Thursday, 17 March 2011


Recently, we reported on a visit to a working windfarm which included the chance to stand inside a turbine mast. The conclusion of which was that anyone who says windfarms are noisy is lying their head off for some strange reason of their own.

Windfarms are not noisy. FACT.

So now we turn our attention to another fatuous claim made by that bunch of serial liars known as VVASP, and all the other clone groups set up to oppose perfectly sensible, clean, safe, quiet and elegant windfarm developments.

VVASP, with their usual lack of any regard for reality, claimed that, in addition to being 'TOO NOISY' (duh!!!) were also 'TOO COSTLY'. One might be entitled to enquire, 'On what grounds? Too costly compared with, what, nuclear?'

(Funny how VVASP, who were so keen to find photos of turbines on fire, don't seem so keen on publicising photos of the nuclear reactor explosions in Japan on their website.)

What VVASP meant, or thought they meant, is that windfarms produce expensive electricity. What else could they have meant? No one in the Lenchwick area was going to be paying for the turbines, and in fact the windfarm would bring in a fair amount of investment to the district, boosting property prices, paying rent to the landowners and attracting visitors. So what VVASP must have been trying to get away with saying is that windfarms themselves are somehow more expensive than other forms of electricity generation.

Not so. A study recently published by Eirgrid, the Irish grid operator and SEAI (the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) came to a fascinating conclusion. Looking closely at current wholesale prices in the Irish electricity system, the report found that wind energy actually lowered wholesale prices by some 70 million euros. That almost entirely cancels out any subsidies and other costs involved in renewable energy generation. And with fossil fuel prices going through the roof, it's nothing but good news. Wind energy is remarkably cheap, compared with other sources, and it's getting comparatively cheaper all the time.

So the lesson is, windfarms produce inexpensive energy. Once again, VVASP have proven that either they don't know what they're on about, or they were deliberately misleading absolutely everybody by broadcasting the exact opposite of the truth.

Ah, but then again, maybe VVASP wanted us all to think that windfarms are costly in terms of jobs. After all, that's the message that the right-wing fundamentalists (or is that just 'mentalists'?) and climate change deniers at the Telegraph have been trying to get across this week.

Consultants at the Scottish firm Verso Economics had issued a report which claimed that the huge investment being made by the Scottish Executive in renewables was costing jobs. Or, rather, it didn't. What it said was that the subsidies which Scotland was making available for renewable energy generation was taking money away from other parts of the economy. So the idiots and fanatics at the Telegraph, including arch anti-climate change demagogue James Delingpole, were able to make out that, in addition to having been 'a disaster in Germany, Denmark and Spain' (lies, lies, lies), the renewables industry was costing the UK a terrifying number of jobs, with every 'green' job created destroying some 3.7 jobs elsewhere.

Amazing! It would be a cold day in hell when the Telegraph, so intent on spooking Middle England with its demented anti-windfarm stories, campaigned for public money to be used in job creation schemes - even though that's precisely what its utterly misleading and untruthful claims about renewables and jobs seems to be saying. Basically, they argued that putting money into renewable energy projects, as Scotland has been doing so enthusiastically and so successfully, took that (public) money away from other schemes which might - just might - create more jobs. The Telegraph, for once in its existence, really was advocating the use of public money to create jobs, just as long as they're not 'green' jobs.

Well, heigh-ho - proof that the Telegraph and its bonkers climate change deniers could not have been more wide of the mark also emerged this week. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics revealed that unemployment has continued to rise in the UK, going up by 2,000 in Wales, 4,000 in Northern Ireland and a shocking 38,000 in England. The only part of the UK to have bucked that trend is Scotland, where unemployment DROPPED by 16,000.

Somehow or other, while investing in renewable energy projects (which according to the right-wing maniacs cost jobs) Scotland has managed to reduce unemployment. It's obviously doing something right. While England, home to the cretinous anti-windfarm fringe and their braindead propagandists at the Telegraph, is losing jobs by the bucketload. And not because of investments in renewables.

So, if anyone tries to tell you that windfarms are too costly, what are you going to say?

How about, 'Get a grip, wise up and stop spreading lies, you ignorant pile of donkey dung'? It's about time somebody told the self-serving cretins of VVASP and its sister organisations where to get off.

Sunday, 13 March 2011


It's a rare privilege to be able to stand inside a wind turbine mast, and yet one of our correspondents was able to do just that this weekend.

The opportunity came after the annual general meeting for shareholders in the Westmill Windfarm near Shrivenham in Oxfordshire. Bizarrely, our trusted friend tells us that the meeting was almost indistinguishable from a nimby rally, except that the Westmill shareholders were well-mannered and knowledgeable. They were, however, mostly middle-aged and ... well, yes, they looked just like the identikit nimby mob that protests against windfarms up and down the country.

The Westmill Windfarm has been up and running since 2008, with some two-and-a-half thousand shareholders all willing it on. The project so far has been a success, and the Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust ( has since been set up to benefit people in the area and to co-ordinate educational activities for schools (hundreds of children have already had the chance to enjoy and to learn from the five turbines at Westmill). A solar park is now being planned for the same site.

After the speeches, the financial reports, etc., there was a visit to the windfarm. The approach to the turbines is along a 500 metre track. Our correspondent reports that he began to be aware of the sound made by the five turbines when he was about 100 metres away. They were all turning briskly, but - as usual - hardly making any noise at all. Even directly underneath the blades, all that could be heard was a soft, rhythmic heartbeat. Anyone who says that's noisy is a liar.

But the biggest surprise came when he and eight others climbed a steel staircase and entered through a metal door to stand inside the mast, just thirty metres or so below the nacelle (hub) and gear mechanism. The operational manager of the site explained how the turbines worked. Even inside the turbine, the sound of the machine did not impact on conversation at all. There was no need to raise one's voice in order to speak to the others in there.

This is the umpteenth report we've had from people who have visited windfarms, or who have holidayed by windfarms, or who have houses beside windfarms, and who all insist that there's hardly any noise at all - and that's when you're right there, next to the turbines, underneath the blades or even inside one of the masts! Which just goes to prove how fraudulent the demented anti-windfarm campaigners are with their false and misleading claims about windfarms being "noisy".

It's one thing to pretend to have visited a notorious anti-windfarm whinger, and to pretend that you heard the noise which that people has been bleating about for ages, just as one of the nasty nimbies of VVASP did at the planning meeting in January. It's another thing altogether to have visited windfarms, walked around the turbines, and even been inside one, and to come back admitting truthfully that there wasn't any noise, even on a windy day.

Put it another way: you can be honest, and say that no, windfarms are not noisy. Or you can make up stories about how noisy they are in order to fool other people (including local councillors and certain clueless politicians). But that's extremely dishonest and shows that you're happy to put your own selfishness ahead of the public good.

So, you heard it here, folks: once again, an honest visitor to a windfarm is happy to tell you that the so-called "noise" cannot be heard more than about 100 metres away, while even inside the mast it's hardly what you'd call noisy.

What a pity, eh, that decision-makers can't be bothered to check these things out for themselves, but choose to rely on the dishonest, self-interested, downright fraudulent testimony of nimby groups like VVASP. And a pity, too, that irresponsible right-wing papers continue to provide such nimby groups with all the lies they need to keep confusing themselves and the public.

Visit a windfarm. Then you'll discover just how un-noisy they are.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


A year or so ago we were able to report that the independent advertising regulator had slammed VVASP for publicising unsubstantiated and untruthful information about the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm.

In short, Vale Villages Against Scottish Power had told people that the windfarm would change the landscape "forever", that the "constant noise" would creates migraines and sleep disorders, and that houses in the immediate area could lose up to 54% of their value. These foolish and maniacal claims were based on extremely poor quality research and were nothing more than scare-mongering lies published by a self-interested nimby group in order to spread fear and alarm. So, quite rightly, the ASA took issue with them over this. Making false claims in print is something they're very much against.

However, nimbies are what nimbies are. That is, they are unreasonable, vindictive and obsessed with proving their fatuous points.

Someone recently complained to the ASA about an advertisement run by Good Energy, the "UK's only dedicated 100% renewable energy supplier". Good Energy had pointed out that while other companies also generate electricity by means of fossil fuels and nuclear, they themselves stick rigidly to an energy mix that is "100% renewable". Bless 'em.

So what could possibly be wrong about that? Well, if you're a deluded anti-wind pro-nuke nimby nutter, EVERYTHING.

Especially the fact that Good Energy does NOT supply 100% renewable energy to customers. No, that energy goes into the national grid. Where it gets mixed up with all sorts of electricity produced in the Bad Old Ways. Therefore, once Good Energy has generated its electricity 100% renewably, that electricity ceases to be 100% renewable as soon as it enters the national grid.

The ASA have upheld that complaint. And maybe they're right to do so. A consumer might have fallen into the trap of thinking that every step along the way from turbine to television set was renewable, with never a hint of anything dirty happening en route. They might have, but we suspect that most electricity consumers would have worked out what Good Energy were saying (they use only 100% renewable sources) and left it at that. It must have taken a real pedant, an absolute renewables refusenik, to make the complaint. It was petty and a total waste of the ASA's time.

VVASP spat feathers when they were caught out lying to people about the horrors of windfarms (tumbling house prices! imminent mental illness! a landscape changed forever!). In the mad world of the nimby, spreading lies like that is utterly permissible ("We're only a volunteer group!" they screamed - "Why didn't the ASA punish ScottishPower Renewables for making us tell such tall stories?"). At the same time, saying that your electricity sources is "100% renewable" is not acceptable. Even if they are.

Another way of putting this is: nimby groups and anti-windfarm nutters can say whatever they want, convinced that their mission excuses - nay, allows them to tell lies (all for the "greater good", supposedly). But windfarm developers are not allowed to make any claims at all.

The ASA is a great organisation. What a shame that nimby idiots insist on abusing the existence of a regulator in order to score points against the renewables industry, especially when there are so many real liars about, spreading their silly stories about wind turbines to confuse the unwary.