Wind Farm Issues — Compilation
(Fife, Scotland; 6 min.)
A short video compiled from a variety of sources that highlight the most common concerns of Industrial Wind Farms, which include Wind Farm Accidents, Shadow Flicker, Noise Pollution, Fuel Poverty, etc.
This compilation was created by Fife Wind Farms; however, they do not claim ownership over any of the footage. FWF made the compilation for educational and information purposes only.
At the end of the clip, there are 4 links for further information on wind farm issues and developments on a national level, and local level for the Fife area. The links are not an endorsement from these groups, and are merely provided to give people an opportunity to research further information from additional sources.
Also: Mad World of Wind Turbines
The video highlights a range of issues connected to industrial turbines, developers often attempt to play down these known issues or deny them outright, in the hope that the person listen to the developer is unaware of the cold hard facts.
Generally, when a community is targeted for wind turbines, most people do not realise that there are underlying and unresolved negative issues with turbines; however, this is changing, and more and more people are beginning to learn about the issues before developers come to their communities.
Unfortunately, there are still many people in communities, all across Fife, Scotland and the UK, who have never heard of the negative aspects of wind turbines, and do not question the technology – but then, why should they. We have all been taught from an early age that renewable technologies are postive developments, and the way forward. Some renewable technologies are; unfortunately, wind energy is not one of them.
Low-Frequency Noise pollution impacts negatively on the health of those surrounding the turbines, which includes a variety of symptoms including: Sleep Disturbance, Depression, Suicidal Tendencies, Lack of Concentration & Energy, Tinnitus, Breathing Difficulties, Migraines, Nausea, etc.
A peer-reviewed case definition for wind turbine adverse health effects was published in the August 2011 edition of The Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society.
The symptoms being reported are consistent internationally and are characterized by crossover findings or a predictable appearance of signs and symptoms present with exposure to Industrial Wind Turbine sound energy and amelioration when the exposure ceases.
Sleep specialist Dr Christopher Hanning reviewed the findings of peer-reviewed studies of European wind turbine facilities and concluded:
The recent analyses of the Windfarm Perception and earlier Swedish studies by Pedersen and her colleagues gives, for the first time, robust evidence that wind turbines cause sleep disturbance and impair health and that this occurs at set-back distances previously regarded as adequate. Unfortunately all government and industry sponsored research in this area has used reported awakenings from sleep as an index of the effects of turbine noise and dismisses the subjective symptoms. Because most of the sleep disturbance is not recalled, this approach seriously underestimates the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep.
Subsidies, Energy Production and Fuel Poverty
All power generation technologies are subsidised, and often wind developers will defend their subsidies by pointing out how much Coal or Nuclear power are subsidised. What they fail to grasp with this argument is that at least with those subsidies, we are getting value for money.
Coal and Nuclear provide the base load for our energy requirements, and also match our peak demand requirements. It does cost less than onshore wind power and is producing a reliable and stable power supply.
Geothermal power, a renewable energy source, can also provide an alternative, clean source of energy to match our energy requirements, yet this renewable technology is not being developed on a wide scale in Scotland.
Instead, we are relying on Wind Turbines, a variable source of energy generation, that can never match our base load or peak demand energy requirements.
The John Muir Trust commissioned a 2-year study into the energy output of UK wind farms during November 2008 to December 2010, which was covered and reported by The Telegraph: "over the past two years, wind generation across the sites fell below 20MW on 123 separate days for a combined duration of 25 days. For a total of nine days, output dipped below 10MW, barely enough power to boil 3,300 household kettles."
The key findings of the John Muir Trust report include:
Average output from wind was 27.18% of metered capacity in 2009, 21.14% in 2010, and 24.08% between November 2008 and December 2010 inclusive. There were 124 separate occasions from November 2008 till December 2010 when total generation from the wind farms metered by National Grid was less than 20MW. (Average capacity over the period was in excess of 1600MW.) The average frequency and duration of a low wind event of 20MW or less between November 2008 and December 2010 was once every 6.38 days for a period of 4.93 hours. At each of the four highest peak demands of 2010 wind output was low being respectively 4.72%, 5.51%, 2.59% and 2.51% of capacity at peak demand. During the study period, wind generation was:
- below 20% of capacity more than half the time.
- below 10% of capacity over one third of the time.
- below 2.5% capacity for the equivalent of one day in twelve.
- below 1.25% capacity for the equivalent of just under one day a month.
We are heavily subsidising a technology that cannot meet our current energy needs and is therefore not cost effective in comparison to the energy produced by other renewable sources, or coal, gas or nuclear power.
It is important to note that not only are we paying extra for an unreliable power source, but wind farm developers have also been paid to stop producing electricity. These payments are then added onto household consumer bills.
The net effect is that in Scotland alone, it is estimated by the Scottish Government, that one-third of all households are living in fuel poverty. It was also announced by Whitehall that electricity prices are 15% more expensive due to the green taxes we are all paying, and that up to one quarter of households in the UK are in fuel poverty.
As more turbines are built, more subsidies will be paid, and more costs will be passed onto household energy bills, further increasing the fuel poverty rates.
Health & Safety
Developers often claim that their technology is safe, and whenever there has been a turbine fire, or other form of serious accident, the developer is often quick to state that this is a rare occurence. Yet you only have to look at insurers reports to get a better understanding of accident rates and insurance claims made by wind energy developers to get a truer account of the health and safety aspect of turbines.
According to the IMIA Insurance of Wind Turbines report, a report that was compiled based on 15 years of the Wind Energy industry in Danish markets; Mechanical faults (blade failure and other faults) accounted for 40% of claims, Lightning accounted for 20% of claims, Fire accounted for 7% of claims, Storm accounted for 4% of claims, Liability for 0.5% of claims, and Others (LOP, short circuit, etc.) accounted for 28.5% of claims.
On 11 December 2011 the Daily Telegraph reported that RenewableUK confirmed that there had been 1500 wind turbine accidents and incidents in the UK alone in the past 5 years.
Caithness Wind Farms have compiled a detailed report on wind farm accidents throughout the UK and Internationally, by sourcing news articles, accident reports and insurance documents. They state that:
Fire is the second most common accident cause in incidents found. Fire can arise from a number of sources – and some turbine types seem more prone to fire than others. A total of 185 fire incidents were found.
The biggest problem with turbine fires is that, because of the turbine height, the fire brigade can do little but watch it burn itself out. While this may be acceptable in reasonably still conditions, in a storm it means burning debris being scattered over a wide area, with obvious consequences. In dry weather there is obviously a wider-area fire risk, especially for those constructed in or close to forest areas and/or close to housing or work places. Two fire accidents have badly burned wind industry workers.
Since wind energy is variable and intermittent, the national grid has to balance power outputs from fossil fuelled plants to accommodate the influx of power from wind energy and the sharp drops in power produced from wind energy.
This requires the fossil fuel plants to run inefficiently, creating more wear and tear on parts, and creates additional CO2 due to not running at a stable level and efficiently.
Dr Kees le Pair, a Dutch Physicist, published a report on behalf of Civitas, which found:
In a comprehensive quantitative analysis of CO2 emissions and wind-power, Dutch physicist C. le Pair has recently shown that deploying wind turbines on “normal windy days” in the Netherlands actually increased fuel (gas) consumption, rather than saving it, when compared to electricity generation with modern high-efficiency gas turbines.
300 MW nameplate wind project near Schiphol on August 28, 2011, a normal windy day, during 21.5 h would have increased the amount of natural gas needed for the electricity production of 500 MW with 47150 m3 gas. This would have caused an extra emission of 117,9 ton CO2 into the atmosphere.
There is also the Bentek report to consider which part of their key findings include:
When wind generation comes online, generation from coal (and natural gas-fired) plants is curtailed until the wind subsides, then their generation is once again ramped up to meet demand. Cycling coal units in this manner drives their heat rate up and their operating efficiency down, resulting in higher emissions of SO2, NOx and CO2 than would have been the case if the units had not been cycled.
Also a very important factor that wind developers avoid debating is the environmental destruction the turbines are causing in China, due to having to source the rare earth mineral Neodymium to use as an essential component of wind turbines. Due to the extraction process of Neodymium in China, large amounts of CO2 are being produced, whilst creating large toxic lakes, which often pollute the surrounding environment, and cause many ill health effects among the local population.
In pursuit of the UK green policy, we are required to destroy the environment of another nation, and create pollution on a disastrous scale.
This is only scratching the surface of the many and very complex issues surrounding industrial wind turbines, but in summary, we are all paying over the odds, for a technology that damages the environment, wildlife, impacts on human health, and doesn’t even do the job it is supposed to be doing, providing us with clean and reliable energy.
All the footage used was sourced from YouTube users and National Wind Watch. We hope users do not mind Fife Wind Farms using their footage, if their is any concerns, please visit their website: and request for the footage to be removed. They will comply with all verified requests.
Fife Wind Farms gives credit and thanks to the following:
An excellent look at several of the battles on the islands of Greece. In Greek with English subtitles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOYWmxr4GsM
(compilation from above videos and the "Truth About Industrial Wind Energy" presentations; 39 min.)
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More videos are available in the Documents Library.
Also see more videos at the National Wind Watch You Tube page
NWW also recommends:
RTE News footage of the bog slides caused by wind facility construction in Derrybrien and other sites in Co. Galway, Ireland
(compiled by the Scottish Wind Assessment Project)
Write to SWAP to obtain a copy.