From Dumb Deal to Done Deal

John Heffernan & Voice for Walcha

Yes, I’m banging on again, but I have to, because the negativities of wind power are surfacing at an ever-increasing rate, becoming too serious to ignore any longer, making wind power look like a really dumb deal. Let me give you a sample of what I mean.

I’ve already mentioned the Edinburgh University study of 350 UK wind farms having performance problems threatening bail outs of about £30 billion. Turns out Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands expect even worse. Then there’s that other Edinburgh Uni study revealing widespread premature ageing in heaps of Denmark’s larger (2 to 8MW) onshore and offshore turbines. Even more overwhelming is the world-wide study of industrial wind projects from the year 2000 to 2020 by the Pusan National University of Korea. It found multiple negative impacts for wind power, including: widespread market volatility, increasing energy costs, government subsidies, turbine efficiency problems, decreases in house values, transition to grid difficulties, plus environmental negatives.

A ten year Swedish study of 4300 wind turbines in 2021 by Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology revealed significant negative impacts of wind turbines on property values, especially so with large turbines and with large clusters of turbines. Harvard University, using data from almost 58,000 turbines, found support for a nasty little wind conundrum: first, it found that to be truly effective wind farms needed up to 20 times more land than previously thought necessary; and secondly, that such large-scale projects would raise continental surface temperatures by 0.24 degrees Celsius. Great for global warming, eh? Meanwhile, Siemens Gamesa has encountered quality issues with components in its onshore turbine fleet, including rotor blade and bearing problems, while in 2020 Vestas flagged quality issues with turbine blades in its onshore fleet, needing an extra 600 million euros to fix them. That’s the mob who’ll be making our turbines. So assuring!

With such mounting woes, it’s hardly surprising that wind developers are starting to really struggle. Mega wind farm manufacturer Siemens Energy has had to be saved with a loan and financial package by the German government worth 15 billion euros. Denmark’s Orsted Company has scrapped plans for two large wind farms off the coast of New Jersey, copping a near US$6 billion write-off. Britain’s latest round of new offshore wind farm subsidy auctions has failed to attract any bidders, and Swedish developer Vattenfall halted its huge Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm in July this year. And yet another explosive “heads up” if we don’t act;

View the Down Wind Video

Grim stuff? You bet, and it’s getting grimmer, especially for our overseas cobbers. But the above is just a taste. Honestly, I could go on ad nauseam with this litany of liabilities. At least for us, though, there is positivity in this burgeoning nightmare. We can learn from their mistakes and choose not to to stumble where they have fallen. The big question is: Will we? Are we smart enough to see the writing on the wall, and can we be united enough to heed the warnings, face the facts, and act?

We have a chance to do that this week, a chance to tell some big wig bureaucrats how we feel about the long term socio-economic/environmental nightmare being brewed for us, a chance we’d be mugs to miss.

Community Meeting / Q&A with NSW Planning
This Thursday 30th November 5:30-7:30, Walcha Vet Supplies
Be there to help stop a truly dumb deal becoming a done deal. Your choice, Walcha.


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