Remarks about wind farms given as public comment in the Agenda Item 10B segment of the January 24, 2012, meeting of the Pflugerville City Council
Some of the companies such as Renewable Resources, LLC., that may be expected to include parts of their activities in locations in Pflugerville have direct or indirect connections to the business of the construction of wind farms.
Whether wind farms rate high in cost effectiveness in comparison to other sources of energy is controversial.
In the Netherlands, there has been a movement away from wind farms because of a perception that they are not cost effective.
In the United Kingdom, the Duke of Edinburgh (Queen Elizabeth’s husband) is reported in a newspaper to have described wind farms in a conversation as “absolutely useless,” “completely reliant on subsidies,” and “an absolute disgrace.”
The United Kingdom may believe that it has little wiggle room because its Climate Change Act of 2008 commits it to an 80% cut in greenhouse gases by 2050. So it is likely to continue to build wind farms whether this makes sense or not.
Another prominent critic of wind farms is Maurice Newman who was until very recently Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but is now retired. His article entitled “Against the Wind” appeared in the January issue of The Spectator Australia. Here is an excerpt:
“Even before they threatened my property, I was opposed to wind farms. They fail on all counts. They are grossly inefficient, extremely expensive, socially inequitable, a danger to human health, environmentally harmful, divisive for communities, a blot on the landscape, and don’t even achieve the purpose for which they were designed, namely the reliable generation of electricity and the reduction of CO2 emissions.”
Inasmuch as a solar farm has already been planned for the Pflugerville area, it is not inconceivable that a wind farm will eventually be proposed to be built here as well. This may happen in spite of the changing attitudes developing in some other parts of the world toward such installations.
An important problem associated with wind farms that can affect the quality of life of those living near them is the problem of noise. This is a timely issue because just this month, it was announced that the Canadian government will undertake the preparation of guidelines for setting the distance between a wind turbine and a residence. This can be quite controversial. Some maintain that approximately 1500 feet is adequate. Others maintain through medical studies that the distance should be greater, that as much a mile or more should be specified to preserve the health of those living in the vicinity of wind farms.
It seems sensible to call attention to the health issue now before any progress is made in planning any wind farms in or near Pflugerville.
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Links to references are posted at Wind Farms: Some References.
Video: Available by clicking on “10B – Discuss and consider action to approve a Pflugerville Community Development Corporation (PCDC) performance agreement and the sale of six (six) acres by” on this City of Pflugerville web page.
“Energy park deals approved” in Community Briefing (look for PFLUGERVILLE heading), by Marques G. Harper, Austin American-Statesman, January 24, 2012.
The company name used in the meeting agenda was Renewable Resources LLC.
The names used in the newpaper article were Renewable Property Group LLC and Renewable Resource Consultants.
The cartoon displayed above has been posted here in accordance with the provision in Cartoons by Josh that it can be shown on non-commercial blogs.
Added January 26, 2012:
“Pflugerville City Council OKs Land Sales for Renewable Energy Park” by Christine Bolaños, Cummunity Impact, January 26, 2012.
Added January 27, 2012:
“Green Energy Isn’t Always Good Energy” in The Christian Science Monitor, January 27, 2012.
Added January 29, 2012:
“B Is for Basics” Better Plan, Wisconsin, December 12, 2008.