URGENT APPEAL – Stop wind farms in South Africa

URGENT APPEAL

          Help stop windfarms in South Africa’s rare birds’ habitats

 

Meet the South African chapter of Save the Eagles International:

 Save the Eagles International South Africa (STEISA) www.savetheeaglesinternational.org.za

 

STEISA

 

 

STEISA was founded in 2011 by Maaike Kallenborn.

Its Chairperson is:  Maaike Kallenborn  info@savetheeaglesinternational.org.za

Please read below her appeal to save the remarkable South African biodiversity from the  calamity of wind turbines.  As in the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, the EU, Morocco, Egypt, Mexico etc., wind farms in South Africa won’t respect important bird habitats. They will, as elsewhere, attract and kill millions of birds and bats to their deaths, causing irreparable damage to rare species. These will be culled by the turbine blades year after year, all the way into extinction.

Indeed, wind turbines attract and kill raptors, hirundines and bats: http://wcfn.org/2013/07/01/tip-of-the-iceberg/

They also kill local birds which happen to pass by, as well as migrating birds, plus all those that collide with their power lines (cranes, storks, bustards etc. are especially vulnerable to wires):  www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=3717

 

 

Bateleur Eagle.

The spectacular Bateleur Eagle
“It is reduced or extinct in most of its southern African range” http://www.krugerpark.co.za/africa_bateleur_eagle.HTML

 

 

The belief in global warming has been used by politicians everywhere to dish out billion-dollar subsidies to a redundant industry *, wind farms, in return for million-dollar financial contributions to their political campaigns. This systemic corruption, when not outright graft, has contributed in no small measure to the ruin of Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy. Even prosperous Germany, whose electricity prices have doubled and continue to race upwards because of unaffordable wind and solar energies, has recognised it can’t go on like this. If reelected, Angela Merkel is expected to overhaul the “Energiewende” (energy transition).

….. * Windfarms, a redundant industry:  http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=4540

We are saddened to see that South Africa is now following the same recipe for ruin. The Danish embassy has played a major role in this, doing all in its power to find new suckers ** to buy the useless contraptions manufactured by Denmark’s ailing multinational company, VESTAS. Poor South Africans will pay the price for this, as their power bills will increase sharply, and as unemployment rises as businesses and consumers alike have less money to spend.

….. ** “Suckers”: Howard Hayden, Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of Connecticut: “In recent years, the little country Denmark has gained a certain amount of fame with its wind turbines. No, they don´t get much electricity from them. They sell them to suckers.    http://www.epaw.org/documents.php?lang=es&article=l7

At the end of the process, South Africa will be poorer, and its tourism potential will be diminished by turbinised landscapes and extinct species – like the beautiful blue crane, endemic to South Africa and declining fast.

 

blue-crane-wading-in-shallow-water

 

Here is STEISA’s appeal for you to protest to the SA government
before Sept. 15th 2013:

The following needs URGENT attention.

There is not much time left to take up South Africa’s greatest environmental challenge in its history1. Please read this carefully, help our threatened environment and forward this email to anyone who would be interested.

The Department of Environmental Affairs DEA appointed the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to facilitate the efficient and effective rollout of wind and solar Photo Voltaic (PV) energy.The SEA aims to identify geographical areas best suited for the roll-out of wind and solar PV energy projects, referred to as Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs).

By the third quarter of 2014, the Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) will be submitted to Cabinet for approval of the rollout of wind in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces, and solar PV energy in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Free State provinces.

The REDZs will allow wind and solar PV energy projects and associated grid infrastructure to be developed WITHOUT environmental authorisation (!), subject to certain conditions or guidelines.

Save The Eagles International, South Africa (STEISA) states:

We support giving the ‘new gold rush’ for renewable energy a strategic guidance, but we think that doing away with the Environmental Impact Assessments is a step to far. It is also unlikely these future developments will go out for public comment, and it is very unclear about how everything will work in practice. STEISA has little faith in what kind of environmental protection the “certain conditions or guidelines” will guarantee, given the applied buffer and exclusion zones described in the online documentation to be downloaded from STEISA website and from the CSIR website, and given the wind power industry’s history of denial regarding negative environmental impacts.

But most of all, eliminating Environmental Impact Assessments to speed up renewable energy developments is a reckless and destructive policy for the following reasons:

  1. South Africa should FIRST monitor, troubleshoot and learn from the 3,625 MW of renewable energy implementation that includes 1,850 MW of wind energy, before developing so-called REDZs. There are none wind farms of industrial scale operating in SA at the moment and it would be foolish to develop a guideline without any practical on the ground experience.
  2. The European green energy regulation and implementation is changing rapidly since economies cannot afford the high cost related to green energy. It would be of strategic importance for South Africa to understand the reason and to learn from this drastic turn-around strategy instead of continuing on a roadmap that is seriously scrutinized.
  3. Discoveries of natural gas resources in Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa will change the energy landscape within 10 years. Natural gas will play a dominant role in future power generation in Southern Africa, and will assist South Africa reducing CO2 emissions significantly, while bringing down the energy cost needed to boost economic growth. A wind farm can be seen as an inefficient, not-wanted, not-needed and too and expensive tool to reduce CO2 emissions in the post natural gas era.
  4. Renewable energy (except concentrated solar) cannot replace base load energy and does not contribute to the energy security of South Africa. On the contrary: it introduces more grid complications and expenses, and more difficulties in developing an energy sustainable society.
  5. Experience gained and studies done in Europe and the US show that the use of wind power failed to reduce the carbon emissions in any significant amount. Germany, world’s front runner on green energy, has seen its carbon emissions increasing since its ‘Energiewende’. The reason is because wind energy production always needs back-up power from conventional power plants that are then forced to run in uneconomic mode, emitting more CO2 and other gasses then when run economically. Note that the US has seen CO2 emissions tumble, due to the growing use of natural gas.
  6. Natural gas (and hydro) will outperform renewables economically, quality wise (energy on demand) and in the ability of reducing CO2 emissions.
Buffer Distances

Another point of concern are the buffer distances given in the Identification of Exclusion Areas 2 and Identification of Study Areas 3 divided in Phase 1 ‘Exclusion’ and phase 2 ‘Sensitivity’. The data in the tables show a lack of knowledge of studies undertaken all over the world showing the negative impact that wind farms have on the environment such as birds and bats populations and nearby residents. Some examples:

  • The by the DEA protected areas such as nature reserves, wilderness areas, world heritage sites, threatened ecosystems, Critical Biodiversity Areas (CBAs) and threatened forests have NO buffer zone.
  • Important biotopes such as coastline & estuaries, rivers, wetlands and strategic water source areas have LITTLE TO NONE buffer zones.
  • Bird flyways have NO buffer zones.
  • Blue Crane colonies and breeding territories are NOT mentioned. Same for the Black Harrier and other vulnerable bird species with high collision and disturbance risk.
  • Bats buffer zones come only into action for colonies bigger than 500 bats, never mind the conservation status of specific species.
  • All type of buildings will be protected by a 300m buffer zone. This distance is close to insane. Do you wish to have a 140 meter tall (!) wind turbine with a swept area of the size of a rugby field, a generator of 70 tonnes at a height of 100 meters and three 7 ton rotors flying around with a tip speed up to 300kmh right in front of your house, tourist accommodation or game reserve lodge?
  • Many studies show the negative health impact of wind turbine noise on residents and communities nearby. Buffer zones from 2 to 10 km are advised.
  • US real estate sale data reveals a range of 25% to approximately 40% of property value loss, with some instances of total loss (abandonment or demolition of homes) within 3 to almost 5 km from wind turbines, according to recent studies and testimony by real estate appraisers from around the world.

For all these reasons we kindly ask you to send your critical questions, queries and comments to the previous mentioned Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) before the 15th of September, 2013. Download the Comment Form here. Please forward this email to anyone who would be interested.

Essential documents:
More documentation:
For more information:
Please sent an email to: Maaike Kallenborn Chair person Save the Eagles International South Africa (STEISA ) info@savetheeaglesinternational.org.za www.savetheeaglesinternational.org.za
References
  1. “South Africa has no greater environmental challenge in its history than is posed by these cumulative wind farm proposals.” Professor Phil Hockey, the Director of the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology at UCT
  2. Dea National Strategic Environmental Assessment For The Efficient And Effective Rollout Of Wind And Solar Photovoltaic Energy report: point 4.3 Identification of Exclusion Areas (negative mapping) Department of Environmental Affairs Wind and Solar PV Strategic Environmental Assessment.
  3. Database on 31 July 2013, End of Phase I: Identification of Study Areas report 

 

 

18 Responses to “URGENT APPEAL – Stop wind farms in South Africa”

  • Roswitha de La Motte de Broöns:

    Sir,
    As a member of several organisations for the preservation of wildlife , landscape(s)s and cultural Heritage I am firmly opposed to windfarms as well as to individual “éoliennes”… not only because of their horrendous consequences for rare species, but because they cause senseless destruction of all kinds of migrating birds . Living in the West of France near the coast of the Channel we have the possibility to watch migration movements twice a year with particular delight in our bays and wetlands. And it is not only those spiecies that need protection, but “rare “birds which have been attracted again to our recently replanted stretches of land near the coast . More recently we had the pleasure of identifying live specimens of birds, which we only knew from books, but which the generation of our parents had still seen frequently in the countryside. Now that they have come back, why eradicate them by means of senseless machines which aren’t even “durable” but are going to raise our energy bills and taxes tremendously , are ugly and destroy the beauty of our landscapes and our architectural heritage.!
    Listen to a minority of people who which to preserve for the ignorant majority
    Roswitha de La Motte-Broöns

  • Roswitha de La Motte de Broöns:

    Sir,
    As a member of several organisations for the preservation of wildlife , landscape(s)s and cultural Heritage I am firmly opposed to windfarms as well as to individual “éoliennes”… not only because of their horrendous consequences for rare species, but because they cause senseless destruction of all kinds of migrating birds . Living in the West of France near the coast of the Channel we have the possibility to watch migration movements twice a year with particular delight in our bays and wetlands. And it is not only those spiecies that need protection, but “rare “birds which have been attracted again to our recently replanted stretches of land near the coast . More recently we had the pleasure of identifying live specimens of birds, which we only knew from books, but which the generation of our parents had still seen frequently in the countryside. Now that they have come back, why eradicate them by means of senseless machines which aren’t even “durable” but are going to raise our energy bills and taxes tremendously , are ugly and destroy the beauty of our landscapes and our architectural heritage.!
    Listen to a minority of people who which to preserve for the ignorant majority
    Roswitha de La Motte-Broöns

  • Melodie Burkett:

    A Plea from Canada. Please stop the destruction of vast lands and wildlife. Our Canadian Geese and Snowbirds and Trumpeter Swans are being slaughtered by wind turbines that have been recklessly placed in migratory zones. Bats are losing serious numbers when their lungs implode from the pressure drop behind the massive turning blades. The wind industry picks the same windy corridors that the migratory birds use for the same reason. This is luring them to their death. Wind “farms” in Ontario have been known to pay personnel to pick up the dead birds so the public doesn’t see the vast amount of corpses. Coyote are seen waiting beneath the wind turbines just waiting for the fresh kill. Please, we urge you to stop the madness. Ask yourself why we don’t see any significant emissions reduction anywhere in the world. Ask yourself how much wind energy is contributing to the grid anywhere in the world. Fossil fuels are being wasted even more as they must remain running hot at the ready for when the wind dies down or off or blows to fierce. Do the right thing.
    Thank you,
    Melodie Burkett

  • I believe that the wind turbines should have 24 hour surveillance cameras directed at the blade path, so that every single bird and bat kill can be monitored. The cameras would need to be equipped with a zoom lens, and infrared, so that all times, the turbines could be easily monitored. This would put an end to the lies that “kittys” kill more birds, than turbines. Monitoring could be done from willing homes/barns/outbuildings, nearest the turbines. If people from every community did this….the truth would be impossible to deny!

  • Margaret Johnston:

    Please do the correct thing….this IWT issue is the most ridiculous,mislead venture of our generation…the rate of return is not even a FRACTION of the cost of investment and will leave generations to come to pay for our mistakes….the only people gaining here are foreign countrys who are laughing all the way to the bank, at our expense!!!! This “green”ideology is painting a VERY black future for everyone throughout our planet!!

  • roy thomas:

    We in Canada are sick of wind turbines and their problems, people are leaving family homes because of the issues with the noise, flicker and vibrations.
    They are killing bats for sure and many migratory birds.
    They should all be taken down. They are also highly inefficient.

  • Save the eagles international.
    Stop wind farms in South Africa and elswhere.

  • Tomaz Ogrin:

    Windfarms are a scam, swindle of ou century. Effects? Nearly none in CO2 ˝problem˝. Great and costly problems in energetics with the chaotic power production well under nameplate capacity. Great, enormous effect in destroying the Nature of the planet Earth. A financial balloon never seen up to now apllied to industrial machines.

  • Luc Rivet:

    Wind energy is a pseudo-renewable, since it implies doubling the investment with fuel or gas power plants, to compensate for the lack (or the excess) of wind: a stupid idea of the Green lobby, that destroys the most beautiful landscapes strictly for nothing: no CO2 reduction.
    When will this scandal be stopped?

  • Mark Newstead:

    What can be done to stop this wind farm folly that is spreading throughout the world? So many pension funds are invested in good and bad ‘renewables’ and if people only knew that their ethical investments were the exact opposite in many cases this might help turn the tide?

  • ANDREAS MARCINIAK:

    There is no safe distance for wind Turbines, NOT GREEN, NOT CHEAP, NOT RELIABLE, and come with a very BAD side EFFECT on people and the ENVIRONMENT. there is Nothing GREEN about TURBINES. SAY NO TO WIND TURBINES.

  • I have been opposing wind farms for nearly twenty years, adn all my comments against turbines can be found in hundreds of messages on the blog of http://www.aias.us. As a British Civil List Pensioner I protest as strongly as possible to the South African Governemnt for its slaughter of the innocent.

    Myron Evans

    Dr. M. W. Evans, Armiger, Civil List Pensioner, D. Sc., Ph. D., B. Sc. (Wales),
    AIAS President,
    http://www.aias.us

  • Edna Booth:

    Turbines are inefficient, expensive , ruin natures habitats , kill millions of birds. I was in SA last year and saw these beautiful birds, we can’t let them die out. Turbines march across our land like an army of mad mechanical monsters destroying and decimating all in their path.

  • Stefano Allavena:

    I am opposing since some years wind farms in Italy because they destroy wildlife and particularly birds of prey. Also landscape is severely damaged by turbines. In addition I remark that where wild farms are built also tourism declines very much. I strongly hope that the Government of South Africa will not approve these terrible projects.

  • Liz:

    I am disappointed in the ignorance of society on this matter. It seems that we have been brainwashed by the media into believing that wind farms are environmentally friendly when they are threatening the raptor populations. The vulture population in South Africa is already under threat and more wind farms are being erected despite evidence showing that wind farms are killings birds. Is there any way one can fight for this issue to be addressed?

    • Yes Liz, one can fight for this issue to be addressed. Writing to the media, with liks to our webpage, is one way. They need to be educated about the true effects of wind farms on birds. Politicians too need to receive many letters from concerned citizens. Otherwise, nothing will ever change.
      Mark

  • Howard Spencer:

    Good to see facts not getting in way of crackpot theories.
    I realise a lot of people dislike wind farms but bird deaths aren’t really an issue.
    Not sure how much data you require but these are the scientific communities view of bird deaths.
    To be honest it’s not even much of a debate compared to cats, windows, cars, cell towers and the coal industry

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/09/15/wind-turbines-kill-fewer-birds-than-cell-towers-cats/15683843/

    https://thinkprogress.org/chart-how-many-birds-are-killed-by-wind-solar-oil-and-coal-230d2a939bbb

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