Environment

Sep 23, 2013

Coalition draws a near-blank on support for wind power

How many Coalition MPs really support wind farms? Not many, it would seem.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

While Prime Minister Tony Abbott is still clinging to the bipartisan 20% Renewable Energy Target, finding explicit support for the construction of more wind farms from those within the government’s parliamentary ranks is another question.

14 comments

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14 thoughts on “Coalition draws a near-blank on support for wind power

  1. Roger Clifton

    You said, “Turnbull accepts the need to transition Australia from fossil fuels to renewable energy “, however in the link you gave us he was (in 2009) on about the cost of cutting emissions, not about finite fossil resources:

    “To replace dirty coal fired power stations with cleaner gas fired ones, or renewables like wind let alone nuclear power or even coal fired power with carbon capture and storage is all going to cost money.”

  2. Rohan

    Yeah that’s right, we must have MORE health studies.

    Because when the National Medical Health Research Council, NSW Health, SA EPA, and all peer reviewed scientific literature in the field find that there is no medical evidence to support claims that wind farms are harmful, it just isn’t conclusive enough.

  3. Mark Duffett

    The ZCA plan calls for rollout of 48 GW of wind capacity (8000 x 6 MW turbines), not 48 MWe. Only out by a factor of a thousand times ~25% capacity factor.

  4. Ken Dally

    There is a magical cure for the adverse effects of wind farms. Have them built on land you own so you get money from them, as nobody with the turbines on their own land has reported any ill effects.

  5. David Hand

    There is a clear public health emergency with wind farms. The obvious symptom is a fear of declining property values.

  6. John Taylor

    I wonder how many people that are anti-wind farms have shares in the coal industry?

  7. Roger Clifton

    @John Taylor asks how many anti-wind people have shares in the coal industry…

    It is a sad fact that any of us who sell (or have invested in) wind equipment have a vested interest in the protection of the gas industry from greenhouse judgements. Any wind installation requires a similar capacity of gas generation to back it up when the wind doesn’t blow. Notice how many of our media commentators condemn coal alone as if it is the sole enemy of the greenhouse. But think “methane leakage” and you have to think “gas”.

  8. Andybob

    Rohan, none of the bodies you mentioned have conducted studies. They have conducted literature reviews. There is no literature because there have been no studies. An absence of literature or studies does not mean there are no health risks.

    I believe there are health implications from building larger turbines too close to houses. In Waubra eleven properties have been abandoned. Denying that there are health or nuisance implications just damages the reputation of wind power generally. The industry has to clean up its own house and take more notice of people it is currently dismissing.

    Not referring to people as ‘wind rats’ or making fun of stress induced incontinence would be a good start.

  9. Andybob

    Ken Dally, Some hosts do suffer adverse effects. They have often signed confidentiality agreements which affect their capacity to speak openly.

    David Mortimer at Lake Bonney has spoken openly about his experience as a host:

    http://stopthesethings.com/2013/02/17/i-am-a-wind-turbine-host/

  10. Rohan

    [email protected]

    “There is no literature because there have been no studies”

    Absolute bunkum, as anyone who cares to search will quickly discover.

    You are correct that the National Medical Health Research Council conducted a literature review. The review considered reams of previously undertaken studies and peer-reviewed science (which you claim doesn’t exist).
    Isn’t this good enough?

    No, what we need is 5-year longitudinal studies of the entire Australian population living within 5km of a wind turbine, all hooked up to real-time diagnostic medical equipment. And if no health impacts are found, 5 years clearly wasn’t long enough and we need 10.

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