Turnbull moves in wind’s direction
Australia’s new prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, once said he didn’t want to lead a party that was not as committed as he was to climate action. But his ousting of Liberal leader Tony Abbott in an internal coup leaves him in precisely that position.
The country’s renewables sector may have been relieved to see the back of Abbott — the man who put the coal in the governing coalition — but whether Turnbull will be able to lead the party in a greener energy direction is not yet clear.
Still, by removing Joe Hockey, who finds wind turbines "utterly offensive", from the key position of treasury minister, and deciding not to extend the term of climate change-denying Maurice Newman as head of the PM’s business advisory council, it appears he is going to try.
Further evidence is provided by the appointment of Andrew Dyer to the new role of wind farm commissioner, charged with referring complaints about wind farms to state authorities and seeing they are addressed. Under Abbott, this position was envisaged as being another obstacle to wind development, but Dyer, former chairman of the telecoms watchdog, has written favourably about renewables in the past.
The things they say
"The challenges currently posed by climate change pale in significance compared with what might come. The far-sighted amongst you are anticipating broader global impacts on property, migration and political security. So why isn’t more being done to address it?"
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, in a speech to the UK’s insurance industry at Lloyd’s of London. The number of registered weather-related loss events has tripled since the 1980s
FIGURES AND FACTS
2: The number of OPEC’s 12 countries that submitted their climate-action proposals to COP21 on deadline
700: The number of earthquakes of magnitude 3 or larger in Oklahoma this year. In 2009, before large-scale fracking started, there were only 20
51: The number of WW2 bombs and mines removed or exploded at Dong Energy’s Race Bank project
Turbines blamed for milk yield slump
A farmer in northern France is suing a wind project operator, claiming that milk production from his herd of cows halved after turbines were installed nearby.
Dairy farmer Yann Joly is claiming damages from CSO Energy, operator of the 48MW Nouvion-St Riquier project.
Joly recorded that milk production fell from 10,000 litres a year to 7,000 after the first turbines were installed in 2011, and then to 5,000 litres after the project was extended in 2013.
The closest turbines, Enercon E70 2MW models, are 1.8km away.
After numerous tests by vets and agricultural experts yielded no results, Joly concluded the turbines were to blame. He called in geo-biologist Arthur Revel, who supported his theory.
While acknowledging that geo-biology is not recognised by the scientific community, Revel believes the cows are suffering from "profound stress" caused by the turbine vibrations passing through the subsoil.
In the first case of its kind in France, Joly has taken the operator to court, calling for the turbines to be removed and claiming €356,900 in compensation.