“This is the wrath of God” (W.H. Auden)

Apr 16, 2010


Village of Estinnes, Belgium

But then we were children: That was a moment ago,
Before an outrageous novelty had been introduced
Into our lives. Why were we never warned? Perhaps we were.
Perhaps that mysterious noise at the back of the brain
We noticed on certain occasions—sitting alone
In the waiting room of the country junction, looking
Up at the toilet window—was not indigestion
But this Horror starting already to scratch Its way in?
Just how, just when It succeeded we shall never know:
We can only say that now It is there and that nothing
We learnt before It was there is now of the slightest use,
For nothing like It has happened before. It’s as if
We had left our house for five minutes to mail a letter,
And during that time the living room had changed places
With the room behind the mirror over the fireplace;
It’s as if, waking up with a start, we discovered
Ourselves stretched out flat on the floor, watching our shadow
Sleepily stretching itself at the window. I mean
That the world of space where events re-occur is still there,
Only now it’s no longer real; the real one is nowhere
Where time never moves and nothing can ever happen:
I mean that although there’s a person we know all about
Still bearing our name and loving himself as before,
That person has become a fiction; our true existence
Is decided by no one and has no importance to love.

That is why we despair; that is why we would welcome
The nursery bogey or the winecellar ghost, why even
The violent howling of winter and war has become
Like a juke-box tune that we dare not stop. We are afraid
Of pain but more afraid of silence; for no nightmare
Of hostile objects could be as terrible as this Void.
This is the Abomination. This is the wrath of God.

—from W.H. Auden, “For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio.”

Click here to watch the video of these monsters in action, and listen to the neighbors describe their Wind Turbine Syndrome. Yes, it’s in French, but that does not matter. Notice their facial expressions, tone of voice, and especially their hand gestures—hands to the ears, to the head, back of the head. You get the message—Editor.

“Wind energy: The scandal of Estinnes”

—by EPAW (European Platform against Windfarms) 4/13/10

This article is a translation of the French original—Editor

The so-called “windfarm” in Estinnes (Hainaut, Belgium, a stone throw from the French border) is a showcase for the European Commission, which supports it financially with a subsidy. It is the reason why the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) supports this press action of the Belgian “VentdeRaison” in the Walloon part of the country. This is a European issue where the European Commission is co-responsible of the mess it helped create.

The German firm Enercon is installing at Estinnes 11 giant turbines of a model never installed before anywhere: the E126. This is going to be the biggest on-shore windfarm in Europe and the world. A twelfth machine is already approved. Each of these monsters is 200 m (656 feet) high and develops 7 MW. Enercon proudly announces that they believe the E126 can develop up to 10 MW. The promoter, a small firm called Windvision, has taken advantage of the naivete of the local burgomaster to propose first a windfarm of 21 “classical” 2 MW machines before suddenly transforming the project in an 11 giant machines windfarm. The project is in full construction and has become a real ecological disaster.

Propeller diameter is 1.4 times the length of a football field

The noise produced by the turbines, especially the very low frequencies, is impossible to bear for many citizens in the vicinity, depending on winds, distances and geographical locations. For days and nights, it is in some places really impossible to sleep. Children can’t fall asleep and wake up 4 to 5 times per night. Adults develop migraines, acouphens (acoustic disturbances), insomnia, even depression. The problem is of course that the distance from the turbines to the houses in the villages of Estinnes-au-Val, Vellereille, Bray, Levant de Mons or Quevy are as short for some as 700 m (0.44 mile).

The French Academy of Medicine strongly recommends a minimum distance from the 2.5 MW machines of at least 1.5 km for the first houses. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 3 km. It means that for 7 MW machines, the distance should be more than 4 km! If you take the absurd Walloon ruling of 350 m, which was decided in 2002, when the turbines were much smaller and producing only 0.8 MW, the distance at Estinnes should at least be 3 km! This is a disgrace for the European Commission and its carelessness in blindingly promoting a pseudo-renewable energy such as wind energy. It is now proven that wind energy indirectly increases the production of CO², by the thermic plants that have to compensate the lack of wind during more than 80% of the time for the on-shore windfarms at least.

The project is riddled with illegalities. For a start, Windvision obtained permission for a windfarm of 5-6 MW machines. The German engineers have proudly announced that they were producing at 7 MWh. This is illegal, a new permit had to be obtained. Enercon announces that “Estinnes is an experiment, in the framework of an R&D programme, before starting industrial production.” In other words the greed of Windvision and the arrogance of Enercon have transformed the lives of tens, probably hundreds of families (the windfarm is only starting to be built and the number increases fast) in a nightmare. The citizens now realize that the Walloon region administration gave the go ahead to the project without having made a (legally compulsory) noise study. The consulted firm Aries declared in the “Etude d’incidences” that it could not test for noise since “the machines don’t exist yet.” They only made a rough estimate of what the noise could be.

The prototypes of Enercon have transformed the Walloon citizens at Estinnes, Bray, Vellereille and other places into guinea pigs for the sacred European cow of Renewable Energies.

On November 26th, 2009, Commissioner for Energy, Andris Piebalgs, inaugurated officially the first turbine. In his speech, he announced that the Commission sponsored this experimental windfarm where the machines would produce at 7 MW. Desperate at the lack of reaction from their burgomaster and from the Minister-President of the Walloon Region, Rudy Demotte, who refuses to consider the problem in a letter, desperate at the false promises of Windvision, the inhabitants have created a committee to defend themselves. They write to the President of the Commission, Mr. Barroso and his Energy Commissioner, Mr. Oettinger, to obtain that the windfarm be stopped. They are suing the firm Windvision in the Belgian courts. They tell Mr. Barroso that if they don’t obtain anything from the Belgian authorities responsible of this disaster, they will take the European Commission to the Court of Justice in Luxemburg as co-responsible.

All this for nothing: this huge windfarm of 12 machines will produce very little electricity. An average Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power plant produces more electricity over a period of one year than 35 windfarms of the size of the Estinnes plant! That is without taking into account the fact that at least the CCGT is reliable; not the windfarm. Wind energy is definitely NOT the solution.

For more information, contact VentdeRaison

www.ventderaison.com and www.leseoliennes.be


Press contact: Luc Rivet luc.rivet@skynet.be +32 475 455683

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