Tag Archives: wind turbines

Conservative Forces at Work: The Opposition to Wind power in Australia

Guest Author: Neil Barrett In September 2013 Australians elected a conservative Coalition[i] government. The governing parties contain many climate change skeptics, including the new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who is famously on record as saying that ‘climate change is crap’[ii]. Although Abbot now claims to accept that humans are playing a part in causing climate change, his […]

A Re-Evaluation Of The Wind Concerns Ontario Health Survey

A comparison to the general population Author: Malcolm Hamilton (with permission) Download PDF version here: WCO survey analysis v016 (2) Publication date: July 28, 2014 Abstract Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO) conducted a survey of adults near some of Ontario’s wind turbine projects in the spring of 2009. An analysis of the data was conducted with the objective […]

Nuclear and carbon capture aren’t scalable compared to wind energy

There’s an enduring myth related to wind energy and nuclear energy that needs to be put to bed. That myth is that only nuclear can be scaled to sufficient capacity to reduce the impacts of global warming, and that wind energy is much less scalable so it should be ignored. And there’s another myth related […]

Wind Crank Index: can you communicate?

There are many people who are mildly concerned about wind energy and nervous about wind farms going into their rural areas. That doesn’t make them wind cranks. It makes them concerned about change. It likely means that they have been exposed to wind cranks and the disinformation that wind cranks spread. But there are quite a few […]

Solar Energy Towers: harvesting R&D dollars for decades

Recently, energy towers have been back in the hype cycle, specifically with the misnamed Solar Wind Energy Tower which is actually a downdraft tower which has nothing to do with solar power. There are two variants of energy towers: water evaporation driven downdraft and solar updraft towers. Both propose tall hollow towers to create movement of air […]

Sheerwind Invelox: an informed look

Recently, several people have brought a published paper by Dr. Daryoush Allaei, inventor of the Invelox ducted wind generator, to my attention. Here’s the opening statement of the published paper to get a sense of why it might be worth questioning: A new concept in wind power harnessing is described which significantly outperforms traditional wind turbines […]

Wind energy health concerns fail the test of law, repeatedly

Last update: August 18, 2014 Note: A formal report on this material was published August 15, 2014 on the Energy And Policy Institute site. News stories have been published in about a dozen news sites and energy journals worldwide, including Huffington Post, The Australian and RenewEconomy. Since 1998 there have been 49 hearings held under rules of legal evidence in at […]

Vertical axis wind turbines aren’t replacing horizontal axis offshore turbines

Over the past few months, an interesting wrinkle on the vertical-axis-wind-turbines-are-better mythology has surfaced: that they are superior offshore and that many countries are investing heavily in offshore VAWTs. Over the course of several discussions, numerous named countries and companies were thrown at me, always without links or documents proving assertions. A little digging found […]

Anti-wind Experts: a species that is actually endangered by wind energy

Last update: August 18, 2014   Note: A formal report on this material was published August 15, 2014 on the Energy And Policy Institute site. News stories have been published in about a dozen news sites and energy journals worldwide, including Huffington Post, The Australian and RenewEconomy.   Over the past five years, a few anti-wind campaigners with credentials or experience unrelated to wind […]

Ex-pharmacist Krogh repeats attempt to deceive Canadian doctors

Last year, three people with irrelevant credentials but seats on the Advisory Group of an anti-wind campaigning organization managed to bootstrap extremely weak papers and material into a Commentary in Canadian Family Physician claiming that family doctors would see health problems near wind farms. It was deeply slanted, cited extraordinarily weak evidence as if it […]

CBC’s Wind Rush documentary should be given the bum’s rush

Last update: May 28, 2014 What if I made a documentary about people suffering? What if several people talked about their horrific symptoms? What if five experts agreed that they had a real concern? What if video evidence was shown making the problem obvious? What if the only people saying that there wasn’t a problem […]

Assessment of Quality of References from Wind Victims Ontario site

I was asked to provide an assessment of the quality of evidence referenced on the Wind Victims Ontario site. Summary: In general, they have chosen a collection of material of very low evidentiary value and reliability that has for the most part not been published in indexed, impact-factor assessed and quality journals. Those papers which […]

Ontario Tribunal dismisses health scares and health scarers

On the 23rd of December, 2013, the latest delaying challenge to building out clean, safe wind power in Ontario was thrown out by an Environmental Review Tribunal. The full decision, in all of it’s 127-page glory, can be read in full here: Bovaird v. Director, Ministry of the Environment. For your convenience, however, here are the highlights. […]

Airborne wind energy: a collection of challenging compromises

Last update: March 3, 2014 Recently, a correspondent asked me about the strengths and weaknesses of Kitegen’s Stem concept for airborne wind generation. This provided a useful opportunity to formalize my thoughts regarding design choices and the compromises that they typically entail around airborne wind energy systems. This shouldn’t be read as complete and encyclopedic, […]

2013 in review: a good year for reality regarding wind energy

2013 has been an extraordinarily good year for wind energy. It’s continued to be built out in large quantities world wide, maintaining its dominance as the pre-eminent form of clean energy displacing fossil fuels. Studies continue to refine the understanding of why people complain about wind farm health impacts in the absence of any reason […]

Assessing the environmental impacts of different forms of generation

Recently on Quora someone asked: Different types of energy production create different types of environmental harm – how can we compare these varying types and degrees of environmental harm in an apples-to-apples way? My answer is copied here. There are several mechanisms for cross-generation environmental impact assessment. Meta-analyses of CO2e The most important is meta-analysis of full-lifecycle CO2e-emissions, […]

Energy Crisis? What energy crisis? And where?

Recently on Quora, someone asked Is there a fundamental reason for the energy crisis in most countries? My globe-trotting answer is below. What energy crisis? Which country? Really, there isn’t much of an energy crisis that can be observed around the world. Most countries with energy problems have had energy problems for decades and will for the […]

EWICON: a wet-behind-the-ears wind ‘innovation’

Recently on Quora, someone asked Delft University’s EWICON wind generation device.  My detailed answer is below. It’s always worth looking at the actual history of these wind energy “innovations”. The Electrostatic Wind Energy Converter: electrical performance of a high voltage prototype, Djairam, D., Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Dissertation, 2008-12-10, ISBN: 978-90-8559-482-6, uuid:e1cfdada-85ea-45c4-b6e4-b798abf5917e The Electrostatic […]

Windstrument: another off-key wind energy ‘innovation’

On Quora recently, someone asked “Windstrument – yet another revolutionary wind turbine. Have they got it right?“. I answered, there and have reposted my answer here. I have a set of 13 questions I always ask when confronted with yet-another-wind-energy-innovation to give it a quick sniff test. I asked these questions of the Windstrument based on publicly […]

How do you maximize profit with a wind farm?

There are several factors to consider but it boils down to wind resource, new (or very cheap old) wind turbines, an effective economic regime to sell wind energy into, relatively cheap connections to the grid and highly optimized management and maintenance. Wind Resource A reasonably large factor in the amount of energy a wind farm […]

Wind turbines survive hurricanes; what a blow to doubters

An occasional complaint against wind turbines is that they don’t work or self-destruct when there is too much wind. It might be scraping the bottom of the oil barrel, but it’s worth debunking this as well. What does the history of wind energy really show? Well, the best evidence is from Superstorm Sandy: On the […]

Amplitude Modulation: another anti-wind myth goes thump

Last update: February 14, 2014 One thing to admire about those who dislike wind energy is their sheer persistence. If one argument gets stamped out, they turn to another without blinking an eye. Specific pieces of disinformation ebb and flow as the evidence mounts. One of the recurring minor points of anti-wind rhetoric is that wind […]

In their own words: People living among and near wind farms on video

Last update: June 7, 2014 People have been living with utility-scale wind turbines for 50 years. Now they have great video cameras on their iPhones and access to YouTube and Vimeo. Here are a great bunch of videos where people tell their stories of living among and near wind farms in their own words. Have […]

Sky Windpower’s high-altitude wind generation system will likely fail to launch

Last update: January 8, 2014 A recent assessment of Google’s Makani flying wind generator led to a suggestion to look at other suggested approaches. Sky Windpower was one of them and has sufficient public material for an initial analysis to look for challenges and opportunities. Sky Windpower’s proposed high-altitude wind generation solution raises major concerns: For […]

Google’s Makani airborne wind generator flies a bit lower when you look at it closely

Last update: February 17, 2014 For a few years, the leading company in the hunt to harness higher altitude wind’s greater energy has been Makani. After the unfortunate and early death of its founder in 2012, Google upped its stake in the fledgling company to 100%, which certainly didn’t hurt its profile. Close assessment of […]

VAD: Vibro Acoustic Disease or Venal Arrogant Distortion?

Last update: October 14, 2013 For several years, a Portuguese research group has been touting the horrors of something they termed “vibroacoustic disease” or VAD, claiming that this was a physiological affliction due to extended exposure to infrasound. In recent years, they’ve been making the claim that wind turbines can cause this affliction. What claims […]

Waubra Foundation not anti-wind? How funny is that?

Sarah Laurie, CEO of the Waubra Foundation, gets quite indignant that people continue to call the Waubra Foundation an anti-wind organization. She said as much in an interview on a European radio interview: I should just say Bill we are frequently represented, I should say misrepresented in the media of being an anti-wind group and […]

From flight simulator-induced nausea to infrasound; a remarkable leap

Last update: June 20, 2014 In December 2012, Paul Schomer, a respected and senior acoustician, as part of a joint assessment of the Shirley Wind farm (see a brief analysis of the report here) made a remarkable statement: A most interesting study in 1986 by the Navy reveals that physical vibration of pilots in flight […]

Wind turbines are sonic weapons if feathers are speeding trucks

Last update: October 16, 2013 As each of anti-wind types’ arguments get shot down in flames, they usually resort to more and more outlandish claims. One of the most outlandish is that research on sonic or acoustic weapons is somehow pertinent to wind turbines and the health impacts that people claim that they cause. Read […]

Windfall: a seriously flawed US documentary on wind energy

Windfall is a 2010 documentary by Laura Israel about her perspective on a wind farm being proposed, built and operating in her small upstate New York town. It’s still worth debunking it, as even though it’s been out for a while it continues to bubble up as a talking point. How does it stand up? […]

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