Lots of hot air, but still no cost-benefit analysis

Wind-aware-logo220W

Wind Aware Ireland Press Release

Minister Naughten has been accused of talking  ‘gobbledygook’ on wind energy by a top economist.

Minister Naughten’s take on wind energy in Ireland has been described as “gobbledygook verging on baby talk.” by top economist Cormac Lucey in the Sunday Independent.

Our energy policy has been promulgated by anonymous civil servants, and unchallenged by successive ministers afraid of not being seen to take climate change seriously. Almost all political parties have followed this Green Party zealotry without understanding the context, technical limitations of wind energy or asking any hard questions.

The Department and SEAI have been led a merry dance by the wind developers while we, the citizens, pay €1.2billion a year, to support this industry. A largely complicit and unquestioning media have gone along for the ride, choosing to believe the SEAI and Irish Wind Energy Association spin. Meanwhile emissions continue to rise.

Two of Ireland’s leading economists, Cormac Lucey and Colm Mc Carthy, as well as the Irish Academy of Engineering are now asking serious questions about wind energy. When will Minister Naughten stand up his department and the SEAI, and act on evidence instead of “gobbledegook” wishful thinking?

http://cormaclucey.blogspot.ie/2018/01/for-all-hot-air-about-wind-farms-we.html

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/59534715/costs-of-wind-energy-report

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in EU Renewable Energy 2020 Target, Green Party; Ireland; Eamonn Ryan; Cormac Manning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

An interesting commentary from Pat Swords on the North-South Interconnector:

“Some thoughts and facts about the Ireland of today with further confirmation that we don’t live in anything that even remotely approaches a Democracy. Still one gives it a ‘poke’ and it interesting to see what comes out.

The background to this is the North South Interconnector which is a 400 kV pylon route of 140 km in length from the South of Meath some 34 km into Tyrone, with a cost of some €250 million. The reason for it? It is part of the €4 billion high voltage grid expansion for the Island of Ireland to facilitate a target of some 40% wind energy (42% in N. Ireland target). Let’s face it for years the Irish grid functioned perfectly well without this project. Pretty picture of typical 400 kV pylon below, plus this project directly facilitates the roll out of more than 600 MW (> 300 turbines) in Donegal and West N. Ireland.

Naturally, it is contentious. As a Strategic Infrastructure Development it went straight into An Bord Pleanala, with the only right of review being into the Courts. Under the UNECE Convention and the European Law which implements it, such a legal appeal is meant to address the substantive and procedural acts and omissions. In practice, an Irish Court will not look at a substantive issues, i.e. related to the merit of the decision making, unless you can first prove that the Government official acted so irrationally that it defied common sense. So your only chance is on procedures.

At the Bord Pleanala stage an unprecedented 871 submissions costing €50 each were made by individuals and groups of individuals working together. Plus people put a lot of time and effort in to present at the oral hearing. An Bord Peanala file: http://www.pleanala.ie/casenum/VA0017.htm

You will notice that a repeated theme of the public from the summary of their submissions, was why do we need this project and there are huge illegalities in the manner this renewable programme has been adopted:  http://www.pleanala.ie/documents/reports/VA0/RVA0017A.pdf

However, An Bord Pleanala ruled all matters connected with the need for the project and anything related to overarching plans and programmes as out of the scope of its decision making. Instead this decision-making was limited as to whether it went overground or underground and the final routing, i.e. left or right. The Convention and the EU’s Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, which transpose it, require “effective public participation when all options are open”. The UNECE’s Recommendations and International ‘case law’ on public participation are clear: Participation means that there must be a possibility to influence the decision. Note: Consultation is when you tell them what you are doing, participation is when it can be influenced. Secondly, decision making often occurs in tiers; for example some overarching decisions being taken at a plan / programme level and then others at the subsequent project level, for which as the Recommendations explain:

https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/Publications/2015/1514364_E_web.pdf

• F. Early public participation when all options are open (article 6, paragraph 4) 78. In the case of tiered decision-making (see para. 17 above), in order to ensure early and effective public participation when all options are open: a. There should be at least one stage in the decision-making process when the public has the opportunity to participate effectively on whether the proposed activity should go ahead at all (the zero option) (see also para 16 above); b. In addition, at each stage of a tiered decision-making process, the public should have the opportunity to participate in an early and effective manner on all options being considered at that stage; c. Information about the decision-making in the earlier tiers should be available in order for the public to understand the justification of those earlier decisions — including the rejection of the zero option and other alternatives; d. When in a tiered decision-making process new information subsequently sheds doubt on decisions made in the earlier tiers or stages or severely undermines their justification it should be possible to reopen these decisions.

Needless to say the public were never involved with the decision-making on the National Renewable Energy Action Plans for 40% renewable electricity, which included this grid programme, neither does any environmental assessment exist for any aspect of that.

So what did we learn today? Well essentially An Bord Pleanala is a ‘clearing house’ or ‘rubber stamp’ for Government policy and we have absolutely nothing to do with their function other than they just collect public submissions at €50 a go from us, record them and ignore them.

It gets deeper though, not only did the EU do the complete dirt on the public by adopting these National Renewable Energy Action Plans without any environmental assessment or public participation, but it went out and repeated this exercise in 2013, by adopting a Regulation on Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) to provide fast track planning and billions of funding to some 150 transboundary electricity projects. At the moment there is a UNECE Aarhus Compliance Case (C-96) on-going on this which is very near completion. But in summary that compliance case proves as to how no environmental information was available, as it simply did not exist. The public in the Member States were never informed. Instead an obscure EU consultation website was used, which only ‘insiders’ would know about and everything was in English only, which is ‘bugger all use’ to the majority of the EU’s 470 million citizens, who don’t speak English. The below is the sum total of environmental information relating to the North South Interconnector which the EU had, when it adopted the below on its 2013 PCI list. :

First of all even if we wanted to legally challenge the EU on this PCI Regulation, we can’t as EU Citizens have no access to the European Court of Justice to do so, a position in which the EU is in contempt of a ruling at UNECE against it. Therefore, one has to try and take an indirect challenge through a project, such as the North South Interconnector. However, it is position the judge adopted on this Article 7 of the Regulation above, which is very interesting (despite what we had argued / presented):

•  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:32013R0347

• Article 7
‘Priority status’ of projects of common interest
1.   The adoption of the Union list shall establish, for the purposes of any decisions issued in the permit granting process, the necessity of these projects from an energy policy perspective, without prejudice to the exact location, routing or technology of the project. [Emphasis in bold]

So once the EU put it on the list, it was all a done deal! The public participation was only there for ‘candy floss’. An Bord Pleanala is a clearing house to rubber stamp the project and the Irish High Court is a clearing house to rubber stamp An Bord Pleanala.

So it’s just like Animal Farm, where the pigs (especially Napoleon) decide and the animals have to toil building windmills, as Squealer the pig explains it:

• “No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”

Plus ca change!

Regards

Pat

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A Solar Roof?

I found this on Bloomberg.

 

I would be interested to read peoples’ comments.

 

 
“Tesla Inc. has kicked off production of its long-awaited electricity-producing shingles that Elon Musk says will transform the rooftop solar industry.

Manufacturing of the photovoltaic glass tiles began last month at a factory in Buffalo built with backing from New York State, the company said in an email Tuesday. It comes more than a year after Tesla unveiled the shingles to a mix of fanfare and skepticism.

The appeal: a sleek, clean solar product, especially for homeowners seeking to replace aging roofs. The tiles — from most angles — look like ordinary shingles. They allow light to pass from above and onto a standard flat solar cell.

Tesla, the biggest U.S. installer of rooftop-solar systems, piloted the product on the homes of several employees. The company expects to begin installing roofs for customers within the next few months.

 

Solar shingles will cost more than a conventional roof along with photovoltaic panels — but not “wickedly so,” said Hugh Bromley, a New York-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst. He estimates a Tesla roof would cost about $57,000 for a 2,000-square-foot house, compared to about $41,000 for terracotta tiles along with a 5-kilowatt solar-panel system. A plain-old asphalt roof with panels would run about $22,000, Bromley said.

“It may actually do well in overseas markets where solar-photovoltaic is cheap and homeowners are used to paying a premium for building materials and cars — such as Australia,” Bromley said in an email.

Tesla started production of solar cells and panels about four months ago at its Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo. New York committed $750 million to help build the 1.2 million-square-foot factory, which currently employs about 500 people. The plant will eventually create nearly 3,000 jobs in Western New York and nearly 5,000 statewide, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in 2015.”

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Corporate Energy Control is the big problem

If each household was an energy neutral entity, would that not be far more desirable than ramping up the grid and building massive wind farms all over the country? It seems logical, but of course that would mean an end to the subsidy scam and the corporate control of the energy market.

A very interesting article by Claire McCormack:

Big energy players wield ‘too much control’ on future renewable vision

Claire McCormack

Dec 29, 2017, 2:52pm

The Micro-Renewable Energy Federation (MREF) has today warned against the “significant influence” major energy companies have over the country’s future renewable strategy.

Pat Smith, joint chairman of MREF, has claimed that major utilities want to retain “total control” over the generation, distribution and supply of electricity – a move which he says “dismisses” the potential growth of a micro renewable energy sector in Ireland.

Micro generation is the small-scale generation (less than 11kW) of heat and electricity power by individuals, small businesses and communities to meet their own needs.

This type generation from small-scale wind, solar and hydro energy, could be used as a viable alternative to traditional centralised grid-connected power.

“Recently released consultation documents on a new renewable energy support scheme bore all the hallmarks of big energy influence. The micro generation sector is almost totally dismissed as a viable alternative to big energy players,” said Smith.

Nothing could be further from the truth as roof top solar PV (photo voltaic) and battery storage are viable and sustainable solutions to help Ireland achieve its challenging climate change targets.

The MREF estimates that there are at least 500,000 homes, 50,000 businesses, and 100,000 farms whose roof space could collectively accommodate at least 5,000MW of electricity generation.

“With the use of battery and other storage options – such as water heating and electric vehicle charging – most if not all of this energy could be consumed within the very homes and businesses where the renewable power is generated. This would also have a positive impact on grid capacity.

“The incentives needed to support businesses and homes switching to solar and battery storage technologies are less than what the government is currently paying big wind developers in guaranteed feed-in tariffs. Most of these financial supports are leaving the country,” he said.

Redirecting PSO levy

The MREF contends that redirecting 20% of the existing PSO levy towards micro generation would provide grant support; a generation tariff; and facilitate the viable roll-out of up to 250MW per year of roof top and ground mounted solar – that could be used for energy consumption in homes and businesses countrywide.

It is time that the government moved to break the stranglehold of the major energy utilities by supporting micro generation and encouraging households and businesses to generate some, if not all, of their own electricity requirements.

Ireland is one of the only countries in Europe yet to support micro renewable technologies including roof top solar and battery storage, according to the MREF.

“Farmers also need to be incentivised to adopt renewable technologies with a credit offsetting carbon reductions achieved through micro generation,” Smith concluded.

The Micro-Renewable Energy Federation is a members’ organisation representing the majority of companies and stakeholders engaged in developing, installing and manufacturing micro PV solar and battery storage in Ireland.

MREF also represents thousands of households and businesses waiting for the “long overdue” delivery of the government’s commitment to support micro energy generation.

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Germany’s ‘Green’ Energy Myth Busted: Landscapes Trashed, Countless Birds & Bats Slaughtered

STOP THESE THINGS

Wind and sun worshipping eco-zealots don’t hold a monopoly on hypocrisy, but come very close. As nasty as they are sanctimonious, the more active and vociferous members of the wind cult have no difficulty in justifying the destruction of pristine landscapes; the dismemberment of once cohesive, rural communities; the creation of toxic waste lands in China (where the rare earths essential to wind turbines are processed); power prices that punish the poorest and most vulnerable in society; and barely bat an eyelid at the slaughter of millions upon millions of birds and bats, across the globe.

Germany has been held up as the renewable energy poster child. However, with its landscapes being trashed and wildlife perpetually walloped out of existence, the wind industry is fast becoming environmentalists’ public enemy number one.

Truly Green? How Germany’s ‘Energy Transition’ is Destroying Nature
Global Warming Policy Foundation
Michael Miersch
24…

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Autism: how do you explain …

My amazing wife and one of our handsome sons!

From the Inside

Today I came across some notes I had written a couple of years ago, when Ian was due to spend two weeks with some people who didn’t know him.  Perhaps this would be a suitable adult centre for him to attend;  perhaps not.  How could I possibly sum up our complicated young adult in a way that would make sense?

I had no choice but to limit my notes to the few things I considered most important.  It was, after all, only a two week stint.

When I read them today, I laughed.  How terse I sound!  How anxious to impress upon them the rules we had instilled so many years ago!  And how impossible it was to encapsulate all that is Ian in less than two pages!

But I felt it was worth sharing.  It entertained me;  perhaps it will entertain you.  This is what I wrote —

“Please…

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Unjustified spending and rampant price increases in costs of electricity

The Report is now available to read.

The Law is my Oyster

wind-money

Wind Aware Ireland have launched their new report “The Costs of Wind Energy in Ireland”. This report may precipitate the latest scandal in public spending.

REPORT: The Costs of Wind Energy in Ireland

The report shows that the Irish State and consumer are spending approximately €1.2 billion per year on wind energy and no one has done the sums to justify this spend.

The Irish Academy of Engineering found that focusing mainly on wind to reduce emissions would create the highest technical risk, would generate the lowest amount of reliable electricity and had lowest public acceptability compared to using biomass or carbon capture and storage. They said “A detailed analysis needs to be carried out of the costs and socio-economic implications of reducing emissions”.

Economist Colm McCarthy noted “It is time for Government to acknowledge that Ireland has enough wind farms, that they cost too much in subsidies and that promising…

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Unjustified spending and rampant price increases in costs of electricity

wind-money

 

Wind Aware Ireland have launched their new report “The Costs of Wind Energy in Ireland”. This report may precipitate the latest scandal in public spending.

REPORT: The Costs of Wind Energy in Ireland

The report shows that the Irish State and consumer are spending approximately €1.2 billion per year on wind energy and no one has done the sums to justify this spend.

The Irish Academy of Engineering found that focusing mainly on wind to reduce emissions would create the highest technical risk, would generate the lowest amount of reliable electricity and had lowest public acceptability compared to using biomass or carbon capture and storage. They said “A detailed analysis needs to be carried out of the costs and socio-economic implications of reducing emissions”.

Economist Colm McCarthy noted “It is time for Government to acknowledge that Ireland has enough wind farms, that they cost too much in subsidies and that promising routes to cut emissions lie elsewhere.”

All legally mandated checks and balances for wind energy have been bypassed; no costs benefit analysis, no strategic environmental assessment and no regulatory impact analysis has ever been undertaken to justify this spend.

This sheer lack of accountability and the capture of policy by wind developers should be grounds for a national scandal.

Paula Byrne (PRO)

Wind Aware Ireland

www.windawareireland.com

Phone:  057 86 27048

Mobile: 086 8241523

Email:  paula@windawareireland.com

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Think, dammit, THINK!

'I know figures don't lie. Your job is to make them.'

 

“If we are uncritical, we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations; and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories.”

(Karl Popper)

in this Information Age, we are being bombarded with huge amounts of information all the time. The obvious result is that we stop looking too closely – this is almost a self-defence mechanism by our brain, as it stops us from going mad at the sheer volume of STUFF.

This is also extremely dangerous, as we are reading, digesting, and passing on a lot of information that is likely to be downright dodgy, we just don’t have the time or energy to check its provenance.

It is essential that we continue to disagree, debate and question as much as possible. In doing so we must understand what it is we don’t agree with, so that we are able to clearly articulate what it is that we don’t agree with when somebody challenges us or our views. It is not enough to just say you disagree, you must be able to come up with a better alternative or explanation.

“We engage in critical thinking, or benefit from the lessons of previous critical thought, all the time without being aware of it. If we took everything at face value, we wouldn’t get very far in life: we would be deceived, bewildered, manipulated, confused. Imagine if you believed everything you were told by everyone, everything that you saw and heard and read in every advert, in every politician’s claim.”

“When we are thinking critically, we are setting out actively to understand what is going on by using reasoning, evaluating evidence and thinking carefully about the process of thinking itself.”

(Tom Chatfield  #TalkCriticalThinking)

This blog has not been shy in voicing certain strong opinions, but that is all they are – opinions. I have always encouraged people to comment, whether for or against, and engage in spirited debate. Work pressure is preventing me from blogging as much as I used to, but I would welcome peoples’ comments and views on the energy debate, climate change, global warming, planning, and of course the law!

All I ask is that we stop uncritically accepting the massive amounts of nonsense that seem to constantly pour out of the websites of various government departments, and the plethora of sycophantic media outlets that disseminate their sh*t, forever polluting the minds of the uncritical reader.

DISAGREE! DEBATE! QUESTION!

“The trouble with having an open mind of course is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

(Terry Pratchett)

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Ireland faces data centre challenge to power demand

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Tallbloke

image

Data centres will consume 20 per cent of Ireland’s power generation capacity by 2025, according to the country’s main grid operator, Eirgrid.
Eirgrid added that the huge increase in data centre activity in the country would eat up to 75 per cent of growth in Irish power demand.
The Irish Independent reports that the amount of power needed to store emails, texts and other online data could rise seven-fold as Ireland chases inward investment from tech giants including Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

 

Facebook data center Ireland

“Large industrial connections normally do not dominate a country’s energy demand forecast but this is the case for Ireland at the moment,” the All-Island Generation Capacity Statement 2017-2026 says.
The situation has been further complicated by a fall in older conventional power plants, due to close over the same time frame. While more renewables are being added to the…

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Access to Justice?

Access to Justice pic for blog

The Aarhus Compliance Committee has interpreted Article 9 (3) of the Convention to mean that the public must have access to adequate judicial mechanisms in the event of acts and omissions in contravention of environmental law and, secondly, to provide means for the enforcement of environmental law to ensure its effectiveness. In other words there must be a quick and effective way to stop people wrecking the environment and ignoring the law. Neither the ABP nor the High Court can be described as quick and effective. We need something new that has the trust of the public – something like an Environmental Rights Commissioner and thereafter an Environmental Court – which is quick and easy and does not require a law degree to understand what is going on and is open to all, either the single citizen or the community group. Quick and effective justice is what is needed.

With this in mind I ask you to consider the plight of two groups who are currently in litigation concerning matters of profound public importance. Instead of funding the exploration of these important questions itself, the State is putting all and every obstacle in their way. It’s the old tactic of “can’t beat ’em? Then starve them!”

The legal fees necessary to take these matters further will be enormous. Between five and seven thousand people read this blog. If you could all see it in yourselves to donate a tenner to each family or group involved in this litigation, that would be an enormous help.

 

THE HIGH COURT (JUDICIAL REVIEW)[2016 No. 754 J.R.]
SINEAD FITZPATRICK AND ALLAN DALY
versus
AN BORD PLEANALA
AND GALWAY COUNTY COUNCIL AND APPLE DISTRIBUTION INTERNATIONAL

Sinead and Allan judicially reviewed the decision of ABP to confirm the grant of planning permission to Apple for a massive data centre right in the heart of the fields of Athenry. They lost and now need to appeal that decision.

Sinéad and Allan have to be back in court today at and decide by then if they are going to apply for a certificate to appeal.

They have been under considerable stress in taking the Judicial Review and now they will have there own costs to pay. They need help, fast.

I know it would take off some of the pressure and perhaps help them to make the decision to seek leave to appeal if the financial side could be sorted out for them.

There is a very real danger that Judge McDermott’s judgment will open the floodgates for data centres and in turn give the Wind Industry the excuse to develop further, given the massive electricity consumption of these data centres. Even if the likes of Apple can be stalled a bit longer they may take their data centre business elsewhere and hopefully other data centre developers would follow suit.

wind-turbines-near-house

 

The second case before the courts is Kathleen Connolly versus An Bord Pleanala (ABP).

The core issue of this case is how An Bord Pleanála carries out and records its assessments of developments, particularly where Appropriate Assessments (AA) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are involved.

To date a number of cases has been taken against the Bord challenging how the Bord records those assessments. The particular concern is with how it records its methods of examining, analysing and evaluating the likely effects of developments on the environment. As a result it is alleged that the Bord cannot communicate clearly its decision-making process in a way that all interested parties can understand. It is left up to those wishing to appeal the decisions of the Bord to trawl through all of the documentation and to employ specialists in assisting them to interpret the rationale behind these decisions. The time-frame of the appeals process is often too short for individuals or groups to achieve this analysis in a thorough and cost effective way.

The High Court Judgement of Mr. Justice Barrett in the case of Kathleen Connelly vs An Bord Pleanála on the 14th June 2016, ruled that it was the obligation of the Bord to record its determinations under EIA and AA legislation. In addition, it is required to give the main reasons and considerations on which its decision was based in such a way that Ms Connelly (and others) are given a proper understanding of why the decision to approve the development of a wind farm in Coore/Shanaway has been reached. In the absence of such a record in this case, Mr Barrett issued an order of certiorari, quashing An Bord Pleanála’s decision to allow the wind farm to be built. This is a very important judgement in planning and environmental litigation and will have far reaching effects beyond this case.

The Bord, on the basis that this ruling will have a very significant impact on how it operates and that this is of general public importance, petitioned the Supreme Court for clarification and the Supreme Court agreed that the issues raised in this case warrants clarification by a higher court. The Supreme Court will either uphold, overturn or refer the High Court decision to the European Court of Justice.

The current lack of a transparent and accessible decision-making process in An Bord Pleanála is a situation that needs to be addressed, and is long overdue. An Bord Pleanála is a public decision-making body, funded by tax payers’ money, and every interested party should understand clearly how and why the Bord makes the decisions it does. If this case is upheld, it will make it easier and more cost-effective for individuals and communities to decide on the merits of appealing a decision by An Bord Pleanála in the High Court.

‘It never suffices, and it has never sufficed, for a public decision making body to issue a decision that refers in a largely uninformative manner to an ocean of material consulted or relied upon, and to leave an affected party thereafter to fish in that ocean for what she might catch there of relevance within the ever diminishing time frame for bringing a related judicial review application – and one will search long and hard in the law reports to find a judge of the High Court, or any court, who has suggested the contrary.’
(Judgement of Mr. Justice Max Barrett, 14th June 2016, Kathleen Connelly vs An Bord Pleanála, para 27)

The ABP are now taking this decision on appeal and Kathleen and her community are severely depleted of funds, having fought (and won) the high Court case.

They would be grateful for any support. Please check out their website with ways to support them.

In support of this cause there will be a showing of the gorgeous documentary on the Burren, nature and the battle over Mullaghmore, ‘The Silver Branch‘ on the 19th of November at the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point, at 7pm as a fundraiser.  If anyone wishes to attend, contact Wind Aware Clare via their website regarding tickets. Risteard O’Domhnaill, the Director of ‘The Pipe’ and ‘Atlantic’ will be there on the night and has generously volunteered to do the projection.

 

It is a disgrace that appeals of this nature should be necessary in the first place; but these people are fighting for you and me and need our help.

 

 

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Infrasound and other things that go bump in the night

winds

 

The Scottish organisation “Winds of Change” held an excellent seminar on infrasound. Details can be found by clicking on this link:

 

http://www.windsofjustice.org.uk/2017/09/wind-turbine-noise-seminar-review-and-up-date/

 

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Wake in Fright: Wind Turbine Infrasound Causes Panic, Fear & Nightmares

The scientific research and verified evidence is now overwhelming. Wind farms are a dangerous hazard.

STOP THESE THINGS

The evidence proving the unnecessary damage done to wind farm neighbours by the noise generated by giant industrial wind turbines is mounting by the day: Germany’s Max Planck Institute has identified sub-audible infrasound as the cause of stress, sleep disruption and more (see our post here); and a Swedish group have shown that it’s the pulsing nature of low-frequency wind turbine noise  (‘amplitude modulation’) that is responsible for sleep problems in those forced to live with it (see our post here).

The Max Planck Institute’s research exposed subjects to sub-audible infrasound (IS) while subject’s responses were identified using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), establishing a direct connection between IS exposure and responses in the amygdala, indicative of a stress response in that subject. The study led to a postulate that:

stimulation over longer periods of time could exert a profound effect on autonomic functions and may eventually…

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Windfarms affect children

World Council for Nature


NOISE: a startling case of two schools in proximity to wind turbines

By: anonymous teacher (fearing for his/her job)


In an effort to assist a society in danger, I feel obligated to make this case public. I am employed in schools within a rural area. The projects I am involved in run throughout the school year. I hope it will be understood why I cannot reveal names and locations. Sadly, I must protect myself against the professional consequences which could result from a fully detailed testimony.


During the past two years, I have worked in a school located 5 km to the east of a small wind farm, whose elevation is about 300 feet above that of the establishment. Most of the time, the school is downwind from the 2 MW wind turbines. In 2014/2015, I worked with the kindergarten consisting of 20 children aged 2.5 to 5 years of…

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Hateful Eight: 8 Solid Reasons Why Subsidised Wind Power is Both Pointless & Harmful to Health & Wealth

I always prefer to turn the tables and ask people: so tell me what is good about wind turbines? When they present the usual fallacious arguments, you shoot them down in flames (metaphorically speaking).

STOP THESE THINGS

If wind power was a horse, its owner would have shot it long ago. Instead, cheered on by ideological zealots and endlessly pumped up with performance enhancing subsidies it continues to lumber on regardless.

Impossibly chaotic in its delivery, it never starts the race on time and continually fails to finish, even when it manages to get out of the stalls.

As STT followers are well aware, this site is dedicated to hammering the wind industry and the baggage train of leeches who seek to profit from it.

In Germany, our doppelgänger is NoTricksZone, which continues to deliver the goods, on the same score. In this piece Pierre Gosselin pulls together a Hateful Eight: 8 very solid reasons to hate wind power, with a passion.

Wind Energy’s 8 Serious Disadvantages: Hurts Everything From Wealth To Health
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
16 July 2017

What follows is a list of reasons…

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Debunking the 100% Renewables Fantasy: Running on Sunshine & Breezes – Pure Nonsense

Nonsense makes the brain go softer – something politicians bank on.

  1. ‘Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. The principle, and which is quite true in itself, is that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility . The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.”

    (Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda)

STOP THESE THINGS

In the heavy metal mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap, the band’s himbo front man, Nigel Tufnel struggles with almost everything, including bringing his grating, 8 minute guitar solos to an end.

For Nigel, 10 isn’t enough – his Marshall amp has to go one better (see the video above). The painful exchange between Tufnel and the documentary maker, Marty DiBergi goes like this:

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…

Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?

Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.

Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?

Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your…

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Bring on the Super Sub!

super-sub

In this era of professional sport, who you have on the bench is as important as who you have in the starting line-up of your team. Coaches have to think long and hard about who will be seated on the substitutes’ bench as the substitute must be able to replace an injured or incapacitated player if necessary, but must also possess the skills to make a major, sometimes decisive, impact on the game. For example, in rugby union, the name of CJ Stander for the Irish and British Lions is a prime example of a “super sub”.

 

Politics employs a similar tactic. In the European elections, parties nominate a Substitute MEP so that in the event that the elected MEP becomes incapacitated, the substitute can continue to perform the necessary duties in the European Parliament. This is sound democratic practice, as it ensures that the region that voted in the original MEP continues to be elected by a member from the same (victorious) party. It also avoids the unnecessary expense of a by-election.

 

The EU legislation dealing with this is usually referred to as “The 1976 Act”.  Its full title is the “Act concerning the election of representatives to the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage, annexed to Council Decision 76/787/ECSC, EEC, Euratom of 20 September 1976”, (as amended and renumbered by Council Decision 2002/772/EC, Euratom of 25 June 2002 and 23 September 2002. This amendment is not yet in force).

 

Article 13(3) of the original 1976 Act provided that:

“Where the law of a Member State makes explicit provision for the withdrawal of the mandate of a member of the European Parliament, that mandate shall end pursuant to those legal provisions. The competent national authorities shall inform the European Parliament thereof.’

 

In other words, it was the duty of the Oireachtas to pass legislation dealing with the specific circumstances that would cause a sitting MEP to lose their mandate.

 

Interestingly enough, this provision has been replaced in its entirety by Article 12 of the amendment. Although it is not yet in force, it does illustrate the thinking of the European Parliament in this matter:

 

“1. A seat shall fall vacant when the mandate of a member of the European Parliament ends as a result of resignation, death or withdrawal of the mandate.

 

  1. Subject to the other provisions of this Act, each Member State shall lay down appropriate procedures for filling any seat which falls vacant during the five-year term of office referred to in Article 3 for the remainder of that period.

 

  1. Where the law of a Member State makes explicit provision for the withdrawal of the mandate of a member of the European Parliament, that mandate shall end pursuant to those legal provisions. The competent national authorities shall inform the European Parliament thereof.

 

  1. Where a seat falls vacant as a result of resignation or death, the President of the European Parliament shall immediately inform the competent authorities of the Member State concerned thereof.”

 

 

The amendment is far more strongly worded than its predecessor as it now makes it clear that the national legislature of the Member States must legislate to deal with the situation where an MEP must lose their mandate.

 

The 1976 Act seems to envisage that a seat shall fall vacant only on resignation, death or withdrawal of mandate. In other words, if an Irish MEP is incapacitated through a long-term illness but fails to resign their seat, the only way that they can be involuntarily replaced is by a withdrawal of mandate by the Irish legislature.

 

What is the Irish law that deals with this?

The European Assemblies Election Act 1984 is the current legislation dealing with the election of MEPs. There is nothing in the Act dealing specifically with a withdrawal of mandate from an MEP, despite the EU law requiring same. Section 6 of this shoddy Act deals with “casual vacancies” and defines it as:

(9) In this section “a casual vacancy” means,

(a) a vacancy occasioned by a person who though elected or regarded as having been elected to the Assembly pursuant to the European Assembly Elections Acts, 1977 and 1984, is, by virtue of any provision laid down under any or all of the treaties, not entitled to assume the office of representative in the Assembly, or

(b) a vacancy occasioned by a person having ceased to be a representative in the Assembly otherwise than by the effluxion of time or in consequence of the making of an order under section 17 of this Act by the High Court.”.

 

This section is a statutory version of chasing your tail as a person must “cease to be a representative” but this expressly excludes the sitting MEP being voted out or their election being nullified by the High Court (after a petition-challenge in terms of Section 17).

 

So when can you cease to be a representative if you are not voted out, or do not die or resign?

Essentially, there is no Irish legislation dealing with this scenario. An MEP cannot be forced out of office, other then being voted out at the next election. Otherwise only they themselves can leave office by resigning, or dying.  There is no statutory instrument that can terminate their mandate against their wishes. If they refuse to resign, there is no law that can change that situation.

 

In a conversation with Dr. Jennifer Kavanagh, the leading expert on Irish Election Law and the author of “Electoral Law in Ireland” (Bloomsbury Professional, 2015) she described it as “a massive loophole in Irish law”.

 

All other public offices have statutory substitutes when the incumbent cannot act because of incapacity. This does not apply to MEPs – there is no fall-back provision!

 

So what has this to do with the fight against wind farms and the pylons used to carry their (meagre) output?

 

The South East of Ireland is under an intensive and prolonged attack by wind developers seeking to build wind farms all over Munster, including one in the Copper Coast World Heritage Site. We need a voice in the European Parliament to lead the fight against these invaders. There is clearly no help forthcoming from the Irish government, who have put all their eggs in the wind power basket.

 

The incumbent MEP for the South East is Brian Crowley. He is unable to represent his constituency due to ill-health. An inspection of the EU Parliament page shows that Brian Crowley’s attendance record is abysmal. In his previous term his attendance stood at 22% which equates to 18 months. In other words, Crowley missed 3.5 years of that term. His attendance in his current term (2014-2019) is even worse. He has missed 3 years 2 months since being elected in 2014. In other words, over the last 8 years Crowley has missed 6.7 years. Another Irish MEP has said Crowley should resign.

 

Ironically, Crowley is in all likelihood a supporter of wind farms. It is a matter of public record that he received election support from Murnane & O’Shea, who are well known in Ireland as wind developers.

 

Irrespective of Crowley’s views on the invasion of wind farms into his constituency, surely this inability to attend the EU Parliament to debate issues and cast his vote must be regarded as permanent incapacity which should trigger a withdrawal of Crowley’s mandate?

YES, it should, but there is no Irish legislation dealing with the matter.

 

And why is that, you wonder? It might have something to do with the fact that if an MEP resigned or had their mandate withdrawn, they no longer receive all the perks of the job. These perks include a salary of €8484 per month (€101,808.00 per annum); an expense account of €4342 per month (€52,104.00 per annum); a daily allowance of €306.00 (€79,560 per annum); and an office allowance of €29.883.00 per month (€352,000.00 per annum). This gives you a total package of €585,472.00 per year. Nice money if you can make it.

 

This might explain the Oireachtas’ reluctance to pass a law forcing the retirement/resignation of an incapacitated MEP. Some of our own TDs are MEPs of the future – why should they cut their own purse strings when it is possible to receive that sort of money for doing nothing?

 

And remember that this total package of €585,472.00 per year is the minimum package paid to an MEP as it does not include flights and travelling expenses. In addition, there is another real goldmine: sitting on committees. Being a committee member can net you up to €45,000.00 per annum. Crowley currently sits on the Energy Committee, the very people driving the wind farm madness. Imagine if we could have an anti-wind voice on that Committee?

 

And this finally brings me to the matter of the substitute who would take Brian Crowley’s place if he was forced to resign. Kieran Hartley was elected as the Substitute MEP. He ran on an anti-pylon / anti-wind ticket and received massive support as a result. He continues to be a driving force in the fight against the invasion of wind farms in the South East. His tireless work in helping communities the length and breadth of the country is the stuff of legend.

 

Don’t take my word for it. This is what Wind Aware North Cork had to say on the matter:

“Brian’s EU substitute, Kieran Hartley, has worked tirelessly to help communities all over Munster, ours included”.

(https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1589101137780849&id=836809563010014)

 

BarnaWind Action Group shared similar sentiments:

“Kieran Hartley has visited with us and helped out on many an occasion. This situation looks very unusual. Get someone out there working for us.”

(https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=745105999011092&id=351079851747044)

 

There is a real chance that the citizens fighting the scourge of wind farms which are invading and destroying their communities could have a Super Sub in the form of Kieran Hartley in the EU Parliament, and on the EU Energy Committee.

How can we make this happen?

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Wind Turbine Noise & Vibration Causing Harm to Humans & Animals Alike

Great coverage of the Tullamore seminar. Well done people!

STOP THESE THINGS

For those unfortunates forced to live with incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound, the cause of the sleep deprivation they suffer is no mystery. Moreover, a menagerie of domestic and wild animals stuck next to wind turbines suffer similar effects, including well-documented increases in the stress hormone cortisol (see our post here).

Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira has been studying the effect of noise and vibration on humans and animals for nearly 20 years. Here’s a summary of her work as reported by the Tullamore Tribune – a video follows, recording the experience of Irish wind farm neighbours, as well as a presentation by Dr Alves-Pereira.

Wind turbines damage human health says Portuguese scientist
Tullamore Tribune
6 July 2017

More research will be required to determine safe set back distances from wind turbines, a leading scientist said in Tullamore last week.

Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira was speaking to the Tribune after…

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Shock Horror! Poll Shows Tourists Hate Wind Turbines: Scotland’s Highlands Shunned

Something Bord Failte needs to think about. Tourism is a huge income earner for Ireland.

STOP THESE THINGS

A decade or so ago, the wind industry used to include claims about the tourism potential of their proposed wind farm in their planning documents.

For some reason, that pitch has been quietly removed from planning applications in recent years. Could it be that it’s not just the locals who hate the look of these things? Are tourists lodging in B&Bs next to wind farms driven nuts by incessant turbine generators low-frequency noise and infra-sound, in the same way as those forced to live with these things every day of their lives?

Whatever it is, the conclusion is pretty clear: tourists hate these things too and, quite reasonably, have elected to avoid them like the plague.

Tourists shun areas hit by wind turbine ‘blight’
The Sunday Times
Mark Macaskill
16 July 2017

More than half of tourists to Scotland would rather not visit scenic areas dominated by man-made structures such…

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German Study Proves Its Combined Wind & Solar Capacity Must be 100% Backed by Coal/Gas/Nuclear 100% of the Time

The glorious German countryside has been ruined by wind farms spread all over the place. But it seems it was all for nought. 

STOP THESE THINGS

Coal-fired plant, Westfalen: where Germany’s power really comes from.

Amongst wind and sun worshippers, Germany is held in a kind of reverent awe.

However, like everything held dear by the renewables cult, the ideal and the real are worlds apart.

For years we were told that if you kept spearing wind turbines into the countryside and spread them far and wide, we could do away with ‘dirty’ coal-fired power plants, and every other conventional form of generation that had, on their reckoning, been made redundant by the wonders of wind and sun.

No country went harder or faster in its pursuit of wind and solar power than the Germans. The South Australians came close, but that’s an Australian state, home to a mere 1.6 million people, rather than a European nation, home to over 80 million.

Now – shock, horror – a detailed study has shown that the German’s attempt…

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