Windfarms in Quebec, a redundant investment
THE WORLD COUNCIL FOR NATURE
OPEN LETTER :
To the Right Honorable Jean Charest
Premier of Quebec
July 17th 2012
The World Council for Nature (WCFN), considering that the implantation of wind turbines in the countryside causes collateral damages to the fauna and its habitat, wishes to bring to your attention the fact that investing in windfarms will not bring any positive return to the population of Quebec or to the health of the planet. You already have more clean energy than you need and must sell it often at a loss because your neighbors no longer really need it. It is therefore absurd to invest huge sums of public funds to produce more of it, at a price four times higher (1).
It is no secret that Hydro Quebec finds it increasingly difficult to sell its surpluses, which amount to about 8,700,000,000 kWh a year. It is also paying close to 150 million dollars each year to the thermal power station of Bécancour, to produce NO electricity. This amounts to $900 million paid to date, for nothing (2). What a miscalculation! What a waste!
Yet you are presently investing considerable amounts of public money into more generating capacity, imposing to Quebeckers windfarms that they don’t need. It is simply nonsensical. Windfarms won’t make Quebec “greener”, on the contrary. It is ahead of the world on that score, covering as it does its electricity needs with hydro power, which is “clean”.
What you are actually doing is replacing a clean and cheap energy which has no ill effects on the health of neighbors or on birds and bats (hydro), by another which causes multiple collateral damages and costs four times as much (windfarms) (1).
Windfarms destroy landscapes and kill millions of birds and very useful bats (3) for no gain whatsoever. They emit infrasound that cause sleep deprivation to neighbors, up to 10 km away for the larger models (e.g. 3 MW). Coming on top of plentiful hydro they duplicate the ecological impacts and financial investments, and this to satisfy the same demand for electricity. It is the opposite of ecological, and amounts to throwing away billions of dollars of public funds as wind energy is heavily subsidized.
Windfarms in Quebec are a redundant investment, completely useless because you already have too much energy, clean and cheap to boot. They are also redundant in the rest of the world, but in the case of Quebec it is plain as the nose in the face.
I live in Spain, a country which is technically bankrupt in part because of subsidies to renewable energies, which have increased the country’s sovereign debt by some 30 billion dollars to date, plus 8 billion more each year because the subsidies are guaranteed for 20 years. We produce the same amount of electricity as before, but it costs much more. As for our 18,000 wind turbines, they haven’t even reduced our consumption of fossil fuels, because of problems caused by their intermittency (4).
Have you considered the loss of value of properties that are or will be affected by the sight of these industrial installations, and by the infrasound they emit, which cause sleep deprivation? We are talking about cumulative losses in the billions of dollars, which will impoverish Quebec as a whole, in addition to rising electricity bills and the loss of tourism potential.
Last but not least, economists have shown that large subsidies and high energy prices both contribute to the destruction of jobs across the economy, whereas wind farms create very few permanent ones (5). Spain is a good example, with 25% unemployment.
Please, Mr Charest, do not destroy la Belle Province, its nature, and its future.
Tel : +34 693 643 736
(1) – «The wind-power rates are more than twice as high as nuclear, and four times those of hydro. » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/the-sorry-lessons-of-green-power-subsidies/article4103467/
(2) – Globe and Mail: “did Hydro Quebec miscalculate? ” http://www.sqwalk.com/blog2008/001187.html
$900 million wasted with Bécancour, and a surplus of 8.7 TWh: http://www.lapresse.ca/le-soleil/affaires/actualite-economique/201206/29/01-4539655-becancour-900-millions-pour-garder-la-centrale-fermee.php
(3) – Wind farms kill millions of birds and bats a year:
(4) – Wind farms are redundant: http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=4540
(5) – Five jobs destroyed for each “green job” subsidized:
AUDITOR GENERAL of ONTARIO:
Green jobs kill other jobs in the economy:
His radio interview:
GREEN JOBS ARE A BURDEN, NOT A BENEFIT FOR THE ECONOMY
The Beacon Hill Institute, 25 June 2009