By Dianne Saxe, Ontario Environmental Lawyer
Here is a link to Renew Canada's 2011 research report, Wind Controversy in Ontario. The report was intended to be a neutral evaluation of the evidence cited by pro and anti-wind groups. According to the Executive Summary:
The report examined several of the most commonly referenced issues surrounding generating energy from wind including: economic viability, reliability, environmental footprint, and potential health concerns.
Like every form of energy, wind power is not perfect. There are both positive and negative attributes to producing energy from wind. However, the current debate in Ontario has framed wind energy as either a blessing or a curse. Some of the resources used by both sides have been taken out of context. In other cases, the research was poorly conducted or has been sponsored by advocacy groups, which has led to accusations of bias in the research.
Even so, the considerable volume of independent research that exists demonstrates that the arguments made in favor of wind are considerably more supported than those against it. This report demonstrates that the arguments made against wind, specifically the potential impact on the environment, human health, and the economics of wind power, are not supported by the available resources.
However, as in the case with most issues, the findings are not black and white. For instance, projects located in internationally recognized Important Bird Areas, as defined by Bird Life International, can have the potential to negatively impact the local environment. While wind power can be of net benefit to the environment and the public, regulators must pay more attention to project locations.
Reprinted with permission from the Environmental Law and Litigation Blog.
Read Dianne's earlier blog on wind power, Worried About Wind?
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