Council’s proposed wind bylaw requires some changes

Opinion

To the Editor:

To the council of the Municipality of Pictou County regarding the proposed wind bylaw:

The power production of the existing wind turbines in Pictou County is more than sufficient to provide all the electricity of its inhabitants. The problem is the intermittency of the wind and the storage of the produced electricity. To achieve power self-sufficiency we should invest in photovoltaic power and in ways to store electricity (battery, pump stations, etc.) and of course, in using less.

By allowing more turbines to be built in the county we do not improve our energy situation one bit, but we will receive all the disadvantages that come with large industrial developments (destruction of forests and wildlife habitat, visual and sound pollution, reduced value of existing properties, etc.).

Industrial wind turbine developments need a lot of cleared space around them to allow the wind to be as clean as possible. To cut down thousands of trees, which are the best carbon sequestering “machines” ever invented, in order to build a carbon-free energy future does not make much sense to me. If we do need more wind energy, the turbines should be built where the environment has already been disturbed and where you are close to the consumers like the industrial parks around Halifax, landfills, abandoned industrial sites, etc.

In respect to the proposed amendment, I would suggest the following:

— only the category of the micro turbines up to 10 kW and a tower height of 20 m (65 feet) will be allowed for residences which are off-grid or feed into the Emera grid. Distances and noise levels to be determined after an extensive public consultation and input.

— the misleading category of “small” turbines up to 50 kW and the industrial scale turbines over 50 kW should be discontinued altogether because they do not provide any benefit to the county and its people.

— any further decisions in that matter can only be taken after meaningful consultation and participation of the people.

Volker Klum

Merigomish