Article found in german ecological newspaper feelGreen.de in Feb 2015

Click here to read the original paper.


Fear of health: Denmark stops expansion of wind power plants

How dangerous is wind power for animals and humans? This question is the construction of wind turbines in Denmark almost stopped as the "Welt am Sonntag" reported. Also in Germany is growing skepticism about wind power projects.

Denmark is a pioneer country in the modern wind power technology and is equipped with a share of over 39 per cent of the national energy mix, the world's leading nation in this area. However, the development stagnates.

The starting point for the rising skepticism about wind power was an incident that occurred at the end of 2013 a mink farm in Denmark Vildbjerg. Already in the first round of new wind turbines behind a farm, flipped the animals in their cages. When the plant was off the next morning, had each other so added more than 100 of them deep wounds that they had to be killed.
State investigation will provide guidance on health consequences

Could the infrasound from wind turbines do animals crazy? Is thus perhaps also the health of people at risk? The uncertainty in the environmentally conscious Denmark has grown ever since.

Compared to the "world" says Jan Hylleberg, chief executive of the Association of Danish wind industry that the majority of Danish municipalities have laid the plans for new wind farms on ice. They wanted to wait until after, will be completed by government studies on the health effects of infrasound. During 2013, any new wind turbines went with a total capacity of nearly 700 megawatts, this value last year was only 67th
Also in Germany is growing skepticism

The new restraint in wind power development in Denmark transmits increasingly on Germany. According to the "world" is working now, more than 500 initiatives to wind power projects, a - and it's not just that the wind turbines affect the landscape.

The critics often refer to studies to prove that the vibrations caused by wind turbines air health have resulted. Who is constantly exposed to infrasound, therefore, may have to contend with, inter alia, sleep disorders, headaches, concentration difficulties, tinnitus, nausea, impaired heart rate and anxiety.

Huge pylons needed to link the windfarm to the electric network !

A Problem With Wind Power 

by Eric Rosenbloom 


Output figures from wind developers are typically annual averages expressed in the vague figure of "number of homes provided for." Homes, however, account for only a third of all electricity use, and electricity represents only a third of all energy consumption (only a fifth in Vermont). Further, home use of electricity varies widely through the day, week, and year, but wind plants generate electricity by the whims of the wind rather than the actual needs of the grid. 

As averages, the figures ignore the fact that hour to hour, day to day, season to season, even the most windy sites experience periods of calm when the turbines are producing no electricity at all and cycles of slower wind when they are producing far less than their maximum capacity. When the wind is too fast, the turbines must shut down to avoid damage. 

This variability, they say, is balanced by wiring up a multitude of sites, one of which at any time must surely be producing significant power. Instead of a "free and clean" source of energy, then, the necessary proposal is an expensive network of redundant installations that must fill most of our land and seascapes to make any meaningful contribution. 

Despite local variabilities, however, the overall rise and fall of the wind is generally the same over the larger region. The grid must plan for the likely low point, i.e., the least power it may see from all of the attached wind plants. Large power plants cannot respond quickly to the hourly variations of the wind, so they must be already going when the power from the wind plants drops off. 

There are solutions to this on a small scale, but for most grid systems, any power produced by wind plants is therefore in practice superfluous. The backup generation is already providing it. 

On top of this uselessness, the turbines use a great deal of electricity themselves. Most of them cannot even run without input from the grid. Although they produce electricity intermittently, they consume it continuously. In every report I've seen, input from the grid is not accounted for in the figures of net output. Specifications from turbine manufacturers do not include the amount of electricity they require. 

It may be that large wind turbines use as much electricity as they produce. Whether the wind is blowing in the desired range or not, they need power to keep the generator magnetized, to keep the blade and generator assembly (92 tons on a 1.5-MW GE) facing the wind, to periodically spin that assembly to unwind the cables in the tower, to heat the blades in icy conditions, to start the blades turning when the wind is just getting fast enough to keep them going, to keep the blades pitched to spin at a regular rate, and to run the lights and internal control and communication systems. 

It is clear that industrial wind generation is not able to contribute anything against the problems of global warming, pollution, nuclear waste, or dependence on imports. In Denmark, with the most per-capita wind turbines in the world, the output from wind facilities equals 15%-20% of their electricity consumption. The Copenhagen newspaper Politiken reported, however, that wind provided only 1.7% of the electricity actually used in 1999. The grid manager for western Denmark reported that in 2002 84% of their wind-generated electricity had to be exported, i.e., dumped at extreme discount. The turbines are often shut down, because it is so rare that good wind coincides with peaking demand. A director of the western Denmark utility has stated that wind turbines do not reduce CO 2 emissions, the primary marker of fossil fuel use. 

But industrial wind facilities are not just useless. They destroy the land, birds and bats, and the lives of their neighbors. Off shore, they endanger ships and boats and their low-frequency noise is likely harmful to sea mammals. They require subsidies and regulatory favors to make investment viable. They do not move us towards more sustainable energy sources and stand instead as monuments of delusion. 

-- December 2004



 for the complete paper, including many links, click below   

"A Problem With Wind Power" 


MARCH  the 13th : An article in Var Matin about the meeting that was held in Salernes on the 10th.

MARCH the 11th : An interesting article read in Media-web.fr about  the legal distance in France between houses and wind mills.


Les victimes de l'éolien écrivent à la Commission mixte paritaire du 10 mars 2015

Suite à l'adoption par le Sénat le 3 mars dernier, du projet de loi sur la transition énergétique qui ferait passer la zone tampon entre éoliennes et habitations de 500 m à 1000 m les victimes de l'éolien adressent une lettre ouverte au Parlement.

L’Assemblée nationale et le Sénat ont auditionné M. Jean-Marc Jancovici à plusieurs reprises sur l’inopportunité de la transition énergétique ; vous connaissez également le rapport de la Royal Society of Medicine alertant sur l’impact des éoliennes jusqu’à une distance de 10 km. Vous n’ignorez pas non plus (Jancovici) que cette énergie intermittente nécessite la compensation par des centrales à gaz, combustible fossile que nous devons importer et qui produit des gaz à effet de serre. Raison pour laquelle M. Jancovici déconseille fortement toute aide financière à la filière éolienne. Laquelle se prétend mature, sans le démontrer en se passant de subventions, pas plus qu’elle n’a prouvé son efficacité énergétique, économique ni écologique.
En tant que victimes des éoliennes, nous attirons votre attention sur l’importance des décisions que vous allez adopter, qui pourraient condamner des milliers de riverains à la souffrance et à une vie insupportable. Nous nous référons à notre lettre ouverte à Madame Ségolène Royal du 28 février 2015, dans laquelle nous expliquons que les victimes d’aujourd’hui sont des personnes sensibles aux infrasons ; elles sont comme « les canaris de la mine » qui avertissent du danger les mineurs (1).
Les populations rurales sont sacrifiées, le mot n’est pas trop fort, nous sommes là pour en témoigner. Plus de repos chez nous, les victimes, de jour comme de nuit, cadenassées, prisonnières de nos maisons devenues invendables. Mises à contribution pour payer cette énergie perfusée par les subventions et la CSPE alors que la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne a jugé ces mécanismes comme contraires à la concurrence loyale et non faussée.
Jamais écoutées, nos demandes d’arrêt la nuit de ces usines infernales baptisées « parcs éoliens », de 22 h à 8 h du matin, pour troubles anormaux du voisinage. Pourtant, contrairement aux affirmations de Madame la Ministre de l'Écologie, de nombreuses victimes se sont plaintes de l'enfer qu'elles vivent depuis bien longtemps ; les coupures de presse en sont la preuve et ne sont que la partie visible de l'iceberg. (2)
Pas d’acceptation sociale pour une industrie qui ne respecte aucun des critères que toutes les autres industries doivent respecter, par exemple le seuil de bruit ambiant à 30 dB(A). Forte dissension dans les villages, fin du bien vivre ensemble, fin du bien vivre tout court. Bilan désastreux.
La distance tampon de 1000 m adoptée par le Sénat est une maigre concession envers les riverains : dans notre collectif, nous avons par exemple une victime qui vit un calvaire à 11,5 km d’éoliennes qu’elle ne voit même pas. Les infrasons se propagent en effet beaucoup plus loin que le bruit audible, sans égard au relief. Ferez-vous au moins cette concession ? La santé des Français ne prime-t-elle pas sur les intérêts financiers d’une industrie dont la bulle subventionnée ne manquera pas d’éclater, comme elle l’a fait dans les pays méditerranéens en faillite ?
Nous vous prions de ratifier l’amendement du Sénat, à défaut de vous aligner sur la mesure prise par l’État libre de Bavière qui a voté une distance tampon de 10 fois la hauteur des éoliennes, ou sur celle adoptée par l’État de Victoria en Australie (2 km), ou sur d'autres arrêtés votés ailleurs (3).
De plus, nous vous demandons de définir le dédommagement à attribuer à chaque famille, dès le démarrage d’une implantation éolienne, comme cela se pratique au Danemark, car quitte à suivre une mode, il faut l’appliquer dans sa globalité.
Mesdames et Messieurs les élus de la République, soyez équitables, soyez solidaires, n’imposez pas à d’autres ce que vous ne pourriez tolérer pour vous-mêmes.
En vous remerciant par avance pour vos décisions respectueuses de la santé et du bien d’autrui, nous vous prions de croire, Mesdames les Députées et Sénatrices, Messieurs les Députés et Sénateurs, en notre très haute considération.

Ghislaine Siguier
Présidente du Collectif Victimes des Éoliennes

Voir aussi http://fr.friends-against-wind.org

7th March : another article with interesting news in VAR MATIN today's edition.

Translation below.

An Ill Wind?

The enormous wind turbine project proposed by EDF in the communes of Aups, Villecroze and Salernes has set the local people against the elected council members. Tension is increasing… (see next pages)


The Wind Turbine project proposed by EDF Energies Renouvables has caused dissension in the village of Aups and the neighbouring villages: Agreed by the council, opposed by an organised group, it is currently halted by the State

The positive vote by the Aups council on 10 December 2104 in favour of testing the wind turbine farm has upset a lot of people in the Aups countryside and around. That evening the local council agreed to allow EDF to test the possibility of a wind turbine farm, giving permission for the installation of a test machine for measuring the wind favourability in the area known as Uchane.

This test machine is 79.50m high

The mayor Antoine Faure signed an agreement for the installation of the test machine between Aups and EDF Energies Nouvelles. The affair could have stopped there as permission to erect the test machine, which is 79.50 metres high was refused by the Defence Ministry. The reason given for this refusal were the number of low flying military airplanes and helicopters in this area, so that this enormous pylon would have constituted a potential risk and created chaos during military manoeuvres.

A Group against the Wind Turbines

At that point, even though the potential threat seemed to have disappeared, discussions started raging in Aups, Salernes and Villecroze, which were also targeted by EDF. Pierre Lambert, council member for the Var department, was asked by numerous villagers to organise some opposition which he did by creating the  Association for the Preservation of the Landscape of the Haut Var.  with the aim both of opposing the current wind turbine proposals but also for any other similar proposal in the Var.

A meeting of the Association was organised for 12 February 2015 and more than 120 people opposed to the project turned up. As a result, opposition became organised with stickers on cars and buildings.

Antoine Faure was astonished by the amount of opposition in that other projects of renewable energy such as  solar panels  had been discussed before.

Is it a viable project?

Nobody has come up with really good reasons why. There are however many good reasons against. The mayor has been clear: ’We are not totally committed to this project. In other words, if any problems arise, we will immediately halt what we are doing. All projects of this type are looked at carefully within our overall town/country Plan. We must know first of all whether the project is  viable. That is why we have agreed to this installation of a test plant which will continue testing over a one year period. If there is not enough wind, obviously the project will not go ahead but to object to oppose it before even testing its reliability seems to me to be strange’. This message is obviously aimed at Pierre Lambert, both Var Council member and Mr Faure’s partner in the local pharmacy. ‘It is shame that we haven’t discussed this beforehand. But he has every right to organise this group as long as it is done peacefully and without violence’.

Ten Wind Turbines

The mayor thinks that the total number of wind turbines will be around ten. ‘ Everything seems to be focused on the wind turbines but they are not the only urgent matters in our village, a new medical centre for example would be more of a priority. I personally am neither for or against the wind turbines. Obviously, if the Aupsois are against the wind turbines it would be stupid to continue. We have 2000 hectares of communal land which could be used to develop other methods of renewable energy. We have had different proposals, even one for a biomass energy solution but none of them have been decided’. This attitude is mirrored by the deputy mayor, Bernard Pantel, who agrees that all forms of renewable energy should be considered. ’We refused fracking, we are against nuclear centres, oil pollutes so we need to look elsewhere. I agree that wind turbines are not beautiful but it is our duty to investigate everything’.

Since 17 February, when the Defence Ministry refused permission, nothing more has been heard from EDF. ‘I have no intention of calling them to see if they have put forward an alternative proposal’ said Mr Faure.

JJ Var Matin

Pierre Lambert, ‘I have had nothing to do with the introduction of this project, but I will do everything to fight against it’

Pierre Lambert, Council member for the Var and President of the Association for the Preservation  of the Haut Var has gathered together in opposition people with varied backgrounds and attitudes: such as Pierre Jugy, Mayor of Tourtour (more right wing),and Andre Coldeboeuf, previous Mayor of Les Salles-sur-Verdon ( more left wing). He has decided to use all his energies to oppose and stop the Wind Turbine project.

Why are you so vociferous against this project?

Firstly, this has been put forward without any consultation with the local population. EDF in fact asked the local councils to be very discreet about this proposal. I think that the majority of people in this canton are against the project. It is important that they are given the possibility of making their voice heard through an Association. I believe that people don’t want wind turbines and fourty of them are proposed in the Aups-Villecroze- Salernes axis while over a hundred are envisaged in the whole of the Haut Var. This area has never been part of the original thinking on wind turbines and, of course, Toulon, Saint Maximin or Caillan are not part of this scheme. As well, it seems that the Aups Council has authorised EDF to make a study on the suitability of installing the wind turbines- it seems to me that the best way of stopping a wind farm is to stop the test project.

Isn’t the area chosen suitable for a Wind Farm?

The Var is the number one tourist department in France. The Gorges de Verdon is aone of France’s jewels. These wind turbines will disfigure the landscape. In addition, we already have the dam in St Croix Lake which produces enough electricity for 20,000 inhabitants of which half of it goes outside to 04, Les Alpes de Haute Provence. France exports electricity so why a wind farm and why here? The Haut Var is the least windy area in the whole department. If we really need more electricity as least we should let the population decide on what method.

In any case, you are clear as to where you stand

I am not for any particular method of renewable energy. One needs to ask questions about cost etc. But the real question to ask is, does Aups really need more electricity? I don’t think so. I can see that from a financial point of view that wind turbines might be attractive as the landowners can rent out the land needed for 5000 euros a year. It is also advantageous from tax point of view for the communes: 20% going the commune revenues, 30% to the intercommune box and 50% to te department. I am not against renewable energy, just this method, we just can’t have them in the Var.

So the battle continues?

Yes, we will organise ourselves in such a way that it is no longer attractive for companies such as EDF to make such proposals. The law states that EDF has to purchase electricity and that is with our money. Therefore it is not normal that we citizens have no say on whether we want this type of energy or not.

Is you Association ready to support you?

We are over a 100 members at present and we all motivate to fight. The next meeting will be in Salernes on 10 March at 18.30 in the Salle des Arnauds. We are distributing information and we are sharing tasks: Pierre Jugy is working at council level with Andre Coldeboeuf by his side. Moissac, Tourtour and Salernes have already come out against this project.

How is you professional relationship with Antoine Faure?

I have done nothing wrong. I have had nothing to do with the introduction of this project, but I will do everything to fight against it. When I was elected, I was given a wonderful area and I want it to stay like that, not disfigured by wind turbines of more than 80 metres height. I only discovered the Aups project by accident while helping with the Christmas Wishes at Villecroze. It is true that we work together at the pharmacy but there is no problem there as we work turn and turn about.

JJ Var Matin

3rd March : article in le "Var Matin"

Article in the "Var Matin" - 14th of February, 2015


Translation below.


Strong Opposition to proposed Wind Turbines


On Thursday night, the meeting room wasn’t big enough to hold the more than 120 people from Aups, Villecroze and Salernes come to join Pierre Lambert in protesting the proposed installation of Wind Turbines in their villages. He presented the proposed scheme. Highlighting both the threat to the natural beauty of the area and the impact on the local communities.

The APPHV has been created in response to this threat and all have been invited to join. Pierre Jufy, Mayor of Tourtour, Michele Lalouette and Jean-Pierre Mombazet, deputy Mayors of Salernes, Joelle Swanet, local councillor in Villecroze and Andre Coldebboeuf, the previous Mayor of Salles-sur-Verdon were all there to lend their support. In addition, Yves Barthois, the local delegate of the National office for Hunting, Fishing, Nature and tradition also spoke against, stating that he was ‘fundamentally against wind turbines’ .

Saving the Landscape

All the speakers denounced the lack of information and the undemocratic way that this project had come about particularly for a subject which would alter the landscape for ever. Pierre Lambert recalled that ‘the Haut Var is already self-sufficient in hydroelectric electricity  and that there is no justification for proposing the installation of wind turbines’. This was applauded loudly by everyone present.

The APPHV has stated to be for the principle of renewable energy in general but strongly against this totally unsuitable method for this area and called on all those opposing this scheme to demonstrate their opposition in order to save the landscape from this disaster. It cited 12 reasons for opposing the scheme: for instance, as the wind turbines can only function when the wind conditions are favourable, replacement energy must be provided by coal or gas fuelled stations which is an expensive alternative. Thus, EDF bills are likely to rise as a result, and coupled with the fact that the government has put in place a favourable tax regime for those companies installing wind turbines, it is EDF which will gain the profit. In addition, there will be negative impacts on house prices near the proposed sites, and ecological impacts  from low frequency waves. The ultimate profits will be in the hands of the countries who manufacture these machines such as Germany, Denmark and Spain (all of which countries are starting the reject this form of energy), the companies who promote these schemes and the landlords who will rent out the land for the installation.

his is an article from Connexion, the english language french newspaper about windfarms in france. It is mainly interesting in that it highlights the role of the prefecture overriding local concerns.