Archive for the ‘tax benefits for the wind industry’ Category

Cash blown in the wind

January 5, 2009

Editor:

The govt. of Ont. is wasting the tax dollars of hard working people at an alarming rate, yet the media remains silent. The taxpayer has become an unwitting investor. The only problem is they will see no stock certificate and no return on their investment. They will however see higher utility rates. This theft needs to stop NOW!

The story below refers to the goings on in Oregon but the same story is being played out all over North America.

.

I want to thank Klockarman from Glore Lied for this story.

Cash blown in the wind; in pursuit of green energy Oregon is wasting millions of tax dollars on risky ventures and prosperous businesses

Kudos to The Oregonian today for taking off their green-colored goggles for a moment, and investigating a massive waste of the state’s taxpayer dollars.

Harry Esteve reports:

Oregon taxpayers are shelling out tens of millions of dollars to subsidize green energy projects, making the state a magnet for solar and wind companies.

But an investigation by The Oregonian shows that the money also is going to risky ventures with questionable environmental benefits and to prosperous companies that need no incentives but are cashing in anyway.



The handouts come from Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit program — the state’s fastest growing tax shelter. The credits are so easy to obtain that more than 4,000 applicants have lined up to get them whether they need them or not. Klondike Wind Farms, for example, seeks $44 million in state tax breaks even though eastern Oregon’s wind-blown geography has proved a profitable turbine location, subsidies or no.

“It’s gotten out of hand,” says Chuck Sheketoff, director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, which studies the impact of state tax policies on low-income residents. “It’s being scammed. It’s not serving its purpose.”

Even banks and big corporations that have nothing to do with renewable energy are grabbing the tax breaks. Under the state’s generous incentives, groups and companies that qualify for tax credits can turn around and sell them. Most do. Standard Insurance, for example, paid $2.5 million to Flakeboard, an Albany mill that makes composite wood. In exchange, Standard gets to use $3.5 million in tax credits the mill received for building a wood-burning boiler that can generate electricity.

Oregon’s energy tax credits began as a small, targeted program aimed at conservation and efficiency. It kicked into high gear after the 2007 legislative session, when Kulongoski pushed for some of the biggest tax breaks offered anywhere in the nation.

Under the 2007 rules, companies could apply for up to 50 percent of the cost of the project, up to a limit of $20 million, as long as they could show the project would save energy or produce renewable energy or fuel alternatives.



At the time, state officials projected the changes would add $2 million to a projected $23 million hit on the state’s two-year budget. They were wrong. Less than two years later, the program is costing taxpayers $78 million. And that figure easily could triple again. State records show more than 4,400 applications pending for the credits, for projects worth $716 million.

Read it all at The Oregonian.

Visit Klockarman at Glore Lied

Press Release – Wind Farm Demonstration in Paris

October 6, 2008

Editor

If you are fighting wind farms in North America, you are not alone. You have probably been told how well wind is working in Europe (it’s not) and that we should do the same. Well we should do the same.

Stop the wind scourge now!

.

Saturday Oct 4th, in Paris, 2000 to 3000 people coming from France and
various European countries demonstrated peacefully against windfarms.
Antoine Waechter was among them. Green candidate in the 1988 French
presidential election, Mr Waechter subsequently split from the Greens to
found the Independent Ecological Movement. He is shown on the picture
reading my placard. To the right of the picture, the mayor of a village in
France whose inhabitants ALL decided to sell their houses when a windfarm
project was announced in the vicinity. If you wish to know more about the
Village for Sale, please advise.

We received  messages of support coming from all over the
world, including Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, Puerto Rico,
Ecuador, South Africa, Japan and Slovenia. See :
http://collectif.4.octobre.free.fr/

The demonstration and conference was backed by 176 associations and
federations : http://collectif.4.octobre.free.fr/

An international platform against windfarms was founded the same day, as
follows :

*Press release
*Paris, Saturday Oct. 4th 2008

*Founding of the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW). *
*
*In Paris today, on the occasion of the international demonstration against
wind farms, German, Belgian, Spanish and French federations and associations
have founded the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW).

This project has received the support of colleagues from 16 countries
representing several hundred federations and associations.

The founding members of this platform have agreed to make the following
declaration :
*1) Ecological deception and financial scandal*.

It has now been proved that industrial windpower does not reduce CO2
emissions and therefore does not contribute
to the fight against global warming. This is principally due to the
intermittent and uncontrollable nature of wind, which makes it necessary to
rely on the back-up of polluting fossil-fuels power stations, 24 hours a
day.

Industrial windpower is subsidized by the taxpayer-consumer.
In France for example, if the national plan is realized ( 12,500 wind
turbines ! ) this burden will amount to 2.5 billion euros annually. In
Germany, it is already costing 4 billion euros a year.
At a time when Europe is facing a deep economic crisis, it is not acceptable
that the standard of living of Europeans be further reduced in favour of
businessmen whose objective seems to be maximizing profits whatever the
consequences.
Industrial windfarms are a threat to the environment.
Landscapes, the natural and cultural heritage, wildlife, quality of life,
the security and health of Europeans are in danger !

*2) The demands made by EPAW : an immediate moratorium and more
transparency.*
The platform demands an immediate moratorium with the suspension of all
windfarm projects, approved or not.

The platform demands that be assessed, under the control of an independent
body, the objective and undisputable effects of wind farms from an
energetical, ecological and social point of view – respectively.
The platform finally demands that the guaranteed pricing of wind-produced
electricity be made the object of both a public and a parliamentary debate,
at national and european levels.

Signed by :
European Associations and Federations participating in the reunion of
October 4th 2008
Spain : Iberica 2000
Belgica : Vent Contraire, Vent de Raison
France : FED : Fédération Environnement Durable (Fédération nationale),
France : FNASSEM – Fédération Nationale des Associations de Sauvegarde ses
Sites et Monuments
Germany : BLS (Bundesverband Landschaftsschutz – landscape protection,
federation of 800 local committees),
Germany : NAEB (Nationale Anti EEG Bewegung – against windfarms)

Contacts :
Kléber ROSSILLON (FNASSEM) : 06 07 21 88 64 kleber.rossilllon@wanadoo.fr
Emmanuel du BOULLAY (FED) : 06 13 54 49 07 emmanuel.du-boullay@laposte.net

Mark Duchamp + 34 679 12 99 97
INCONVENIENT VIDEOS : www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=3729

The dark side of windfarms : www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=1228
Pictures of windfarm victims ( eagles etc. ), of turbines on fire, of
collapsed turbines, of soil & water contamination etc. :
http://spaces.msn.com/mark-duchamp

ESPAÑOL :
Videos inconvenientes : www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=3729
La cara oscura de los parques eólicos:
www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=1255
Fotos de víctimas de parques eólicos ( águilas etc. ), incendios de
aerogeneradores, contaminación de las aguas por sus lubricantes etc. :
http://spaces.msn.com/mark-duchamp



In Rural New York, Windmills Can Bring Whiff of Corruption'

August 18, 2008

Editor: I have been
writing and posting about the wind fraud for two years. It’s time for govt. of all stripes to come clean. What’s behind the wind industry?
Read the Green Agenda.

Corruption

Christinne Muschi for The New York Times

Kathy Laclair of Churubusco, N.Y., dislikes the noise from the wind turbine blades and says their shadows give her vertigo.
More Photos >

‘In Rural New York, Windmills Can Bring Whiff of Corruption’);

‘The wind industry has arrived in force in upstate New York, but some residents say the companies have brought with them an epidemic of corruption and intimidation.’);

Published: August 17, 2008

BURKE, N.Y. — Everywhere that Janet and Ken Tacy looked, the wind companies had been there first.



Christinne Muschi for The New York Times

To some upstate towns, wind power promises prosperity. Others fear noise, spoiled views and the corrupting of local officials.
More Photos »

Dozens of people in their
small town had already signed lease options that would allow wind
towers on their properties. Two Burke Town Board members had signed
private leases even as they negotiated with the companies to establish
a zoning law to permit the towers. A third board member, the Tacys
said, bragged about the commissions he would earn by selling concrete
to build tower bases. And, the Tacys said, when they showed up at a
Town Board meeting to complain, they were told to get lost.

“There were a couple of times when they told us to just shut up,”
recalled Mr. Tacy, sitting in his kitchen on a recent evening.

Lured
by state subsidies and buoyed by high oil prices, the wind industry has
arrived in force in upstate New York, promising to bring jobs, tax
revenue and cutting-edge energy to the long-struggling region. But in
town after town, some residents say, the companies have delivered
something else: an epidemic of corruption and intimidation, as they
rush to acquire enough land to make the wind farms a reality.

“It really is renewable energy gone wrong,” said the Franklin County
district attorney, Derek P. Champagne, who began a criminal inquiry
into the Burke Town Board last spring and was quickly inundated with
complaints from all over the state about the wind companies. Attorney
General Andrew M. Cuomo agreed this year to take over the investigation.

“It’s a modern-day gold rush,” Mr. Champagne said.

Mr.
Cuomo is investigating whether wind companies improperly influenced
local officials to get permission to build wind towers, as well as
whether different companies colluded to divide up territory and avoid
bidding against one another for the same land.

The industry
appears to be shying away from trying to erect the wind farms in more
affluent areas downstate, even where the wind is plentiful, like Long
Island.

But in the small towns near the Canadian border, families
and friendships have been riven by feuds over the lease options, which
can be worth tens of thousands of dollars a year in towns where the
median household income may hover around $30,000. Rumors circulate
about neighbors who can suddenly afford new tractors or trucks.
Opponents of the wind towers even say they have received threats; one
local activist said that on two occasions, she had found her windshield
bashed in.

Full Article from the NY Times

Wind turbine marketers are full of hot air

July 11, 2008

Editor:
As happy as I am to see this article show up in a “Mainstream Canadian Newspaper”, I still have to ask-why has it taken so long to expose the scam that is the wind industry?
Hell, Enron started this scam years ago. Google- Enron, Al Gore, Maurice Strong and Bill Clinton. Like the media never noticed what was going on.

I’ve noticed the Globe and Mail reading my blog lately ‘site tracker’ and that’s good. But, why does it take so long to get a story out. People have been sending the mainstream papers this same information for years. Why have they remained silent for so long?

Billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted, landscapes ruined and peoples lives destroyed, while the media sat on the information.
I called the head office of CanWea two years ago this coming Nov. I told them the wind scam would be shut down within two years. I still believe it is possible.
It’s time for journalists to shake the cobwebs from their brains, remember the journalistic oath and get back to doing what they are supposed to do- inform the public of the truth.

Leave the lies and bullshit to the politicians and industry.
As J. Lennon said “Just give me the truth”

Anyway, I thank Mr. Reynolds for this story. Good work-even if it’s years late.

NEIL REYNOLDS

Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — Republican presidential candidate
Senator John McCain travelled to Oregon in mid-May to deliver the
definitive climate change speech of his campaign. He spoke in Portland,
at the U.S. headquarters of Vestas Wind Systems AS, a Danish company
that markets wind turbines around the world. He started on a
self-deprecating note. “Today is a kind of test run for this company,”
he said. “They’ve got wind technicians here, wind studies and all these
wind turbines. But there’s no wind. So now I know why they asked me to
come and give a speech.”

It was perhaps his most perceptive statement of the day. Five
sentences later, Mr. McCain made perhaps his least perceptive. “Wind,”
he said, “is a predictable source of energy.”

Really? Define predictable. Wind turbines operate occasionally with
remarkable efficiency at 100 per cent capacity. More often, they
operate with 20 per cent capacity. Once in a while, they operate with
subzero capacity – taking electricity from the grid to keep themselves
running until they get hit again by a restless wind.

British energy consultant Hugh Sharman, based in Denmark, documented
wind power’s capacity for subzero performance in a report published by
Civil Engineering magazine in 2005. With more wind power per capita
than any other country, Denmark (population 5.4 million) is the world’s
showroom nation for this highly fashionable form of renewable energy.

Why, then, does Denmark export almost all of its wind power – at a
revenue loss? Why, then, does Denmark still operate all of its
conventional coal-fired power plants? In a phrase, Mr. Sharman says,
the reason is Denmark’s “wildly fluctuating wind power.”

It turns out that Denmark’s vast array of turbines often produce
minimal electricity when demand is high, maximum electricity when
demand is low. Basing his analysis on data from a single year (2002),
Mr. Sharman reported that wind power produced less than 1 per cent of
the country’s electricity supply on 54 different days. On one of these
54 days, the wind turbines took more power from the grid than they
produced. (Wind turbines consume considerable electricity whether winds
are blowing or not blowing.)

British author and energy analyst Tony Lodge makes the same point in
a report by the Centre for Policy Studies, a London think tank. “Not a
single conventional power plant has been closed in the period that
Danish wind farms have been developed,” he says. “Because of the
intermittency and variability of the wind, conventional power plants
have had to be kept running at full capacity to meet the actual demand
for electricity and to provide backup.”

Mr. Lodge says it is not practical to turn coal-fired plants off and
on as winds rise and fall – because ramping them up consumes more fuel
(and emits more carbon dioxide) than running them at a constant rate.
Thus Denmark relies almost exclusively on coal-fired plants for its own
consumption and exports its wind power at whatever off-peak price it
can get.

Only 3.3 per cent of Denmark’s wind power gets “accepted” on the
grid for domestic consumption. In 2003, Denmark exported 84 per cent of
its wind-generated electricity at money-losing rates. And CO{-2}? In
2006, Denmark produced 36 per cent more carbon emissions than the year
before.

Messrs. McCain, Dion and Pickens notwithstanding, winds do not blow
predictably. Without an energy storage battery the size of Mount
Everest, most wind-powered electricity will be wasted and will almost
certainly increase a country’s carbon emissions – albeit inadvertently.
When your power plant operates at only 20 per cent capacity (or less),
you have to build four or five times as many plants as you need. For
reliable backup, you still need either coal, gas or nuclear power – all
of which are cheaper than wind.

The conclusion seems self-evident. Apparently it isn’t. Fortunately,
you can test wind power for yourself. Go outside on a hot and humid
day. Feel the breeze. Or don’t

The Globe and Mail

Wind power was useless in blackout

June 1, 2008

Editor:
Another example of the importance of wind energy.

The Ont. govt. is a regular visitor to this site and should have learned something by now. I’ve come to the conclusion they suffer from one of the following.

1) They can’t comprehend what they read.

2) They are stupid and suffer from very low IQs.

3) They are evil traitors and are following the UN – New World Order Agenda.

Which one do you think it is?

With these fools at the helm, it is easy to understand why our Health Care, Education, Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors are in such disarray.

Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the
industrialized civilizations collapse?
Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about
?”
Maurice Strong, former Secretary General of UNEP

Read Agenda 21
Now!

.

Wind power was useless in blackout

The British Wind Energy Association claims that there are more than 2,000 turbines in the UK with an installed capacity of 2,500 megawatts. Where was all this megawattage when it was needed on Tuesday, when 500,000 homes were blacked out as Sizewell B and eight other power stations shut down?

The answer is simple: the 2,000 turbines were impotent and would have made the situation worse had the grid operators tried to feed in their spurious outputs.

Coincidentally, Government figures describing the CO2 savings achieved in 2007 show no contribution from wind. The wind industry received nearly £320 million during 2007 in subsidies — from us, the consumers.

A letter by Bob Graham, Inchberry, Morayshire to the Telegraph

1 June 2008

Wind Company Pays a Visit

April 9, 2008

Editor:
I’d like to thank Canadian Hydro Developers for dropping by. CHD are going to build the Wolfe Island wind farm and the Melancthon II Wind Project. They have completed Melancthon l. Melancthon l resulted in people having problems with noise, both from the wind turbines and the substation. At least one family was bought out. Forced from their home. The fight continues in Melancthon.

We can only hope that CHD will be more considerate of people and their property in the future. Just because the MOE says the setbacks are adequate, doesn’t mean the MOE knows what they are talking about. If they did there wouldn’t be so many complaints.

CHD spent 21 minutes looking at 13 posts. Hope they found it insightful.

Have a question for CHD?


Steve O’Gorman
Manager, Marketing & Communications

Ph: (403) 298-0262

or

Lindsey Moen
Communications Coordinator
Ph: (403) 802-2099

E-mail: canhydro@canhydro.com

After hours or weekends, call us at:
Cell: (403) 818-4001

We will provide accurate and timely information that meets your deadlines. We are happy to help you with story ideas or background information.

Visit their site http://www.canhydro.com

.

Domain Name terago.ca ? (Canada)
IP Address 66.225.132.# (Canadian Hydro Developers)
ISP TeraGo Networks
Location
Continent : North America
Country : Canada (Facts)
State/Region : Alberta
City : Calgary
Lat/Long : 51.0833, -114.0833 (Map)
Distance : 1,440 miles
Language unknown
Operating System Microsoft WinXP
Browser Internet Explorer 6.0
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
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Last Page View Apr 9 2008 5:55:44 pm
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Visit Entry Page http://windfarms.wordpress.com/2007/11/
Visit ExitPage http://windfarms.wordpress.com/2008/04/

CORPORATION HEAD QUITS AS SCANDAL IS REVEALED TO PUBLIC

April 7, 2008

Editor:
Ever wondered why you can’t get anyone in govt. to listen when confronted about the negative affects of wind farms?  T

hey don’t give a damn  about you, your family or your property value. They smell money.

This is the Enron Scam on steroids. Ex-politicians filling their pockets with your tax dollars.

What do you get in return? Higher electrical costs, higher taxes, and if you are unlucky enough to live near a wind farm, a life altering experience.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

‘Unrelated’ ICBC resignation unbelievable

.
CORPORATION HEAD QUITS AS SCANDAL IS REVEALED TO PUBLIC

Michael Smyth
The Province

Trying to figure out Paul Taylor’s “coincidental” resignation as boss of ICBC is sort of like kicking the tires on one of their chop-shop write-offs — or attending one of the insurance monopoly’s rigged auctions.

There’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye of the average sucker.

{Snip} …

But if you still think Taylor’s departure is “completely unrelated” to ICBC’s little chop shop of horrors out in Burnaby — well, I know an ICBC insider who can get you a heckuva deal on a rebuilt Yugo (as long as you’re not picky about things like working air bags).

Completely unrelated? Give me a freaking break. The public has been ripped off. ICBC insiders have benefitted from a shabby scheme usually reserved for grifters and sharpies.

Most disturbing of all is the possibility illegally rebuilt vehicles have been hustled to unsuspecting B.C. drivers without the proper safety checks.

There’s more than a monopoly’s corporate reputation on the line here. People’s lives were possibly put at risk so ICBC insiders could line their own pockets.

And now the CEO is strapping on his parachute and hitting the silks during the crisis? Very impressive.

They can call it “completely unrelated” if they want. I call it an abdication of duty. Taylor should be promising the public that he’ll get to the bottom of this extremely disturbing scandal and take his lumps if he’s found ultimately responsible.

Instead, he’s running away. And his corporate and political masters have nothing but praise.

Source The Province

Mr. Taylor, President and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), will join NaiKun Wind Group as President and Director. Steven Eckert, a former consultant to BC Hydro

Ex-AECL boss’ firm could make Millions

Tory insider’s involvement in project ‘doesn’t pass the smell test’:

Ottawa Citizen Saturday, December 22, 2007
Michael Burns, the B.C. businessman and backroom Conservative who recently resigned as chairman of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., is also chairman of a Vancouver wind power firm the federal government approved for up to $10 million in alternate energy funding while Mr. Burns was AECL chairman. The offshore wind power company, NaiKun Wind Energy Group, has two former assistants to Prime Minister Stephen Harper as senior officers and also has other well-connected Conservatives on its board of directors. NaiKun received approval for wind.
Mr. Taylor, President and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), will join NaiKun Wind Group as President and Director. Steven Eckert, a former consultant to BC Hydro
Ventus Energy Inc. – The Toronto-based company, whose flagship wind projects are in PEI. . Former Ontario premier David Peterson is a board member of privately held Ventus.

If you know of any other Canadian ex-politicians involved in the energy scam please let me know.

Another One Bites the Dust

March 28, 2008

Editor
They burn, they explode, they make noise, they make little electricity when you need it, and they drive people from their homes. No wonder the Green Fanatics like them so much.

Stupid people pushing stupid ideas.

Smoke pours from the top and bottom of one of the wind turbines at the Ewington Wind Farm near the Heron Lake exit north of Interstate 90 Wednesday morning. The Brewster and Okabena Fire Departments responded to the scene, but upon the advice of Suzlon Wind Energy officials, the fire was allowed to burn itself out. (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment

March 2, 2008

Read Ministry of Energy’s proposed changes i.e. all the legal requirements that will enable wind and other energy projects to be approved and erected without public consultation, under what they are calling “the substituted process”.

All Ministries apparently should abdicate all their regulatory and approval responsibilities in favour of this new “substituted process”, and in this new perfect, energy driven world, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) will become the sole approval authority for siting and environmental issues.  The new “Environmental Assessment Report”, or EAR, as they are calling it, will take care of all these permitting delays by removing municipalities and other stakeholders from the entire process in the name of the public good – ie must have new energy at all costs.  Our democratic rights are being taken away from us. Please write to the Ministry of Energy to make known your position to this proposed change.

http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/index.cfm?fuseaction=electricity.reports
Go to – Agency Review Panel: Phase 2 Report

Visit Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment

Pushing against the wind

February 3, 2008

Editor:
Same crap different country.
The IESO in Ontario states that for planning purposes wind should only be counted on for 10% of it’s capacity rating. So, 1,000MW of wind is equivalent to 100MW of conventional power. The Govt., Media, and the Wind Industry continue to refer to the number of homes powered by wind, based on full capacity not the reality of 10%. At 7am today the 472MWs of wind power in Ont. were pumping out 18MWs, which is 3.82% of their plated capacity. 300 hones powered per MW for 18MW is 5400 homes. The govt. wind industry and the media would like you to believe that 141,600 are being powered by wind.

They should all be charged for false advertising. If they are not being truthful about the real capacity of wind, what else are they not telling us about our electrical system.

How does Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ont., feel about wind energy?

Ontario Hansard – 19-April2006
“I think the member opposite knows that when it comes to natural gas, prices there tend to be volatile, and it remains a significant contributor to global warming. Wind turbines: We are investing heavily in those, but again, those are an expensive form of electricity and they’re not reliable, because sometimes obviously the wind does not blow. When it comes to solar, those tend to be expensive as well.”

Pushing against the wind

The wind rush is on. Plans to erect sweeping wind farms are being unfurled at a rate of knots. But is this really clean green energy, or just another case of greedy corporates trashing our landscapes for profit? Anton Oliver argues it’s about time New Zealanders woke up to the dark side of wind power.

Forests of turbines spinning on distant hills: in these carbon-aware times, the glory of wind farms is being touted as the one-stop solution to all our energy ills. So aggressive has been the rush to build them that a week doesn’t seem to go by without a new application for an industrial-scale turbine site going before a local council for consideration under the Resource Management Act (RMA), with a mad green fervour.

You’d be forgiven, then, if it escaped your notice that wind power was part of the problem, not the solution, when the Electricity Commission last week announced that we’re teetering on the brink of yet another major electricity shortage.

The emergency button that is Whirinaki’s diesel-burning power plant (the official national standby) had been pushed, initiated by high wholesale electricity prices thanks to equipment failure at Taranaki’s combined-cycle plant, high water temperatures in the Waikato River forcing Huntly’s coal-burning plant to trim back production and becalmed summer skies over Manawatu meaning its plethora of wind turbines were as useful as wet paper toothpicks.

It may also have escaped your attention that as we rush to cover the country in wind farms (more precisely, as the energy oligarchs rush to gather the armfuls of carbon credits being dangled before them by government as a green bribe), in Europe far greater scrutiny is being applied to the imposition of these vast energy factories upon the environment.

Last week it was leaked that plans for the largest land-based wind farm in Britain, a 181-turbine development in the Scottish Hebrides, are to be vetoed by Scottish ministers due to likely negative impacts on wild birdlife. Likewise, a 27-turbine project in the rolling uplands of Cumbria, England an area with similar tourism and landscape values to Central Otago was deemed “a step too far” in the quest for green energy.

You won’t have read about it here because it’s not in the interests of this country’s major power players to tell you. The Labour-led government has its blinkers on trying to make up for its gross miscalculation of our Kyoto obligations come 2012 (which, rather than deliver us a profit as Labour initially declared, will, according to Business New Zealand projections, cost us as much as $3 billion), frantically searching for alternative revenue streams hence its renewed interest in carbon credits and emissions trading to pay for its incompetence.

Based on the evidence so far, its stated energy and climate change policy to be 90% renewable in our energy generation by the year 2025 should not be seen as green or carbon friendly, but a state-directed, revenue-motivated assault on New Zealand’s natural environment.

The least the government should have done is to come up with a sensible, national, overarching strategy for wind energy generation in New Zealand: instead energy generators including the government’s own SOE, Meridian Energy have seized upon the lack of guidelines in a frantic wind rush for the most cost-effective sites.

Hang on, isn’t the RMA supposed to safeguard us from the excesses of corporate developers?

While the RMA is touted as being a democratic process, the reality is that the success of an appellant’s case comes down to how much money they can raise; since most don’t have a spare $100,000-$500,000 in their coffers to pay a QC and their support staff.

An opponent as financially rotund as Meridian, meanwhile, has a team of lawyers and expensive experts and can afford a cartel of QCs to browbeat local councillors and other beleaguered individuals seriously out of their depth who tend to make up resource consent hearing panels.

Last week, the Crown, via the Ministry for the Environment, made a whole-of-government submission supporting Project Hayes (Meridian’s controversial 176 turbines, proposed for Central Otago, which is headed for the Environment Court).

It cited wind generation as being of national interest since it “ensures” security of energy supply by providing additional generation capacity and diversification of electricity production methods and, secondly, supposedly helps New Zealand address climate change issues.

Yet no one is asking the hard questions of a government desperate to sell itself to an increasingly green-aware public in election year.

As the fine print of the Energy Commission release indicated, wind energy is not reliable. No one knows when it will blow. At best, crude statistics are used to predict how much it will blow on average over very long time frames (months, years). Wind generation cannot be calculated with any security: will it blow tomorrow morning, Friday evening or next Wednesday at 6pm when Huntly’s going to be offline or the hydro lakes are low?

New Zealanders are sold on the concept that all wind is green, therefore large-scale wind is the panacea for all our woes. But wind farms like Project Hayes are attractive to the generator oligarchy only because of economics of scale and carbon credits: together they make industrial-sized wind not only financially viable, but exceedingly profitable.

Basing security of supply, meanwhile, on something that is as inherently unpredictable is somewhere south of foolish. Overseas experience has already shown that for every 1000 megawatts of wind generation installed less than 10% can be calculated as firm generating capacity, therefore increasing rather than decreasing traditional energy supply (often carbon-emitting) because of the fundamental problem: when the wind stops blowing, where does the power come from?

Meridian and other generators continue to regurgitate their standard spiel that this or that wind farm is “capable of producing enough electricity to power 100,000 homes”. Try supplying Wellington’s Courtenay Pl, Lambton Quay, the Beehive and ancillary government buildings with wind power only for a year and in December ask them how they got on.

Wind surges also cause massive voltage and frequency increases, threatening the integrity and stability of the grid (which, under Cook Strait, even last week had to be held at a paltry 400MW to stop the system from overloading). Of course, sudden decreases in wind have to be replaced by alternative, ready-to-go energy standbys such as Whirinaki. Not the kind of admission we tend to hear from energycoms as they try to push their wind schemes on to an unsuspecting public.

Leaving aside the belief that it will have unacceptable environmental and tourism impacts on an iconic slice of Otago, Meridian’s Project Hayes wind farm has yet to disclose any alternative methods for generating electricity when it isn’t blowing, nor how the grid will handle the load placed on it, nor even some basic science collected from the site to back up their claims that this is a good thing for the country as a whole.

Peak Oil New Zealand