In defense of wind power

Vestas is fighting back against “myths” propagated by “professional anti-wind activists,” and it’s beginning its campaign in Australia, “a hot-bed of anti-wind activity” where “wild claims” run rampant.

Pretty strong words from the wind energy giant, but you don’t have to go far to find the sort of thing that is driving the company to embark on its “Act on Facts” campaign.

image via Vestas

“The wind industry is being attacked by media-savvy and politically influential adversaries who often display a brazen disregard for factual information,” Vestas Group Senior Vice President Morten Albæk said in a statement. “The Act on Facts campaign is our way of fighting back.”

Wind power enjoys widespread support among Australians; a recent poll showed 76 percent backing more wind farm construction and just 11 percent opposed. On Tuesday, radio personality Alan Jones led what was supposed to be a big anti-wind rally in Canberra, but news reports said just 150 people showed up.

Still, the anti-wind forces have convinced the center-right Coalition that will oppose the minority Labor government in September national elections to embrace “real-time” noise monitoring rules that the wind industry says will be both onerously expensive and of dubious analytical value.

Vestas acknowledged that it was “veering off the well-trodden public relations path” with the Act on Facts campaign by entering into a public debate with its foes. “But playing it safe is even riskier,” the company said.

To be sure, a company of Vestas’ size, even one struggling of late, does bring resources to the fight, and the Act on Facts website is a well-produced and well-stocked compendium of maps and citation-laden fact sheets. And videos. Short, snappy videos. Like this one, on the issue of noise:

Pete Danko, EarthTechling