Senate to investigate damaging effects of wind farms

The best thing that can happen to a wind farm

Wind farms are, as we all know, inefficient, expensive and ugly. And that’s just their good points. They are also a scandalous waste of money, generating pitiful amounts of electricity, and rarely running at more than 25% of their rated capacity. And back-up traditional power stations are still required for when the wind isn’t blowing, or isn’t blowing hard enough (which is most of the time). Not only that but there are other concerns too:

URGENT research should be undertaken into the potentially damaging health effects of wind farms on nearby residents, says a landmark Senate report released yesterday.

In a dramatic win for residents’ groups who have raised widespread concerns about the impact of wind farms on rural communities, the committee recommended that noise measurements be expanded to include low-frequency noise, or infrasound.

Campaigners welcomed the report and said there should be an immediate halt to wind farm developments until the potential health impacts were better understood.

According to the Clean Energy Council, there are 53 wind farms operating in Australia, with 1089 operating turbines that can reach the height of a 45-storey building and have blades up to 50m long.

The majority Senate report yesterday called for tougher rules on noise, new rules to govern how close wind farms can be built to houses, and an independent arbitrator to hear complaints.

It said arbitrary setbacks – the distance that a wind farm must be built from a residence – may not be adequate and each situation may need to be considered on its merits.

But the most dramatic findings were in the area of potential harm from low-frequency noise.

The committee said the commonwealth government should initiate as a matter of priority “thorough, adequately resourced epidemiological and laboratory studies of the possible effects of wind farms on human health”.

It doesn’t matter what route we take, as long as we put a stop to the wind farm madness.

Read it here.

Comments

  1. Sean McHugh says:

    Here is a what I last night submitted in response to that article in the Australian. No comments have been published:

    The question of whether wind turbines are good for anything should be debated. Apart from the adverse effects on nearby residents, in terms of health, quality of life, property values, these monstrosities despoil the countryside; they kill birds, are costly, unreliable and puny in output. The more we have, the higher our electricity bills will be. They are totally useless when the wind is too high or too low. On average, a wind turbine will deliver about 25% of its rating. And for any power they do deliver, they still need proper power stations actually up and running on standby, ready to supply what the wind farms are supposed to deliver. On balance, they help to provide close to zero of the power requirements of a country. They will bring about roughly the same CO2 reduction, which in turn, will make roughly zero difference to climate even if all the hysteria turns out to be correct, even if all the other countries were doing the same. China, for instance, will be increasing its CO2 output, by Australia’s planned reduction, every 10 days!

  2. Baldrick says:

    Wind farms are not the solution to the worlds power needs. The one fact that can never be surmounted with all current renewable or sustainable energy strategies is that you still need a conventional base or back-up electricity supply, ie: coal, nuclear, gas or hydro generators. All current ‘sustainable’ power technologies only supply intermittent power and thus, the need for a back-up or base supply makes them unsustainable.

    Sustainable wind or solar energy at present is the stuff of fairy-tales, unless of course your in the business of manufacturing, installing or promoting them!

    • Sean McHugh says:

      Yes, if wind – as used by our forebears – was so great, the faithful wouldn’t need to be replace the coal-fired power stations because there wouldn’t be any.

  3. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    “And back-up traditional power stations are still required for when the wind isn’t blowing, or isn’t blowing hard enough (which is most of the time)”.
    The limitations of windmills go further than what you mention, they must also be shut down if the wind blows too hard. What’s more when the wind is light they must often consume power from the grid in order to keep them turning.
    Another windmill bites the dust this one came down last Sunday in Germany. But while the fires, tower and blade failures are bad enough problems with these relics of a bygone era, by far the worst thing about them is that they are unreliable and produce very expensive power. Their lack of reliability means that a reliable source of power must provide continuous back-up to pick-up the load if/when the wind falters.

  4. rukidding says:

    I have ask elswhere.If we had used all the money the government has spent on renewable schemes over the last few years on replacing our brown coal power stations with gas fired how much more CO2 would we have saved to what we have saved with Mickey Mouse renewables.
    I understand that brown coal power stations make up 24% of east coast power while renewables other than hydro make up just 2.4%

  5. “The GREENS” do not push wind power quite as hard as they do SOLAR!

    The reason being is they are starting to have an effect on the ordinary people and their environmental colleagues who have issues like noise pollution and the horiffic destruction of wildlife (birds).

    The US has many turbines and some of their iconic large birds are falling prey to these inefficient and extremely costly poles with fan blades!

  6. Confusious says:

    Hmm. Just a thought….. If we could compost all Labor, Greens, Independents with their “beyond doubt confirmed science” gurus, we could substantially lessen Australia’s carbon footprint and even have some methane to burn as well……..
    Pass the showel comrades…….

  7. oh …by the way, if you want to see th ugly results of when qualified scientists do take on the nonsense he spruiks, fell free to browse this 48 page PDF

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Monckton-response.pdf

  8. I was reading in the paper last week that overseas there is a huge problem with the number of broken turbines from the windmill just going to landfill and causing problems as they are so big and once they are broken they are useless.

  9. If coal fired power stations are so abhorrent and nuclear power stations so pathologically detested by the Greens and Labor, the powers that be should consider, as an alternate power source to coal seam gas (CSG), the use of thorium. Thorium is abundant in Australia. The construction and operating costs of a thorium plant are low enough to build a number of smaller, strategically placed plants around the country with the ability to supply base load power where it is needed. Thus no more expensive inefficient and ineffective wind or solar power.

  10. Well wind farms could be really good, not here in Aus though or anywhere where there are vested interests getting government subsidies n grants etc. What we see are 50 year old and older designs of wind generators. So crap n old n soooo cheap but they charge the gov oodles n claim ridiculous prices etc. A total money scam this is. Get rid of the green loans, get rid of the scams. Then u will get the good wind generators. silent, slower, more reliable etc. Get rid of the government grants n subsidies etc. Its a rort n we aint getting what we need. As yet I aint seen a single proper high tech wind generator in use in Aus. Lots of these older style crap horizontal wind generators. But they r crap.

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