Last month the Canadian Wind Energy Association, CanWEA, had a press release concerning property values. Their headline stated:
09/14/2011 Ontario farm property values hit record levels contrary to claims by opponents to wind energy
The press release goes on for about a page, extolling the virtues of wind energy (of course), but the essence of the release is contained in the second paragraph:
“It is promising to hear that the value of agricultural property has increased in most regions of Ontario, especially in areas like Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex where wind energy has also enjoyed significant growth over the past few years,” said Chris Forrest, vice-president of communications with CanWEA. “This would seem to run contrary to claims made by opponents that wind energy has decreased property values. Chatham-Kent, for example, has enjoyed a significant increase in farm land value in 2011 while also seeing several new wind farms come online.”
Read the headline and the quoted paragraph carefully. Note the reference to farm land. Nobody to my knowledge has ever made any statement one way or another on wind turbines effect on farm land prices. So when CanWEA talks about “contrary to claims by opponents” they are lying. There have been no claims by opponents to be contrary to.
What we opponents have vigorously claimed is that recreational and residential home prices are affected, and sometimes drastically so for the closer properties. CanWEA’s press release is of course silent on these issues. Actually, the ReMax study that CanWEA quoted doesn’t provide enough information one way or the other to come to any conclusions about the effect of wind turbines on farm land prices either.
This kind of press release is absolutely typical for the wind energy industry – totally deceitful. They take a snippet of information that is meaningless and wordsmith it around, making it sound like it is important, hoping to fool the foolish. Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of foolish around, and I’d bet this press release ends up being used as “proof” that the opponents are just nimby’s.
Derry Gardiner on Best and Highest Use, starting on slide 12.