I was directed by a friend to sWINDle on 2012/10/22.
It is carelessly written; the first and second paragraphs on the home page
But what about the factual content of sWINDle?
If you get the impression from this page that there's not a lot of truth on
the pages of sWINDle, you'd be very close to recognising it for what it is;
a tissue of lies.
- sWINDdle claims to support "efficient, economical, safe and
environmentally friendly sources of renewable energy" and that wind power
"does not fit this simple criteria" (sic).
It is easy to show that sWINDle is wrong on all these points:
- Wind power is efficient.
The state of South Australia had near zero renewable electricity in early
2003; in 2012 around 26% of its electricity is being generated by the wind;
practically no fuel at all is consumed to produce all that electricity
– what could be more efficient than that?
(More at Efficiency
of wind turbines.)
- Wind power is economical.
Wind power is at present the most economical form of renewable energy;
why else would so many countries be installing so much wind power?
In fact, if the cost of pollution is taken into account, wind power is much
more economical than fossil-fuel-generated power.
(More at Cost of wind power.)
- Wind power is safe.
Wind power has an excellent
safety record; there are far fewer
deaths per GWh of wind energy generated than for coal, oil, LPG and hydro
There is absolutely no evidence that wind turbines cause
- Wind power is very environmentally friendly.
No emissions are produced, very little
water is consumed,
very little land is taken out of production, the
energy used to construct a wind farm is paid back in about six
months of operation, what little
remnant native vegetation
is damaged is replaced, and few
killed by turbines.
- Wind turbines save lives, but the people of
sWINDle seem not to have realised this.
There have been 17
reviews of the research literature; not one
of these concluded that wind turbines cause any illnesses.
On the other hand, it has long been known that the emissions from fossil
fuel power stations cause numerous serious illnesses and deaths.
The electricity generated by wind turbines mean that less electricity need
be generated by burning fossil fuels.
The top medical journal, The Lancet, quantified the deaths and serious
illnesses caused by burning fossil fuels in power stations.
- Contrary to the claim of sWINDle, Wind power does
reduce carbon emissions.
This is so obviously true that no person having any intelligence or knowledge
of the power system would deny it.
Electricity has to be consumed at the same rate as it is being generated.
If wind-generated electricity is fed into the grid, some other electricity
generation must be lessened; usually in Australia this is fossil-fuel
At the same time as wind power in SA went from 0% to 26%, coal-fired
electricity went from 42% to 25% and emissions went down.
- "Strobe lights day and night" says sWINDle.
Some wind farms have
aerial navigation lights
for safety, most don't.
They can be slightly annoying for those who like the look of the starry night
sky in the country (I am one of these), but it is hardly going to harm anyone,
and unlike town lights it doesn't stop you seeing the stars.
Are they left on during the day? I very much doubt it, but would it matter
if they were?
- Wind turbines are not
to claims by sWINDle.
One can easily carry out a normal conversation right beneath a wind turbine
without raising one's voice at all.
A wind turbine is quieter than a car travelling at 80km/hr.
I have visited many wind farms and have never heard a wind turbine from a
distance greater than 2.5km (correction, on 2013/07/07 I
managed to just hear
some turbines 3.0km away), and then only in ideal conditions, and then only
in near ideal conditions (for
example, if there was a car travelling on the road within 2km of me, I
could no longer hear the turbines because of the noise made by the car).
- Wind turbines are not a
fire hazard in spite of
There have been a total of three fires in wind turbines in Australia.
None produced any property damage (apart from that to the turbines), none
posed a serious risk to any people or property.
The fire authorities recognise that wind turbines are far less of a fire
risk than is agricultural machinery.
In fact wind turbines most likely reduce the risk of bushfires by safely
conducting lightning strikes
(Many fires are started by lightning in Australia each year.
A row of wind turbines on a ridge-top intercepts the lightning before it can
set fire to the dry grass on the ground.)
- Wind farms are not a threat to wildlife; sWINDle is wrong again.
For example, the British Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is so
convinced that wind power will be good for birds that they are
proposing a wind turbine at their headquarters.
The prominent US bird protection group, Audubon, recognise that climate
change poses a far higher threat to birds that do wind turbines.
Australia's Conservation Foundation (ACF) is supportive of wind power too.
- sWINDle implies that there are
aviation issues with wind power: So far as I have been able to
plane has ever crashed due to collision with a wind turbine, nor due to the
small turbulence created by wind turbines.
Agricultural aircraft are at much greater risk from power lines, which are
very hard to see.
- Wind farms do not reduce
Falls in property values is another common lie perpetrated by sWINDle and the
rest of the anti-wind community.
There is no evidence that more than minor, temporary, reductions to property
values result from wind farm construction.