WIND ENERGY

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Addressing Common Wind Energy Myths

With the advent of new technology comes a cavalcade of fears and concerns surrounding that same technology. Wind turbines have been blamed for all sorts of health problems, ranging from sleep deprivation to cancer and yes, even death. One person, Dr. Nina Pierpont, even went so far as to coin a term for these diverse effects, "Wind Turbine Syndrome." But is there any truth to the hysteria? Let's find out.
Lorraine Boogich via Getty Images

Wind Turbines Kill Too Many Bats -- Let's Change That

Being something of a naturalist some of my most memorable trips have involved seeing birds such as the endangered resplendent quetzal in Costa Rica or the beautiful rose-coloured grosbeak in Alberta. So we wanted to find the facts behind the claims you often hear about just how bad wind farms are for birds and wildlife in general.This took us down a rabbit hole of research and browser tabs that landed us in the workshop of John Bowman.
AP

Windmills Are Beautiful (Yes, Even in My Backyard)

With the growing urgency of climate change, we can't have it both ways. We can't shout about the dangers of global warming and then turn around and shout even louder about the "dangers" of windmills. We must accept that all forms of energy have associated costs. A blanket "not in my backyard" approach is hypocritical and counterproductive. I think smokestacks, smog, acid rain, coal-fired power plants and climate change are ugly. I think windmills are beautiful. And if one day I look out from my cabin porch and see a row of windmills spinning in the distance, I won't curse them. I will praise them. It will mean we're finally getting somewhere.

Alberta Wind Power Report Blows

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has released a "windvision" plan for Alberta that, not-surprisingly calls for the province to build a lot more wind-power capacity. CanWEA suggests that while the province currently generates 1,100 Megawatts of wind-power, it could install nearly five times as much. Of course, they point out that Alberta's competitive energy system makes it hard to get wind-power construction financed. But they have a solution to that, calling on policymakers to institute a clean energy standard in Alberta, and asking them to hike Alberta's carbon tax.

Anti-Wind Appeal Ends With a Whimper

The Environmental Review Tribunal continues to grind through its list of anti-wind appeals. On December 5, it rejected an appeal against the Renewable Energy Approval for another wind farm, Pattern Energy's South Kent Wind facility, 127 turbines between Tilbury and Ridgetown. In each of the appeals, the opponents have argued that approval of the wind farm will cause serious harm to human health. In each case, the Tribunal has found that this allegation has not been proven.
Alamy

Is This the Greenest Campus in Canada?

Church Point, a little-known dot on the map in rural southern Nova Scotia, isn't exactly a tourist hotspot. But for sustainability nerds it's an unexpected haven. It's home to St. Anne University, or Université Sante Anne as it's called in French and it may be the greenest little university in Canada.
PA

Nova Scotia's Breezy Idea Puts Communities First

Tour the rolling countryside of Nova Scotia in the fall and it's like driving right into a post card. Head west of Truro and not only do you get this scenic drive but you'll find Nuttby Mountain wind farm -- the turbines popping up into view quite unexpectedly. All things being equal would you be more inclined to have a coal-fired power plant in your backyard or a wind turbine that you helped raise the money for?
Getty Images

Can Canada Really Be an "Energy Superpower"

Canada's entire "energy superpower" strategy hinges on high-priced oil, and a recent International Energy Agency report demonstrates that betting on high prices is risky. Canada should pin our future prosperity to the burgeoning renewables market, rather than doubling down on oil. It's the only choice we have for the sake of our environment. And it's the best path forward for our economy, too.
PA

What it's Really Like to Live Near a Wind Farm

Heidi Eijgel is an Alberta horse farmer who lives in the last house at the end of a gravel road surrounded by one of the largest wind farms in Alberta -- and she's OK with that. In 2003, the 70 megawatt Summerview wind farm was built adjacent to Eijgel's property. She has been peacefully co-existing with that wind farm since then.