Impact on People and Australia / New Zealand
DZ 6808 is a revision of NZS 6808:1998 Acoustics - The assessment and measurement of sound from wind turbine generators. The 1998 version was written prior to significant wind farm development in New Zealand. The basic methodology proved robust, but experience and research over the following decade brought to light numerous refinements and enhancements, which are now addressed in the revised draft.
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The expressions “Environmental Sustainability” and “Resource Management” may seem to be synonymous. In the original concept this could have been the intent, but now that we have in operation a number of alternative energy sources to offset the use of fossil fuels, unforeseen emissions may be affecting local communities in the vicinity with the possibility of public health being compromised. Wind farms are an alternative energy source and the effects of noise emissions on the health of people living within several kilometres of the wind farms is becoming a concern. The noise level from a wind farm may be quite low, but its characteristics compared to that of the normal background sound make it stand out as something quite different, and its ability to excite room resonances makes it an irritant causing severe loss of sleep and extreme annoyance. Often the sounds are heard more clearly indoors than outside. New Zealand Standard 6808 on the noise from wind turbines has been reviewed and a new draft standard produced for public comment. The draft differs little from the existing standard and closely follows that used in Britain and parts of Europe, even though there are clear indications that the criteria to be met do not fully conform with World Health Organization recommendations, and the methodology used is likely mathematically, scientifically and ethically wrong. The draft and similar standards across the world are clearly biased towards wind farm development for as little cost as possible, and it appears public health concerns are not being given enough attention.
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