Wind energy war goes online

A wind turbine is pictured in front of a coal power plant

Credits: REUTERS


LONDON, Ont. -- With more than 1,000 new wind turbines in the approval mill, the battle for Ontario hearts and minds over the controversial energy source - waged in politics and in the courts - is heating up again, this time online.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association, which represents the industrial wind farm corporations, suppliers and manufacturers, has launched a website that takes aim at much of the criticism levelled against wind turbines.

There are no health concerns from wind farms, there's no drop in property values, and wind energy is affordable, windfacts.ca maintains.

CanWea's home website, canwea.ca, also extols the benefits of wind energy, and friendsofwind.ca lobbies for the industry.

"This is about finding new and creative ways to communicate with people. Social media is a growing channel through which thousands of people can connect on issues of importance," CanWea's Chris Forrest said.

"Like every energy form, we have a responsibility to be responsive and get information out to people," Forrest said.

Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, the provincial group leading the fight against wind farms, takes satisfaction from the issues tackled on the opponent's website."They are recognizing people have some concerns, so they have health, they have property values -- those are the hot-button issues that people are looking for information on," Wilson said Friday.

Wind Concerns' own website - ontario-wind-resistance.org - tracks wind projects, helps people file complaints against wind farms and publicizes upcoming protests.

Ontario has more installed wind energy capacity than any other province - 2,043 megawatts, enough to satisfy about 4% of the province's electricity needs.

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