“A deception of wind turbines”, SA’s wind madness punishes families

December 16, 2015

Family First Senator Bob Day has coined the collective noun a “deception” of wind turbines, saying all they are doing is hurting family living costs – not helping the environment.

“SA Labor big-notes its policy of attempting to make Adelaide the world’s first ‘carbon neutral’ city by 2050. It is a cruel hoax. It will be impossible to achieve and all it will do is punish struggling families and send SA broke.” Senator Day said, “We are all painfully aware of the closure of the Leigh Creek coal mine and job losses in Port Augusta and Whyalla. Such decisions are fuelled by economic realities, and one such reality is the SA Government’s radical push for using more renewable energy, without considering social and economic impacts. Unemployment in South Australia is currently the worst in Australia.”

“We now see the SA Government calling a crisis meeting yesterday in belated acknowledgement that it has kicked a huge own-goal with its renewables push. Power prices have sky-rocketed which in turn inhibits jobs creation.”

“Wind turbines are subsidised to produce inefficient power. After driving power prices up, state governments then have to increase the industry assistance subsidies due to the higher power prices! If it wasn’t tax-payers money being wasted, it would be a joke. I appreciate that every method of producing electricity has its downsides. I am very much in favour of efficient, cost effective, socially responsible and environmentally sound production of energy.”

By any measure wind energy fails. Read the report of the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines, of which I was Deputy Chair, which revealed:

(a) Wind energy does not create any significant long term employment. As confirmed by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s in their Major Electricity Generation Projects October 2014, approximately less than 10% of jobs during the construction phase of wind farms are retained after construction;

(b) Wind energy does not significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Electricity is only generated when the wind is blowing, which may not always be when consumers require it. So, fossil fuel generators must still be running or available on standby – very costly to do – to supply the grid whenever necessary;

(c) The significant subsidies paid for by consumers for the establishment of wind energy is driving up electricity prices.

(d) The adverse health impacts of wind farms on nearby residents are devastating. It is in wind turbine operators and manufacturers’ interest to deny it, using the very same arguments once used to deny the harmful effects of tobacco, lead in petrol, asbestos, thalidomide et cetera. However, the worldwide empirical, biological and anecdotal evidence of adverse health effects is overwhelming;

(e) Wind turbines kill birds and bats in significant numbers. Any deaths of Australian fauna should be avoided or at least minimised. However, the erection of wind turbines just increases the number of avian mortalities, and such mortality rates cannot be justified by a comparison with mortality rates from cars.

(f) Land owner gag clauses. Some land owners receive income from hosting wind turbines on their properties. However, not all are residents on the wind farm land and some have tried to break their contracts with the wind farm operators due to the adverse health effects being suffered. If wind farms were so good for the community, why would those contracts contain clauses prohibiting land owners from making negative comments about wind farms, and from taking any kind of legal action against particular wind farm operators?

“So what would be the collective noun for wind turbines? Some call them a ‘farm’ – that’s an offence to farmers. I prefer “deception”. Seeing a deception of wind farms on the horizon, evokes some to feel “we’re doing great things for the environment”. Yet wind farms are about image not reality, hence why they are embraced by image conscious politicians with a film crew in tow.”

Image: Lisa Schneider

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