Congratulations to The Free Press on capturing so many key elements of the wind energy debate in the article Fair or Foul? (Dec. 11). Even the subtitle of the article is well expressed: “Wind Energy: To some it’s a green saviour. To others, a villain dressed in green.”
The “green villain” must be forced to face the facts.
Wind energy does not make economic sense. Wind energy is too intermittent to make a significant contribution to Ontario’s real power needs. The power grid makes wind power difficult to use. Wind energy does not make environmental sense. Wind energy will not cause the closing of coal-fired power stations. Wind power will not clean the air. Wind energy is much less desirable than other non-fossil alternatives.
Wind turbines do have a very unfortunate impact on the health of some people. The impact of turbines and transmission corridors on wildlife could be very negative. The threat of wind turbines on the Great Lakes is sobering. Wind turbines and transmission lines do destroy landscapes. Wind energy is dividing the social fabric of rural Ontario communities. The negative effect on property values could be significant. The creation of a multitude of permanent jobs through wind power is highly doubtful. Ontario’s rules for the setbacks of turbines near rural residences is too small, given the nature of our geography and settlement patterns.
Perhaps the article will help more Ontarians understand why wind energy is a “villain dressed in green” and not a “green saviour”.
Paul Mennill, Bluewater