We smell fear and loathing in the wind energy sector

Can you smell it?

It’s currently just a hint of Canberra breeze, a waft of something sour.

But it’s definitely there. The smell of fear and loathing.

Recently, the head of Origin Energy, Grant King, hammered the Renewable Energy Target scheme and the Gillard government’s carbon tax.

King told an audience of business heavies the push to wind will drive increasing energy unreliability – and the carbon tax and RET scheme will continue to hit small business hard.

He said the carbon tax had produced no decrease in carbon emissions.

Australian Financial Review commentators called it the biggest attack on government energy policy by any company in Australia for some time.

We understand King’s sentiments are widely held across the power distribution sector. The engineers and electricity boffins hate wind energy because of its high cost and unreliability. They know it’s bullshit but are loathe to express sentiments publicly in the current political climate.

But – and this is the interesting part – it took a nanosecond for twitchy wind company Infigen Energy to respond.

You can read their press release here.

Note the shrill, slightly desperate tone of Infigen’s CEO, Smiling Miles George. Also note his thin resort to that hoary old chestnut of community support for wind farms.

Even his comments about “independent studies by the Climate Change Authority”  and the later reference to the “independent” Climate Change Authority all have the strained tone of an overworked PR hack trying too hard to labour a point.

Infigen’s share price is currently languishing at about 26 cents.

Its wind farms are on the market but there really can’t be too many suckers out there, can there?

The company’s bankers are breathing down its neck over its massive debt levels.

And the Coalition has announced its support for the Xenophon/Madigan Excessive Noise Bill.

All this couldn’t be happening to a nicer bunch of lads, could it?

And on top of that, his reference to the Climate Change Gestapo sounds harping.

This is the outfit with more than a thousand people on the payroll who undoubtedly are all spending their days polishing up their CVs ready for the axe to fall come September.

Not that they have much else to do, really.

What’s that smell? It’s a rich stench of fear and loathing.

Open the windows. Let in the breeze.

To us it smells like fresh air.

wind collapse

On the brink of collapse

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Old Ranga from Victoria says:

    Great stuff, you lot. And you can’t have missed the valuable contribution to the debate offered by the lovely Prof Flannery in The Oz today:


    Ah yes. Tim Flannery: the gift that keeps on giving. Again, and again, and again.

    Thanks Tim! Great to have you involved, and look forward to watching you speak up for Big Wind at the next VCAT hearing.

    PS. There’s now a paywall on The Oz stories – if you don’t have a subscription to Australia’s best newspaper, and don’t have a friend who does, then the answer’s clear: it’s time you did subscribe.

  2. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    Professor Chapman continues his advocacy for the wind industry with continued bullying and vilification of victims and those who would help them. The following excerpts are from a recent piece by Chapman posted on “The Conversation” spruiking his latest offering of confirmatory bias and cherry-picking:

    “A Victorian country GP followed this up with an even smaller study in 2004, where after dropping 25 questionnaires to people living near the local turbines, eight reported problems like sleep difficulties, stress and dizziness.

    Among the many problems with this study is the fact that in any community, regardless of the presence or absence of wind turbines, about a quarter to a third will have sleep problems, nearly half will have had a headache in the last week, and nearly one in six will have felt dizzy. When someone suggests that wind turbines – which some rural people don’t much like the look of – might be causing such problems, this “rural myth” gets traction.”

    “But then opponents decided to push the health issue: when someone says they are ill, you are supposed to be sympathetic, not sceptical. It was always going to be a winning strategy. My collection of health problems opponents have named now numbers 216.”

    “Australia’s high priestess of wind turbine syndrome, the unregistered doctor Sarah Laurie claimed last year that vibrations from wind turbines can “perceptibly rock stationary cars even further than a kilometre away from the nearest wind turbine” and that turbines can make people’s lips vibrate “as from a distance of 10km away”.”

    Now I wouldn’t know about wind turbines being able to make people’s lips vibrate at a distance of 10km. But I do know that infrasound, even when generated by quite small turbines is detectable at a distance of 10km, as 1990 NASA Technical Paper 3057 “Wind Turbine Acoustics” by H. Hubbard and K. Shepherd shows. This NASA paper was researched at a time before it was politically incorrect for government science institutions to question anything to do with the wind industry, it’s here (oops, now why would that be?). Anyway here are a few relevant excerpts 1 (Fig 7-5 Noise spectra 0 – 100 Hz) 2 (Fig 7-12 Measured and calculated noise spectra 75M downwind) 3 (Fig 7-18 Decrease in sound pressure levels of pure tones with distance from a point source) 4 (Fig 7-20 Effects of wind induced refraction radiating from a point source) and 5 (Table 7-1 Estimated community response to noise exceeding threshold level – the complaints threshholds).

    Since wind became the ideological favourite in planet saving tokenism there is no limit it seems to the extent of obfuscation, propaganda and outright lies employed to prove that black is white when it comes to wind turbine generated noise. This applies to both audible noise and infrasound. We have the wind industry and their acousticians telling us that wind turbines don’t produce infrasound even though the wind farm noise compliance standards applied in Australia don’t require any monitoring of infra sound. Could it be that the wind industry knows something that they don’t want the rest of us to know?

    The fact is, when measured linearly (i.e. comparing apples with apples) the sound pressure spectrum (the noise) generated by wind turbines is stronger by far in the infrasound frequency range than in any other part of the audible sound frequency range. No amount of deception i.e. massive attenuation in the critical blade pass frequency range by inappropriate dB(G) scale measurement or the application of long period sound pressure averaging will disappear these pesky facts of physics. Nor will the phenomenon known as atmospheric refraction go away, this is the mechanism whereby noise propagates over very long distances downwind from a source.

    Now I don’t know if wind turbine infrasound can propagate over 50km with any significant magnitude, nor what the effects on humans, if any, might be at such a distance. However, I would argue that a qualified clinician has a much better likelihood of understanding the physiological impact of infrasound at any distance, be it 5km or 50km, than does for instance either a psychologist or an engineer? That infra sound can travel vast (intercontinental) distances is beyond dispute, nuclear test monitoring is accomplished by infra sound monitoring.

  3. What planet is Mr George from Infigen living on because it’s not the same one I’m on………………… his comment “wind farms are typically supported by the vast majority of local communities” is so far from reality. Has he actually been into communities where there are industrial wind ‘farms’ or proposed ones & spoken to the local people??? These wind ‘farms’ are destroying the very fabric of the community & cause division & hurt among people who have been life long friends & neighbours! Many communities will never recover from the lies & damage that have been done.

  4. Jackie Rovensky says:

    Wind Energy companies in Australia and around the world are facing oblivion. They are terrified that a Government will ‘pull’ the subsidies telling the companies they can no longer afford to subsidies an inefficient process.
    Let’s face it so many companies big and small have gone under because they cannot get subsidies from Governments to help them through bad times – why is it that engineering companies, clothing and other manufacturers including food processors have left Australia – it’s because they cannot be competitive.
    Why has our Government NOT supported them and given them tax breaks and subsidies to remain and employ people – many more than are employed both short and longer term by Wind Energy Companies?
    WHERE EXACTLY is this so called INVESTMENT we are told we will get – in infrastructure that only has a lifetime of stated 20 – 25 years and probably much less in reality?
    IS THIS RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT OF OUR TAXES and does it indicate a commitment by our Government to govern in the best interests of Australians?????

  5. The ballot in september will be to get rid of the industrial turbines & the labor goverment.

  6. In the developed world, the political elites are now as corrupt as in the average kleptocracy. Here in the UK, Cameron PM and Co are closing down coal fired power stations as we run short of power. But they are giving £Billions in subsidies to overseas owned comapnies that are blighting our countryside with turbines. Wind energy is very expenive, unreliable and wrecks lives, tourism and house values. No UK politician has turbines in his/her own backyard of course.

    Here in Devon/Cornwall we have loads of wind. The Government is forcing turbines on us and damaging our main source of income – tourism. But a few are enriched as domestic and industrial energy prices soar. That’s OK then for Cameron.

  7. Reblogged this on Quixotes Last Stand.

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