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The turbines that will never turn

At the end of November the Pipe Major declared that Hackney's alleged wind turbine on East Marsh had finally lost its blades. In fact this was always an ODA not a Hackney project and it was not going to power Hackney homes but feed into the Olympic Park grid. In June the ODA's other turbine at Eton Manor was propelled into oblivion by a lack of commercial interest. At that time Hackney insisted the East Marsh turbine would still go ahead as the council claimed it did not present the same issues. However, it now turns out it did and the same lack of investors has done for the project.

Just over a year ago the Hackney Marshes Users Group wrote an open letter asking questions about the proposed East Marsh turbine. It asked 'What other examples of turbines of this size being constructed in urban areas are there and what were the environmental impacts? Has the required Environmental Impact Assessment been done and what are the results? If not, who is going to pay for it? The turbine 'could' power council buildings and street lights. But will it? What is known about wind rates and speeds on the site? What are the detailed projections for output and for consumption by the proposed applications? We must drastically change the ways we produce and use power. For that we need well-planned and effective action, not ad hoc greenwash.'

Following the collapse of the Eton Manor project a report in Hackney Citizen prompted by further questions from HMUG pointed out that 'figures in latest windfarm company annual reports show that installed land-based windfarms are producing less than their budgeted power and so are less profitable than their business plans allowed, due in many cases to wind forecasts not being borne out in reality (i.e. the business plan over-estimated the wind).' HMUG had argued that output was unlikely to match expectations and that wildlife impacts had been underestimated. Wildlife mortality would, in all likelihood, further reduce output.

The 2012 Games was sold as the Green Games. One by one the Games over-hyped green claims and promises have fallen by the wayside. Critics of the Games, who have long been dismissed as bad sports, have yet again been proved right.

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