Last update: October 16, 2017

Waubra FoundationJuly 31, 2014AustraliaAustralia

Open letter to Kane Thornton, acting CEO of the Clean Energy Council

By Sarah Laurie, CEO Waubra Foundation

Dear Mr Thornton,

Re: Contentious statements during a recent radio interview with 2SM’s Leon Delaney

Kane Thornton
Kane Thornton, acting CEO of the Clean Energy Council

Your response to Mr Leon Delaney’s question about adverse health effects from operating wind turbines during the radio interview during clean energy week contains a number of unsupported statements.

As acting CEO of the Clean Energy Council (CEC), formed by the merger of the Australian Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and other renewable energy industry groups, you are no doubt very concerned about ensuring the wind industry continues to enjoy a “social licence to operate” in Australia. However such a licence can only be earned and, more importantly sustained, by presenting thoroughly researched facts and closely reasoned conclusions therefrom. Your statements during the 2SM interview were not of a quality needed to support a social licence. The general public is getting the message that the wind industry creates more problems than solutions and it might just be time for the CEC and the wind industry to focus on solving rather than denying its problems if it wishes to find a permanent and respected place in the energy industry.

To refresh your memory, below is a transcript of what the interviewer Mr Delaney said, and your response, which I transcribed.

Leon Delaney: (at 6.10 minutes into the interview)

And a lot of people still hold concerns that the noise generated by windfarms, not so much the absolute volume of the noise but more the frequency of it. People are concerned that there are infra frequencies, subaudible frequencies, that have some sort of impact on their health or on the environment around them. Again there might be some confusion or uncertainty about that, but is there any research being done into those questions or has that question been settled?

Kane Thornton: (at 6.43 minutes into the interview)

Yes, look certainly in our opinion this issue has been settled. We need to remember there’s over 200,000 wind turbines installed right around the globe. In many places they have been in place for ten or twenty years and so this isn’t a new issue, its been explored significantly, it feels as if it has been researched by credible independent bodies; everyone from national government health institutions through to the medical bodies in each state around Australia, and the conclusion each time is the same which is there is no link, there is no hidden health issue from wind turbines.

Below is an analysis of your comments during the interview.”

Please read on:

Full open letter