Windfall succeeds as a documentary in that it focuses on first-person anecdotal interviews and local politics.
Unfortunately, it fails on the larger questions and is deeply biased as a result. It's important to note that the sole technical advisor listed for the movie is Lisa Linowes, a long-term anti-wind advocate.
The facts are the following:1. Wind energy is harmless to the vast majority of people near and far from wind turbines, as has been shown by independent studies by medical health officers, audiologists and doctors world wide. Some people get really annoyed by them and apparently some of them lose sleep as a result, but the latest health study in the USA finds no causal link even here. Respiratory ailment claims associated with wind in the film are hilarious compared to coals 13,000 person per year annual death toll.
2. Wind energy is producing more and more of the world's power, cleanly and at a reasonable price. Last year, globally there was a 21% or 41Gwh increase in installed wind energy.
3. Studies out of Europe show a clear correlation between annoyance at the sound of wind turbines and whether the annoyed person can see the wind turbine as well as whether they are receiving economic benefits from it.
4. All of complaints about wind turbines pale in comparison to the real, documented and widespread ill effects of coal generation. The reality is that wind energy is one of the few significant generation sources safe enough to have close to homes.
5. Fossil fuel based generation kills enormously more birds than wind turbines, as do cats, lighted windows and power lines. Yet wind turbines somehow come under attack for this. The only birds significantly impacted are raptors, and that's a siting question. Similarly, white-nose syndrome kills millions of bats, yet wind turbines are attacked for killing a few. Perspective is sadly lacking on this subject.
6. Simple, standards-based set backs such as those in Ontario's Regulation 359/09 are completely reasonable for both home-owners and wind generators and should be enabled and enforced. Unfortunately, anti-wind advocates wish to throw the baby out with the bath water.
It's a pity that Mark Holcomb didn't do the slightest bit of additional research before declaring this documentary "thorough". It lends credence to a deeply flawed work.