Library filed under Impact on People from Australia
The issue of whether wind turbines – one of Australia’s largest clean energy sources – cause health problems has again reared its head. Tom Arup explains why turbines take the wind out of some people’s sails. A new study looks at the reactions of six residents to the noise from the Cape Bridgewater wind farm, in south-west Victoria.
Six Cape Bridgewater residents involved in groundbreaking research on side-effects of wind farm infrasound have called for the state government to declare the area a health hazard. They have also called on the federal government to fund new studies on long-term health implications of living near wind farms, of which many are scattered across the south-west.
The report found offending sound pressure was present at four distinct phases of turbine operation: starting, maximum power and changing load by more than 20 per cent either up or down. Mr Cooper said the findings were consistent with research into health impacts from early model wind turbines conducted in the US more than 20 years ago.
The new inquiry – the latest in a long list of investigations into renewable energy and wind power – is proposed by crossbench senators David Leyonhjelm and Bob Day and Liberal Chris Back, all of whom have argued for the abolition of the renewable energy target, which underpins wind energy in Australia.
A large gallery of wind farm critics cheered on Jim Doukas when he criticised the council’s response to complaints about noise issues relating to the giant Macarthur wind farm. “The report is so light on information and facts it seems like it is bias. Is AGL doing something for us we don’t know about, because it looks that way.”
In a fiery address to the council’s meeting on Tuesday night, Cr Jim Doukas refused to accept a peer review commissioned by the shire which found company AGL was operating the 140-turbine wind farm within noise guidelines. “It is the biggest load of garbage I’ve ever read in my life and AGL should be tied to a tree and flogged with a whip,” Cr Doukas said.
Acoustician, Steven Cooper, has been asked to measure noise emissions at the Cape Bridgewater wind energy facility in Australia following years of noise complaints since the project was placed in service in 2008. Mr Cooper has tested inside three homes near the wind facility over eight weeks, including a two-week shutdown of the turbines. His preliminary report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page. His initial findings are provided below.
The results from recordings and residents’ diaries show that a change in power output of more than 20 per cent leads to a change in sensation for the residents. “The main thing I get from the study is that there is a direct correlation from the noise coming out of the wind farm and the response in my body to that noise,’’ Ware says.
But Pacific Hydro has agreed to a key request from residents to allow acoustician Steven Cooper to investigate whether noise and power levels correspond with complaints from nearby residents. The decision by the company to allow Mr Cooper to measure noise is significant because of Mr Cooper’s previous reports critical of wind farm noise.
Australian Federal Senator John Madigan delivers a powerful speech on the floor of the Senate regarding the wind industry and its attempts to silence him.
Electrician Chris Gabler bought his plot 12 months ago and said he had no idea the area was part of EPYC's Jupiter project area. "I had no idea and we wouldn’t have bought it if I had known there was going to be a wind farm right next to me,” he said.
This report describes the results of full spectrum acoustic monitoring conducted at a number of homes located between 2 km out to nearly 10km from the Waterloo Wind Energy facility. This monitoring was independent of the that conducted by the South Australian Environment Protection Authority (SA EPA) and was requested by Mrs Mary Morris and other concerned residents in the Waterloo district. The monitoring occurred during the period of the South Australian EPA Acoustic Survey, conducted in mid 2013. The conclusions of the monitoring are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
The Piper Alderman firm says the council has an obligation to take action after it received 20 official complaints from residents about noise coming from AGL’s 140-turbine wind farm last year. The council has begun investigating the nuisance complaints under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act
Noise levels from wind farms should be monitored by the state’s top environmental watchdog, a Western Victorian MP says.
In this radio interview, the host, Alan Jones, discusses the high costs and impacts of wind energy development in Australia. To listen to the interview, click the link at the bottom of this page.
Mauri Johansson, MD, a specialist in Community and Occupational Medicine (including Environmental Medicine) in Denmark, sent this open letter to the heads of the Australian Medical Association in response to the AMA's recent position paper on industrial-scale wind energy where it claimed that "Individuals residing in the vicinity of wind farms who do experience adverse health or well-being, may do so as a consequence of their heightened anxiety or negative perceptions regarding wind farm developments in their area."
Dr. Bruce Rapley filed this response letter with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) objecting to the AMA's position on wind turbine noise that the "available Australian and international evidence does not support the view that the infrasound or low frequency sound generated by wind farms, as they are currently regulated in Australia, causes adverse health effects on populations residing in their vicinity." The concluding paragraphs of the letter are posted below. The full letter can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Senator John Madigan has attacked the country’s peak medical body for dismissing claims about health effects from wind farm turbines, questioning whether the position is politically motivated. The Australian Medical Association last week released its first official comments on the controversial subject, declaring existing evidence did not show infrasound from the turbines’ action caused adverse health effects.
Dr. Gary Hopkins, a practicing physician in Australia, issued this letter to the President of the Australian Medical Association where he takes the AMA to task over its recent position statement claiming that "available Australian and international evidence does not support the view that the infrasound or low frequency sound generated by wind farms, as they are currently regulated in Australia, causes adverse health effects on populations residing in their vicinity."
Dr. Jay Tibbetts, a practicing physician, member of the Brown County Board of Health and Medical Adviser to the Brown County Health Department responds to the Australian Medical Association's position on wind power and the impacts on human health.