by Xavier in Paris
Tue May 11th, 2010 at 06:02:22 AM EST
Recently, I was reading the newspaper Le Monde on line when my attention was attracted by this article. At the time, the chat was ongoing so I though of asking some questions to the interviewed, Yves Verilhac, who is a prominent figure of the anti-wind party in France. These questions were not selected by the newspaper crew who were filtering them, so I sent them directly to the guy afterwards, who was kind enough to answer. I think this exchange might be of interest so here it is below the fold...
Caution: g00gle translation ahead!
Question 1 Merit of Order effect:
The pro-wind say that this technique allows to inject electricity at low cost in a market without stock, where the spot prices are very sensitive to the arrival of a new supplier. This energy may help us overcome a dependence on foreign powers as caring that Niger (uranium), Saudi (oil) and Russia (gas).
The wind farm would provide strong savings whenever a peak demand coincides with a peak production.
Do you think we need to completely deprive the electricity production of wind, even if this mean paying more for each kWh? Is this a good way to reduce our dependence on countries moderately friendly to us?
Answer 1: This is partially true. First, the overall ecological balance of the wind industry is far from neutral (manufacturing, transport ...) and it's even worse for photovoltaics. Getting moral lessons from the Chinese is breathtaking. We can not say that wind is cheap electricity while it's the subsidy that does it and while the costs are 4-5 times more expensive!
Talking about independence while we have no industrial tradition in the field, we import all equipment, there is virtually no job created is also exaggerated.
And if we have to just hope that a peak need takes place at the same time that a production peak, then we're screwed if I dare say. Besides it is in times of high heat and extreme cold that we get the most consummation, precisely the times when there is no wind or too much ...
30% productivity on average, and nothing more!
Why? Because this is not storable, it is still less profitable than face capacity etc etc...
It is the citizen's dependency we have to think about, with productions that are actually local.
The Wind power industry doesn't bring independence, not least because it requires fossil and nuclear energy to balance supply. etc. etc.
I read your response at time of 3:24 p.m [in the Le Monde article]., which suggests to me another question.
What impact should we expect if 10,000 turbines are located in France?
How would these impacts be different from what may be observed in Spain or Denmark? Given the level of equipment in these two countries, Is not possible already to make an assessment of these impacts?
10000 wind mills = wind mills visibility over much of the country, a trivialization of landscapes, a feeling of movement (loss of quietness), a nocturnal light unseen before (end of the starry skies of the Massif Central), the multiplication of EHV lines, 1000 tons of concrete per mast x 10,000 = 10 million tons (!) with two thirds being buried; which will never get removed, multiplied effects on avifauna (birds) and Chiroptera (bats) not yet estimated, etc. etc.
[NdA: trivialization of landscapes is a notion this person has developed elsewhere which means giving a price to different landscape views (as in a painting) and a cost to uniformity]
Economically, some territories have been facing thirty years of high human desertification (the Auvergne region dear to me, is one).
To what extent can we offer something to those who are tempted by the wind as a means of reviving a little their territory?
Would you say that acceptance of wind turbines is simply a matter of economic allocation of costs / benefits? (Cost visual distance, profit related to land only)
I was director of a regional park, so rural development officer. The only two resources of our countryside territories are agriculture and tourism. The two are closely related. We are compromising their future in exchange for a business tax of uncertain future [NdA: Sarkozy has vowed to suppress this tax]. I know of a lot of villages that benefit from this tax and have died out nevertheless: villages without farmers, without social life, but with lit bowling, wave swimming pools, and secondary homes.
Who is taking care of the natural space? Nobody.
If the tax was the local development, people would know it. Once again the wind industry brings zero local jobs.