Not the government, industry,academia or the media.
They provide expert, rigorously researched data to anyone who wishes to have it. No obfuscation. No spin. Just solid data with an expert commentary and opinion which is based firmly on that data.
They report on all forms of renewable energy. Their funding comes from a number of sources, some industrial, some not. But nobody calls the shots.
Their research has led them to be heavily critical of on-shore wind generation and particularly the Klondike style gold-rush to install ineffective and intermittent on-shore wind turbines in ever more inappropriate and damaging locations.
This though, obviously does not sit well with the companies and "trade associations" that have much to lose from the REF's stance. Then of course we have the wind lobby's unthinking and unquestioning admirers in the media.
Take this Leo Hickman Guardian Environment Blog Entry. Dear Leo is apparently an unblinking fan of Wind Turbines. While the latter part of his Guardian article is a reasonable exchange between him and a REF spokesperson the front end is full of innuendo and supposition. If you read it, get past the blinkered opinionated front end with its veiled character assassinations. Then read the exchange with blinkers removed.
Interestingly, the front end of Leo's blog entry presents unchallenged criticism of REF from the likes of the quaintly named British Wind Energy Association ( now more fashionably renamed "Renewables UK" ) But Leo fails to mention that this is not just a supporters group, it is actually the so-called "trade association" for the wind industry.
Some call it a trade association, personally I would call it a cartel.
This is the same organisation whose members routinely refuse to release wind data and noise data to council planning departments. Let alone concerned individuals.
Unlike the REF there is no transparency, no openness. The data is secret. Unless that is, you are prepared to risk everything by taking them to the high court like good old Mike Hulme did ( See this Post )
The attitude and tactics of the Wind Turbine lobby get ever more like the attitude and tactics adopted by the big Tobacco companies in the 1960's. Back then, not only was the truth suppressed but anyone attempting to reveal the truth had their career ruined.
Perhaps that is the next port of call for these huge Corporate wind turbine companies.
Maybe after REF they will apply pressure and get NETA Data removed or filtered, especially that pesky section half way down - "Peak Wind Generation Forecast", and its equally pesky partner "Wind Forecast Out turn". Then nobody else, like the John Muir Trust can criticise them. ( Access their report HERE)
As for poor old Billothewisp, without the NETA data or the REF data, posts like This One, or in fact, any of These posts, would not be possible.
We would all be in the dark while the the huge international corporations and their "Oh aren't we green" front companies rake in the profits from the outrageous subsidies.
What is more, if we continue to allow these gold-diggers to continue brow beating and undermining legitimate groups like the REF we probably will all end up in the dark.
That will be when the wind stops blowing, and the lights go out.