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Policy & Politics windfarmhouse

Published on February 18th, 2011 | by Susan Kraemer

9

UK Will Pay Communities to Host Wind Farms

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February 18th, 2011 by
 

Renewable UK, the renewable energy trade association, is about to begin offering £20,000 a year in payments to communities who will agree to put up with the awful inconvenience of hosting clean energy. The amount would be paid every year for 20 years, and total £400,000.

The UK government is trying the new approach, in a joint program with the trade organization Renewable UK, to try to overcome organized local opposition.

“The package of measures will see wind farm developments of 5 MW and above that are submitted to planning authorities come with a commitment to community funds and/or benefits in kind,” said a joint statement from the Department for Energy and Climate Change and Renewable UK.

You might think that people would be glad to host wind farms in their neighborhoods, given the alternative. Building clean energy displaces the dirty power from natural gas and coal that kills people, both now, directly, and indirectly, for generations into the foreseeable future through climate change.

Charles Anglin at Renewable UK told the BBC, said the opposition is very “vocal and organized”, yet “over the last decade, independent polls have showed 80% of people are in favor of wind power.”

In the US this “vocal and organized” opposition to solar and wind has been shown to have direct ties to groups funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers. Just one of their fossil energy companies, the Oxbow Corporation sells 10 million metric tons of petroleum coke and 8 million metric tons of steam coal annually, and they have spent liberally on front groups that protest against renewable energy.

They fund the “research” published by The Heartland Institute like “Wind Turbines Killing Thousands of Birds in Northwest”, and The Pacific Institute and smaller front groups – all to oppose wind power. (You’ll never guess what form of energy actually does kill birds!) Koch spent millions to derail Cape Wind, and succeeded for a decade.

One of the front groups, Industrial Wind Action Group (which pushes the same persistent bogus stories about birdkills as The Heartland Institute) has expressed their “disappointment” in the British plan: “The wind farm industry is taking our money with one hand and expecting us to be grateful for the small change offered with the other,” said the director of policy and research at the foundation, John Constable.

It remains to be seen if payments to communities will be enough to outweigh the money and the propaganda machine of the fossil fuel interests that are really pushing the opposition to wind farms.

The Koch brothers are worth billions. Constable is right about one thing. A mere £400,000 is indeed “small change” to them.

Image: Jesse Estes
SusanKraemer@Twitter

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • http://juliekinnear.com Julie Kinnear

    Back to the article: Ontario´s government (CA) wants to stop for a while the support to wind farms. I am not sure if this is a right step forward. We need to search for an alternative energy sources as we can run out of the usual one very soon. Also there is a chance to create new jobs and that is highly required in these days.

  • http://www.heartland.org/ Jim Lakely

    I sleep well at night. Thank you for asking.

    I usually know better than to engage in discussions with radicals like you all and expect to be treated with respect and for you to correct blatant lies. You might notice that I have not attacked you or your integrity — though it is now clear you have little.

    We’re done here. Enjoy life in your ignorant bubble.

    Jim Lakely
    Director of Communciations
    The Heartland Institute

    • BlueRock

      Jim Lakely:

      > I sleep well at night.

      I’m not a mental health specialist, but I’m sure there’s pathology here. To knowingly mislead people, to advocate a position that will lead to the death and suffering of others purely for profit is abhorrent to all sane, decent people – and yet that is exactly what you do.

      > …radicals like you…

      Projection!

      There is nothing “radical” about accepting science and reality and wanting to preserve a liveable climate for me, my family and future generations and to avoid extermination of the species we share this planet with.

      > …expect to be treated with respect…

      You earn respect – or in your case you earn the contempt of every informed, right-thinking person on the planet.

      > …correct blatant lies.

      What lies? You’ve not contested a single fact that has been presented here. The documented evidence shows that *you* and your vile organisation continually lie to push the agenda of polluting corporations and the billionaires who own them.

      > We’re done here.

      You’re slowly but surely being “done” – more and more people are becoming aware of the lies that you spread, thanks to the excellent journalism of people like Susan Kraemer.

      > Enjoy life in your ignorant bubble.

      I share the same “ignorant bubble” as NASA, the Royal Society, NOAA, and virtually every climate scientist on the planet. I’m happy I’ve picked the right “bubble”.

      Whereas, you live in a world of lies, distortion and propaganda that are designed to further your rabid free-market ideology – profit at all costs… provided someone else suffers those costs.

      I’d say “shame on you”, but I realise that shame is a foreign concept to people like you.

  • http://www.heartland.org/ Jim Lakely

    1. It’s the Heartland Institute, not “Foundation.”

    2. Could you please cite your source for the fact you presented that The Heartland Institute gets funding from the Koch brothers?

    You can’t, because the Koch Brothers are not donors to The Heartland Institute — not that we’d turn down their support.

    3. You also accuse the Kochs (falsely) of funding Heartland “research” on wind power. The story you link to is from the August 2010 edition of Environment & Climate News, published by The Heartland Institute. If you read the story, you’d have seen that the research on bird and bat deaths due to wind turbines was NOT conducted by The Heartland Institute. The study was produced by the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative.

    I’m glad there is an opportunity to correct these blatant falsehoods in the comments, but you really need to run a correction in the main post. I will be checking in from time to time to see if you do the journalistically honorable thing.

    Jim Lakely
    DIrector of Communications
    The Heartland Institute

    • http://cleantechnica.com/author/susan Susan Kraemer

      Will correct your name, my typo.

      2. My several sources are Polluterwatch, Climatesciencewatch and Exxonsecrets and DeSmogBlog.

      Polluterwatch:
      “ties to prominent denier think tanks such as Cato, the Heartland Institute, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, all of which are currently or formerly funded by Koch Industries and ExxonMobil”.
      http://www.polluterwatch.com/blog/koch-brothers-cuccinelli-peabody-and-others-named-climate-villains
      Climatesciencewatch:
      http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2010/03/18/koch-industries-multibillionaire-koch-brothers-bankroll-attacks-on-climate-change-science-and-policy/

      Exxonsecrets
      http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=41
      Exxon funds your organization, also presumably, like the Koch Brothers, to prevent competition from clean energy.

      DeSmogBlog: your annual denial conference is funded partly by the Koch Brothers
      http://www.desmogblog.com/denial-a-palooza-4th-international-conference-climate-change-heartland

      “The Heartland Institute’s “International Conference on Climate Change” is sponsored by organizations that have received over $40 million from just these three oil interests: Exxon, the Koch Brothers and the Scaife Family Foundation”.

      3. Maybe they don’t say, OK, now pulish this lie about wind, but to be worth your money to the Koch Brothers and Exxon and The Scaife Family Foundation, you try to prevent competition from clean energy. You do this by – among other things – producing, or arranging to publish other organizations’ lies about wind power (and solar power – you publish lies about how much water solar uses).

      Your organization claims that Altamont kills 4,700 birds a year. The correct number is 96.
      http://cleantechnica.com/2009/10/28/wind-turbines-dont-kill-birds-coal-plants-do/

      Competent scientific organizations like the NREL and the National Science Foundation have repeatedly debunked your false bird kill numbers, yet you keep producing them.

      Here is what Defenders of Wildlife notes in a brief in favor of wind to congress:
      http://www.defendersofwildlife.org/programs_and_policy/policy_and_legislation/energy/renewable_energy/wind_energy/detailed_recommendations.php

      “However, in reality, even if wind power supplied all of the country’s electricity, bird fatalities would still be dwarfed by the mortality figures for other types of structures: vehicles, 60 to 80 million; buildings, 98 to 980 million; power lines, up to 174 million; communication towers, 4 to 50 million (Erickson et al. 2001). Furthermore, the American Bird Conservancy estimates that feral and domestic outdoor cats probably kill on the order of hundreds of millions of birds per year (Case 2000). One study estimated that in Wisconsin alone, annual bird kill by rural cats might range from 7.8 to 217 million birds per year (Colemen & Temple 1995).”

      In the same way, your organization also keeps propagating the completely untrue “31,000 scientists disagree…” despite the objections of the few actual climate scientists quoted in it: Most are heart surgeons, etc.
      http://www.desmogblog.com/500-scientists-with-documented-doubts-about-the-heartland-institute
      Here are some:

      “I am horrified to find my name on such a list. I have spent the last 20 years arguing the opposite”.
      Dr. David Sugden. Professor of Geography, University of Edinburgh

      “I have NO doubts ..the recent changes in global climate ARE man-induced. I insist that you immediately remove my name from this list since I did not give you permission to put it there.”
      Dr. Gregory Cutter, Professor, Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University

      “I don’t believe any of my work can be used to support any of the statements listed in the article.”
      Dr. Robert Whittaker, Professor of Biogeography, University of Oxford

      “Please remove my name. What you have done is totally unethical!!”
      Dr. Svante Bjorck, Geo Biosphere Science Centre, Lund University

      “I’m outraged that they’ve included me as an “author” of this report. I do not share the views expressed in the summary.”
      Dr. John Clague, Shrum Research Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University

      • http://www.heartland.org/ Jim Lakely

        Polluterwatch:
        “ties to prominent denier think tanks such as Cato, the Heartland Institute, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, all of which are currently or formerly funded by Koch Industries and ExxonMobil”.

        Heartland has not received money from ExxonMobil since 2006, two years before we started hosting our climate conferences. We also haven’t received money from Koch for at least a decade, maybe longer. And even then the amount, like it is from any corporate donor, is no more than 5 percent of our annual operating budget.

        So it is not “currently or formerly” in our case. It is “formerly,” and the timeframe is getting farther in the rear view mirror all the time. So that is an error.

        Exxonsecrets
        Exxon funds your organization, also presumably, like the Koch Brothers, to prevent competition from clean energy.

        As stated above, both statements are untrue. They are lies spread by Exxonsecrets (which we’ve asked them to correct many times), and you have repeated them here. Consider this (again) a request to correct your story with the information I just typed in above.

        DeSmogBlog: your annual denial conference is funded partly by the Koch Brothers

        “The Heartland Institute’s “International Conference on Climate Change” is sponsored by organizations that have received over $40 million from just these three oil interests: Exxon, the Koch Brothers and the Scaife Family Foundation”.

        Again, false. The co-sponsors of our climate conferences didn’t pay anything to Heartland to be designated as a co-sponsor. Repeat: We did not get a dime from these organizations to fund our conferences.

        In addition, the implication that every event that a Koch-supported organization attends is somehow “funded” by the Koch brothers is laughable. By that standard, a local dry cleaner is “funded” by the Koch brothers if one of their employees drops his suits off there.

        So, your statement that our “annual denial conference is funded partly by the Koch Brothers” is entirely false.

        3. Maybe they don’t say, OK, now pulish this lie about wind, but to be worth your money to the Koch Brothers and Exxon and The Scaife Family Foundation, you try to prevent competition from clean energy. You do this by – among other things – producing, or arranging to publish other organizations’ lies about wind power (and solar power – you publish lies about how much water solar uses).

        Again, we don’t currently get donations from Exxon, Koch or (I believe) Scaife. Regardless, we do not do “pay for play” research. And, as I have to repeat to you again, we did not produce the study you attributed to The Heartland Institute. We reported on the study in one of our policy newspapers. If you can’t tell the difference between those two things perhaps you should get out of the writing business.

        And, for the record, Heartland is not trying to “prevent competition from clean energy.” We point out that “clean energy” is not economically viable — proven by one of the few accurate things in your original post. If “clean energy” could compete in the marketplace, it wouldn’t need the billions of subsidies it gets both in the US and abroad to survive.

        Why must you keep digging yourself in deeper on these points? Why not just admit error, correct it, and endeavor to not make those mistakes about Heartland again.

        We here at Heartland have think skins, and have been in the public square debating these issues for more than a quarter century. We can take being publicly challenged (and even insulted). Just get your facts straight as you call us “deniers” and other childish names.

        GO HERE for more detail on rebutting the lies of DeSmogBlog, ExxonSecrets and SourceWatch: http://www.heartland.org/about/truthsquad.html

        Jim Lakely
        Director of Communications
        The Heartland Institute
        Chicago, IL

        • http://cleantechnica.com/author/susan Susan Kraemer

          I find that the evidence of the research done by DeSmogBlog, Exxon Secrets and SourceWatch on your organization is more compelling.
          My conclusion is that DeSmogBlog, SourceWatch etc are correct when they say that you, Exxon and the Koch Brothers all make elaborate attempts to conceal your connections, because I see the evidence of other lies.

          1. The evidence is clear that you publish lies about wind bird kills (whether you write them yourselves is hardly the point), and that you put on a conference to promote lies about climate scientists having a disagreement about climate change, when they don’t.

          2. Your “31,000 scientists disagree” petition includes no more than possibly 39-120 reputable climate scientists, other than the angered climate scientists whose words you twisted (quoted above) who demanded you to remove their names from your petition. Which you have not done!

          In fact 97% of all published (ie credible) climate scientists worldwide are in agreement that the evidence is in that human activity (burning fossil fuels) has caused an increase in average temperature.
          http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf

          Your own page lists anyone with a degree in medicine, nuclear engineering, metallurgy, electrical engineering, general science and mechanical engineering – as among those deemed qualified to opine on climate science. Only published climate scientists’ opinions are relevant, as I am sure you know.

          Would you get an opinion on your own stomach cancer from a geologist or an astrophysicist? Of course not. You are an educated man: you know better. Yet you prey on the ill-informed people that your work is aimed at fooling – by including the signatures of plastic surgeons or skyscraper engineers as respected authorities on climate science.

    • BlueRock

      Hi Jim,

      How’s your denial of the health risks of smoking working out? Paying you good $$$?

      How about your denial of climate change science? I’ll bet that brings in even more $$$!

      How about that time you defended WalMart and denied they had paid you to do it? But you failed to mention that the Walton Family Foundation – the owners of WalMart! – had paid you $300,000?

      Serious question: how do you sleep at night?

      ~~~

      For anyone else who wants a sample of what a vile organisation the Heartland Institute is:

      * http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute

      * http://www.desmogblog.com/500-scientists-with-documented-doubts-about-the-heartland-institute

      * http://www.desmogblog.com/distinguished-scientist-calls-heartland-500-list-offensive-and-wrong

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