradoxically then, we need to build more CO2-emitting power stations to allow deployment of hugely subsidized wind farms.

The title of this book expresses the author’s belief that wind power is an institutional confidence trick – succinctly summed-up by Lord David Howell, former Secretary of State for Energy in Mrs. Thatcher’s government: “Extensive wind farm developments will be seen in due course to have taken public opinion for a colossal ride.” It is indeed colossal – electricity compulsorily priced at two or three times its real value, saving a derisory amount of CO2 emission and, as conceded last year by the British Wind Energy Association, mitigating only half the amount of CO2 emission which was claimed for most wind farms already installed.

12 thoughts on “Environmental Scientist Exposes Wind Farm Scam

  1. This is great, but I’m still suspicious of what the alternatives are. Do you think power lines and coal plants aren’t unsightly? Energy from the Tar Sands doesn’t disturb the environment? Nuclear power doesn’t create residual waste from uranium?

    I understand that there’s going to be opposition to wind power, but we MUST look at what’s out there as alternatives or our planet will continue to suffer.

    My suggestion is research. We need to put MASSIVE investments into R&D to investigate ways to create solar or wind capture that doesn’t disturb migration patterns or cause illness with neighbours to turbines.

  2. This is not new news. Most of us have know the scam for awhile, though maybe not as far back as 1999. Articles have been written with the same conclusion.
    Not all Scandinavians are enamoured with wind energy. You have to read the stinging indictment by Iens Elliott Nyegaard, originally published in the Swedish journal Elbranchen (June 1999) and in the Danish Engineering Society weekly Ingenioren.
    The emperor’s new machines
    by Iens Elliot Nyegaard
    The Great Windmill Scam – by Iens Elliot Nyegaard – Environment & Climate News
    The Great Windmill Scam
    Environment & Climate News > March 2000
    Environment > Energy
    Written By: Iens Elliot Nyegaard
    Published In: Environment & Climate News > March 2000
    Publication date: 03/01/2000
    Publisher: The Heartland Institute

    Something to think about. Why are we where we are?

  3. Wind Farms are NOT sustainable!……….when the structure wears out in ten or so years and does not get replaced, that is not “sustainable”………..so I say the next time someone uses the word “sustainable” to explain Wind Power tell them to get informed or get off the bus!
    Take a drive through Texas and count the number of wind turbines without blades or not turning with oil running all down their sides!……….I would estimate there is one out of every five broken and not replaced!….sustainable BS!

  4. Interesting looks like a great read. This opposition is gaining momentum and not just in the GW skeptics arena. People that have any clue about national energy mixes are starting to ask some hard questions about the feasability of wind farms.

  5. It’s hot air that’s blowin’ in the wind

    It is heat buildup that drives temperatures up.

    Wind reduces heat buildup by lofting hot air into the upper atmosphere and wind decreases the temperature through evaporation.

    Wind turbines reduce wind speed in direct proportion to the amount of energy they extract. Less wind means more heat buildup and less evaporative cooling, resulting in increased temperatures.

    People living in the lee of wind farms can expect to run their air conditioners longer and more often. Farmers can expect less wind pollination, and poorer crop drying. How green is that!

    Colin Henderson
    1735 Blackwater Road
    London, ON

  6. carbon dioxide is not a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. the main greenhouse gas by a large margin is water vapour. 90%+.

    concentration of water vapour in the atmosphere is 0-4% depending on the weather.

    CO2 is constant at about 0.04%. it is a a trace gas. its effect on temperatures – virtually non-existent. definitely un-measurable.

    i am a chemist, and regular user of infrared spectroscopy for 20 years, so i understand the greenhouse effect – as part of my job.

    why are enormous amounts of our money being spent in trying to reduce carbon dioxide when it will have no measurable effect on global temperature?

    there are lots of good reasons for not wasting energy, but none of them have anything to do with carbon dioxide.

  7. Wind has potential. But right now, there is no reason our government should not be pushing for it so hard, other than to please their green guilt and ensure votes. Stop wasting money building more farms and take that money into developing an economical and feasible back up storage battery system. Then and only then will Wind and for that matter solar be as effective as most advocates NOW think it can be.

  8. Now that this book is finally available one would think that the Wind Companies may just rethink all the fake rhetoric they have been blabbing off with for the past 10 years+.

    When push comes to shove here the Wind Companies will finally be revealed for what they are:
    “Greed Merchants” of the lowest level!

  9. Wind Power is an agenda of the industrialists under the guise of environmentalism the same as HMO’s in the US are profit driven corps under the guise of moral and responsible health care providers (see: Michael Moore’s revelatory: http://sickothemovie.com/checkup/).

    Technology to make SOLAR a household level means to powering today’s modern society is available (see: http://www.ascentsolar.com/).

    If one-tenth of one percent of the monthly cost of the War in Iraq was spent on R&D battery technology to improve storage and capacity of solar generated electicity for less productive generating days (read: clouds … a knee-jerk criticism of the practicality of solar power) then the viability of solar power would be exponentially improved.

    So where is the will, where is the sense in our democratically elected representatives? (or are they, when a mere 41% of eligible voters even vote and from that the winning party recieves 30-40% of those votes cast, thus proportional to a mere one-quarter of our society deciding the future stratagems (to avoid catastrophe). Time to wake-up!!!!

  10. If large batteries were a remote possibility wind would become an outrageously expensive industry. Right now there are assumptions being made we capture and use all the wind power produced. If that was true why we would need batteries for wind? Regardless batteries are not a solution for large energy storage because the batteries needed would be too big and expensive if they could be developed at all. Storage of any source of power comes with a cost. It uses power and will cost more money. Wind is too expensive now. Put it into a storage system and that energy becomes a lot more expensive. The money should be spent on finding ways to not only reduce usage of energy but to better match production with usage. Smart meters were an attempt, but not really.

  11. You just know that George the Snake “SLITHERMAN” and CANwea will claim this book is irrelevant because it is not peer-reviewed. Besides, Slitherman doesn’t give a tinkers-damn nor does he understand basic arithmetic (he stated only a 1% increase/year in rates) that our energy rates will more than quadruple over the next few years. Will we ever win this political fight?

  12. Of the promises and information the wind industry and some government officials put out to us, what is peer reviewed by unbiased experts?

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