A new report released by Environmental Defence, an environmental advocacy organization, attempts to correct the misinformation being promoted by anti-wind activists around Ontario. ‘Blowing Smoke: Correcting Anti-Wind Myths in Ontario’ finds that numerous studies around the world have concluded that there is no scientific basis for claims about health impacts from wind power projects, and that wind power is technically viable and has economic and environmental benefits for Ontario.
‘There is a tremendous amount of fear-mongering going on right now about wind power in Ontario,’ says Adam Scott, green energy program manager for Environmental Defence. ‘This report aims to introduce some real facts into the debate so that communities can make well-informed decisions about wind projects.’
The report cites studies that show that with proper setbacks, wind power projects make as much sound as background noise in regular homes, but whether this bothers people is often in the ‘ear’ of the beholder. Those who are more bothered by noise most likely objected to a particular project in the first place, while those who benefit from the project are less bothered, according to the report.
‘Communities must be better integrated into the management and benefits of wind power projects,’ says Kristopher Stevens, executive director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. ‘Ultimately, community acceptance will determine whether or not Ontario remains a leader in clean energy, or whether we let other jurisdictions take the investment and jobs away from us.’
The report also debunks the arguments that wind power is not a viable source of power for the grid. Countries such as Denmark and Germany are successfully integrating much larger amounts of wind power into their grids while planning to add more, the report states. The report also highlights jobs that have been created in and around Ontario due to wind projects.
The report can be found at environmentaldefence.ca.