New York Times Trashes Wind Power. Twice.


A wind farm on Panachaiko Mountain, overlooking the Gulf of Corinth near the city of Patras in Greece. Yannis Kolesidis for The New York Times

The New York Times publishes two stories in as many days trashing wind power with examples from Europe, where alternative energy sources are far more developed than North America. Both will provide excellent ammunition for those opposing wind farms in the area. Why this sudden interest in "the European experience?"

In the Travel section of all places, they write about coal-burning and very windy Greece, where the mayor of Serifos "imagined supersize wind towers looming over the island, destroying romantic vistas, their turbines chopping the quiet like a swarm of helicopters. The project is now stalled, and Ms. Synodinou doesn't regret it. "No one would come here," she said. "Our island would be destroyed."

In the UK: "The eyes are constantly drawn to them," said John Ferguson, a member of S.O.U.L. (or Save Our Unspoilt Landscape), a group opposing the nine-turbine Barmoor Wind Farm in the lush northeastern English county of Northumberland. ::Times

In an earlier article the Times looks at the situation in Sweden.

"Yet Sweden's gleaming wind park is entering service at a time when wind energy is coming under sharper scrutiny, not just from hostile neighbors, who complain that the towers are a blot on the landscape, but from energy experts who question its reliability as a source of power.

For starters, the wind does not blow all the time. When it does, it does not necessarily do so during periods of high demand for electricity. That makes wind a shaky replacement for more dependable, if polluting, energy sources like oil, coal and natural gas. Moreover, to capture the best breezes, wind farms are often built far from where the demand for electricity is highest. The power they generate must then be carried over long distances on high-voltage lines, which in Germany and other countries are strained and prone to breakdowns. " ::New York Times

TRADE WINDS Wind Farms, like this one in upstate New York, are operated by a unit of Energías de Portugal, and PPM Energy, owned by Iberdrola.

On November 7, the Times wrote about how foreign firms are buying up wind farms and wind development rights in the US. (which John wrote about earlier in TH)

"All the biggest players in wind power are focused on the United States. Earlier this year, Acciona acquired the wind farm development rights of EcoEnergy of Elgin, Ill., and Iberdrola bought CPV Wind Ventures of Silver Spring, Md. Iberdrola also added the wind development company PPM Energy of Portland, Ore., through its acquisition of a British company, ScottishPower, in April, and in 2006 it bought Community Energy of Radnor, Pa. BP, based in Britain, also added to its green portfolio in 2006, by buying two United States wind developers, Greenlight Energy and Orion Energy. Last month, the German company E.On bought the North American wind farms of Airtricity, of Dublin, Ireland, for $1.4 billion." ::New York Times

If Fox was trashing wind we would chalk it up to their usual politics and xenophobia. Doesn't sound the the Times.

Tags: Alternative Energy | Newspapers | Wind Power

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