al maiorino

The 12 Months of NIMBY

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NIMBY (Or “not in my backyard”) opposition is often formed to keep large scale projects out of communities. Opposition is common in industries such as landfills, quarries, chemical plants, and major power lines. In recent years, the battlefields are spreading to renewable energy industries like wind farms, solar energy, and biomass.
The 12 Months of NIMBY

 In these cases, opponents may favor clean energy however they don’t want it located anywhere they can see it. As we do every December, we showcase twelve months of renewable energy projects around the world  that have been countered by public opposition. And remember, the best way to move forward is by planning early and effectively with a trusted public affairs firm.

January 

Booming Solar panels in North Baltimore.

In the historical district of Mount Washington in North Baltimore, some homeowners have started to prevent their neighbors who operate a nonprofit cluster of residential, hilltop home, from installing solar panels in their backyards. Some homeowners think that the solar panels will be an eyesore, influence the quiet charm and the ecosystem of the birds and animals that pass through the neighborhoods, and lower the property values of their homes.  Chimes International Ltd., the organization that plans to install solar panels in the area even provides incentives like housing and services for the disabled and cutting down utility cost to lure the homeowners. The CEO of Chimes, Martin Lamper stated, “If too many residents are opposed, I agree the project should not be proceed. These are people’s homes. For most people, it’s their biggest single asset.”

February

Indigenous Leaders in Malaysia Launch Campaign against 12 Hydro-electric Dams.

In February 2012, a “Save Rivers Networks” conference was held against twelve dams that being built in the indigenous areas near Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. There were 150 indigenous representatives from the areas already affected, or would be affected by the dam projects, that came together to share their experiences. The dams that have already been built in some areas have been accused of violating environmental standards.  Public opposition is the fear of unknown. The communities stated that the Sarawak government and the Chinese investors didn’t provide enough information about the dams construction.  One participant from Bakun described, “The government made so many promises to us concerning free houses, free electricity, and free water. All these are just empty promises. We are still waiting for their implementation.”  The opposition has been successful at stalling some of these projects.

March 

Kings County Council puts the wind-farm project on hold.

In Kings County, California, a large-scale wind farm project faced widespread public opposition. The neighbors feared of high-level noise, potential health risks, lower property values and the short distance of the wind turbine from populated areas. After months of public meetings, information sessions, and surveys, the county announced their disapproval in July.

April  

Local residents fight against geothermal development on the Big Island.

Oahu Island has energy problems and energy demand issues. Developers have proposed to use Big Island’s geothermal power via an expensive undersea cable system while there are enough resources like sunshine, wind power, waves to meet the demand. Most people on the big island are against the project because of several issues such as health risks and reduced property values.

May

Wind turbine noise in eastern Massachusetts.

State officials shut the wind turbine installation in Falmouth after unacceptable noise found by environmental officials and complaints from the neighbors. The Falmouth Board of Health even held a public hearing to address concerns and the risks about living near the wind turbines.

June

Wind turbine project in Illinois faces public opposition.

Every renewable energy has environmental cost, the point is how far you are willing to go?  In Illinois,  404 turbines were put up last year, the American Wind Energy Association reports. The wind turbines helped a lot at generating tax revenue and reducing the release of carbon dioxide. However, residents complained about the shadow flickers from the blades causing nausea and dizziness. There are also complaints that the wind turbine affects the ecosystem in the area.    Along with the uncertain funding and the expired federal tax credit issues,  new wind turbine projects are likely to be stalled in three different counties in Illinois.

July

Peel Energy is pushing the biomass plan ahead.

Peel Energy, a company that specialized in delivering low carbon energy for the UK, is pushing ahead with a bid to build a biomass energy plant, in Davyhulme, England. The Trafford's political groups and the local residents are strongly against the proposal. The proposed site is very close to a populated area. The locals are concerning about their lives would be adversely influenced by the biomass plant. The Trafford councils wrote a letter to the Environmental agency PSC-DP team to voice opposition for the local residents.

August

Belo Monte project is halted by Brazilian government.

Belo Monte dam construction in Brazil, one the biggest new hydroelectric proposals in Brazil, has been halted by the court after indigenous group’s opposition. Opponents claimed that the project would force 16,000 people to relocate and flood an area of 500 square km. Initially, the project kicked off without going through environmental impact assessment and having proper consultation with the indigenous group. This is one of the main reasons that the opposition swelled. The court highlighted that the government should take indigenous people’s lives and territories into account before business interests. The construction will be suspended until indigenous groups are properly consulted about the project.

September

NIMBY to the max: Building helipads to stop wind turbines.

In Benzonia, Michigan, the locals in the areas are not happy about having wind turbines around, so they came up with an idea to block the rural wind turbine development--- Helicopters. Wind turbines cannot be built around heliports. Experts said the tactic could gain momentum in other areas.

October

New proposed Biomass plant in Springfield, Vermont raised wide public concern.

 A biomass plant proposal in Springfield, Vermont has raised concerns from the nearby residents.  Despite the project developer pledging to burn only green wood chips, opponents such as Bob Kischko, chairman of the North Springfield Action Group, stated  “Both burn municipal sludge and when you get back in your car, you have to go home with your windows down. I’m extremely worried if the town is opening it up to that.”

November 

Opposition to renewable energy mandate gears up.

Major utility companies, other business and labor leaders, organized a campaign against a ballot proposal to increase Michigan’s renewable energy standards. Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE) for Michigan Coalition said that it is too costly for the consumers. Michigan voters pulled the plug on a proposed constitutional amendment defeating it at the polls with 64% opposing.

December

Councilors are tilting against windmills in Collingwood, Ontario.

While opposition is lining up to against Fairview Wind project in Clearview Township, the councilors are also standing up to express their disapproval. The project is planning to build close to the airport. The airport board states that the wind turbine could be a potential threat when planes are taking off and landing. “These towers are hideously tall and hideously close,” airport board chair Charlie Tatham said.

These examples exemplify how failure to understand NIMBY can be detrimental to a project. The public affairs industry has experienced an increasing amount of renewable energy clients requesting services on how to understand, successfully communicate and reinforce project benefits to NIMBYs.  Often public opposition stems from poor communication between developers and nearby communities.

If you find your firm encountering NIMBY issues, its better and more effective organizing grassroots campaign to provide neighborhoods a clear picture about the projects. In the meanwhile, create a support group from the locals that support the projects. They are great sources for the grassroots campaign to promote the projects and communicate with the local residents. Moreover, Find a professional public affairs firm to handle NIMBYs is also a good way. Experienced public affairs firm can help you send out the correct messages to the public efficiently.

Add a comment
Rick

dward you can't put anything on the internet that isn't true. Therefore everything you are saying must be true. You are just leaving out the parts about the good paying jobs being created are at the expense of ratepayers and taxpayers. How about an honest breakdown of the economic benefits to the ecomony? How much CO2 emissions are really reduced by wind energy? And would you want your family to live 1000 feet from a 400 hundred foot tall wind turbine? Wind farm siting is not about one turbine near your home. It is about your home being surrounde by wind turbines. Nimby means Next Idiot Might Be You.

Al

David, this article was not meant to validate the claims of opponents, but to just explain how opposition, regardless of what month, what year or what renewable industry, has slowed and stopped progress on bringing clean, renewable energy faster to America and beyond.

Al
David, this article was not meant to validate the claims of opponents, but to just explain how opposition, regardless of what month, what year or what renewable industry, has slowed and stopped progress on bringing clean, renewable energy faster to America and beyond.
Rick
dward you can't put anything on the internet that isn't true. Therefore everything you are saying must be true. You are just leaving out the parts about the good paying jobs being created are at the expense of ratepayers and taxpayers. How about an honest breakdown of the economic benefits to the ecomony? How much CO2 emissions are really reduced by wind energy? And would you want your family to live 1000 feet from a 400 hundred foot tall wind turbine? Wind farm siting is not about one turbine near your home. It is about your home being surrounde by wind turbines. Nimby means Next Idiot Might Be You.
David

Al Maiorino’s post reiterates several myths of wind power and casts a misinformed light on wind power in America. The reality is that American wind power is one of safest, cleanest, most reliable energy sources. It drives billions of dollars in new investments to local and rural economies nationwide annually and supports over 75,000 well-paid jobs that will never be outsourced. The following points addresses Mr. Maiorino’s specific points about wind power. • Various reviews of literature state that no studies or scientific evidence links shadow flicker to adverse health effects. Further, the balance of scientific evidence and human experience to date clearly concludes that sound from wind turbines does not adversely impact human health. Wind energy is broadly understood to be one of the safest and most environmentally benign forms of electricity generation today and is being developed in more than 89 countries. As a responsible industry, CanWEA and AWEA continue to work with medical and scientific experts from Canada, the United States and around the world to ensure all credible information on this subject is reviewed and that Canadians and Americans have access to fact-based answers to their questions in order to make informed decisions about our energy future. For information on wind energy and health, visit: http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/upload/Wind-Turbines-and-Health-Factsheet_WP11.pdf • The Massachusetts Departments of Public Health and Environmental Protection recently commissioned a panel of experts to analyze “the biological plausibility or basis for health effects of turbines (noise, vibration, and flicker).” The experts - who had backgrounds in public health, epidemiology, toxicology, neurology and sleep medicine, neuroscience, and mechanical engineering - found no evidence of health effects from wind turbines. The Massachusetts study included both peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed literature. Read more here: http://www.awea.org/newsroom/pressreleases/statement_Massachusetts_health_study.cfm • Finally, there is a comprehensive approval process in order for wind projects to begin development. Wind farms can make great neighbors, but it is the obligation of the developer to work to ensure that a project proceeds in a fashion that is acceptable to regulators and the local community. AWEA has developed a Siting Handbook that can be a useful tool in addressing siting considerations. The Handbook is available online at http://www.awea.org/sitinghandbook/.

Glenn

I find that the word "nimby" is always used by people who don't have any of these renewable projects in their own backyard either. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.

Glenn
I find that the word "nimby" is always used by people who don't have any of these renewable projects in their own backyard either. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.