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Australia: The Wind Industry is feeling the heat…Turbine company and green groups to fight anti-windfarm campaign

Anxious supporters of renewable energy allege underhand tactics are taking the wind out of their sails

Lenore Taylor — The Guardian — June 16, 2013

The world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer is joining forces with environmental groups in a global campaign to rouse the “silent majority” of people who support renewable energy to fight back against what it claims is “misinformation” spread by some anti-wind activists that is threatening the industry.

Morten Albaek, senior vice-president of the Danish wind turbine company Vestas, will launch the campaign in Melbourne on Tuesday as anti-wind activists rally in front of Parliament House in Canberra to demand a future Coalition government stop new windfarms and end or scale back the renewable energy target that underpins their operation.

Ken McAlpine, public affairs director for Vestas in Australia, said the highly-unconventional corporate campaign was being launched here because anti-wind groups in Australia had been more successful than in any other country. He accused some of spreading misinformation and using “astroturfing” (fake grassroots) campaigns to persuade politicians to pass legislation making windfarm operations more difficult.

“They don’t observe rules of civilised debate, they are not particularly interested in facts and they have been doing it for years … They have been able to achieve change at a state policy level and there is a risk they will be able to do it at federal level as well,” McAlpine told Guardian Australia.

“Wind energy is the only thing we do and we see this as such a threat to our business that we have to step up and change the game … we are taking some risks and working with people we have never worked with before but we have to do something different because what we have been doing so far hasn’t worked.”  Continue reading, here….

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