The Irish government have been unilateral in their support for wind energy. However, many leading economists, journalists, engineers and environmentalists have disagreed with this approach to solving the global warming and energy crises. These dissenting views need to be considered by our policy makers.

“Wind power is unreliable – intermittent generation produces power unpredictably. For every unit of wind capacity, a standby unit must be available, since the wind unit will generate power for only about one hour in three, and virtually the entire wind generation capacity can sometimes be idle.Since the availability of the wind units can be predicted accurately only for short periods ahead, standby must be constantly in readiness – this is costly.”
“The wind energy lobby has been remarkably successful in Ireland, where government has been persuaded to pursue high targets for wind penetration regardless of cost. Wind lobbyists appear to have succeeded in propagating the view that wind energy is not merely low on carbon emissions, which is true, but also cheap, which is not.“
Colm Mcarthy
And all over the countryside, he knew, on every crest and hill, where once the hedges had interlaced, and cottages, churches, inns, and farmhouses had nestled among their trees, wind wheels similar to those he saw and bearing like vast advertisements, gaunt and distinctive symbols of the new age, cast their whirling shadows and stored incessantly the energy that flowed away incessantly through all the arteries of the city. … The great circular shapes of complaining wind-wheels blotted out the heavens…
H.G. Wells
“A Story of the Days To Come” (1897)
The Association office has had a flood of calls in recent weeks from our members concerned about these turbines. As a member-driven association it is important that we respond to what we are hearing: the size of the turbines at 185 metres and the scale of the project with over 2,000 spread across four counties threatens the beauty of the Irish landscape in the heart of one of Ireland’s main bloodstock regions.
The development of renewable energy resources will require a significant expansion of the grid, as well as a significant increase in needed operating reserves given the intermittent nature of wind and other resources.
Terry Boston
President and CEO, PJM Interconnection
“Ireland’s targets for wind energy are amongst the most ambitious in the world and are contributing to uncompetitive electricity prices for households, business and industry”
“Wind power does not generate a lot of employment. Estimates often ignore the jobs lost in thermal power generation, and the jobs destroyed by dearer electricity and higher taxes.”
Richard Toll
“Like the tobacco and asbestos industries, the wind power generation sector has long known its products make people sick.”
Speaker Sen John Madigan
Speech in the Australian Federal Senate – March 17, 2014

“The aim of producing 40% of electricity in the Republic of Ireland from wind power by 2020 is not appropriate for a number of reasons:

■ It would involve capital expenditure of the order of €10bn at a time when no new generating capacity is required.

■ It would result in a high percentage of conventional plant being regularly forced off the system (not being used). In economic terms this is equivalent to partial stranding of these assets and is a very serious issue for the economics of the power industry generally.

■ It is a relatively expensive form of electricity generation and an extremely expensive way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions when compared to other alternatives.

■ The suggestion that large scale wind energy production could be exported in a commercially profitable way is without any sound economic basis. This type of risky investment should be left to the private sector and should not be subsidised by either the electricity consumer or tax payer. The current Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) terms should be reviewed. As constituted it is price inflating and lacks incentive to produce wind power more economically.”

Irish Academy of Engineers
“I am not opposed to progress and understand the need for renewable energy, however the thoroughbred industry is a huge source of rural employment in Ireland. The moving shadows on sunny days created by wind turbines is a massive problem for horses. The riding or even grazing of horses in such areas is simply not possible and extremely dangerous.”

Ruby Walsh

‘The UK government insists on using a system called ETSU-97 for monitoring wind noise, but this is 16 years old, produced when turbines were far smaller, and there is much more sensitive equipment available now, which they refuse to use because it will reveal the shortcomings of the industry. Unbelievably, the Health & Safety Executive are kept well away from wind turbine developments, when every other form of activity in the UK is subject to their investigations, even harmless bookshops in Brecon.’
David Bellamy
Hopelessly uneconomic on any substantial scale, since it requires a conventional power back-up for when the wind stops blowing, forests of wind turbines are rightly regarded in most countries as an environmental monstrosity.
Nigel Lawson
— Nigel Lawson, Time, May 21, 2008
The output is far from smooth, and the impact on dispatchable plant required to deal with residual demand is highly significant. Our view is that plant operating under these conditions in the support role for wind will suffer: 1) reduced availability, 2) significantly reduced efficiency, and thus 3) higher emissions per MWh generated.
John Constable
Renewable Energy Foundation, U.K.

“there is a consistent cluster of symptoms related to living in close proximity to wind turbines which occurs in a number of people in the vicinity of industrial wind turbines”. “These people must be treated appropriately and sensitively as these symptoms can be very debilitating.” “Not everyone living near wind turbines have these symptoms. Susceptibility to symptoms differs with individuals. According to the current literature, sensitivity to low-frequency vibration is a risk factor. Sensitivity to low-frequency vibration in the body or ears is highly variable in people and, hence, poorly understood and the subject of much debate. Another risk factor described in the literature is a pre-existing migraine disorder. Other candidate risk factors for susceptibility to wind turbine related symptoms are age related changes in the inner ear.”
Department of Health
Mar 6th 2014, Colette Bonner, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dept of Health
At this point you may have asked yourself why it is that Vestas does not just make changes to the wind turbines so that they produce less noise? The simple answer is that at the moment it is not technically possible to do so…
Ditlev Engel, CEO, Vestas
“The current anger at the march of turbines and pylons across the hills of Britain is not from nimbys. Government money has lubricated most backyard owners to support wind power. It comes from those who appreciate the beauty of the countryside and who question the industrial spoliation of miles of open landscape for a pitiful net gain to climate change.”
Simon Jenkins, Guardian Journalist
“The key problems with current policies for wind power are simple. They require a huge commitment of investment resources to a technology that is not very green, in the sense of saving a lot of co2, but which is certainly very expensive and inflexible. Markets have to be rigged in order to persuade investors to fund the investment that is required.”
Gordon Hughes
“The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCS) published a survey of nearly 1,000 people, which found two-thirds said turbines are making Scotland a less appealing place to visit”.
Simon Johnson,
Scottish Political Editor

“Wind farms have real costs. They can spoil the landscape, affect wildlife, and disturb people living nearby. Do the benefits outweigh the costs?”
Richard Toll