Documents filed under Impact on People from Europe
The Windfarm perception project shows that the sound of wind turbines causes relatively much annoyance. The sound is perceived at relatively low levels and is thought to be more annoying than equally loud air or road traffic. This may be caused by the swishing character of the sound or because at night it does not decrease in strength -which is usually the case for traffic noise. Also in this study more disturbance of sleep occurs at the highest sound levels that occurred in this study. ...In the WINDFARM perception project, supervised by Frits van den Berg, the perception was investigated of modern, tall wind turbines by Dutch residents. The study shows that sound from wind farms is an important disadvantage of wind energy which in itself is positively appreciated by a majority of the participants.
This report gives the results of the EU financed study WINDFARMpertception on how residents perceive a wind farm in their living environment as far as sound and sight are concerned. The study includes a postal survey among Dutch residents (n = 725, response rate: 37%) and an assessment of their aural and visual exposure due to wind farms in their vicinity.
Wind turbines are known to produce shadow flicker by interruption of sunlight by the turbine blades. Known parameters of the seizure provoking effect of flicker, i.e., contrast, frequency, mark-space ratio, retinal area stimulated and percentage of visual cortex involved were applied to wind turbine features. The proportion of patients affected by viewing wind turbines expressed as distance in multiples of the hub height of the turbine showed that seizure risk does not decrease significantly until the distance exceeds 100 times the hub height. Since risk does not diminish with viewing distance, flash frequency is therefore the critical factor and should be kept to a maximum of three per second, i.e., sixty revolutions per minute for a three-bladed turbine. On wind farms the shadows cast by one turbine on another should not be viewable by the public if the cumulative flash rate exceeds three per second. Turbine blades should not be reflective.
Jane Davis of the UK tracked problems with noise from a wind farm located 930 meters from her home. Her daily log, accessed by clicking on the link below, covers the period from summer 2006 to summer 2007. She and her family have since abandoned their home due to health issues related to the noise.
In this letter to residents of Burke, NY, Dr. Nina Pierpont briefly discusses her findings of health impacts on families living in proximity to industrial-scale wind turbines.
This Appeal Decision prepared by Robin Brooks BA (Hons) MRTPI an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government provides detailed arguments on why the appeal was denied. Several categories of interest are covered including these main issues:
Julian and Jane Davis reside on a farm in the Fens in Lincolnshire England. Shortly following the construction of a wind farm within 1000 meters of their home they had started to hear the noise of the turbines. This important paper, presented at the Wind Turbine Noise conference Sep 20-21, 2007, in Lyon, France, documents the “devastating effects of wind turbine noise pollution when wind farms are sited too close to homes or otherwise inappropriately sited.”
This paper on Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Dose Responses, was presented at the Inter-Noise 2007 conference held in Istanbul, Turkey August 28-31, 2007. The authors are Mariana Alves-Pereira and Nuno A. A. Castelo Branco of the Erisa-Universidade Lusofona, Lisbon, Portugal and the Center of Human Performance, Alverca, Portugal.
This paper on Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Dose responses, was presented at the Inter-Noise 2007 conference held in Istanbul, Turkey August 28-31, 2007. The authors are Mariana Alves-Pereira and Nuno A. A. Castelo Branco of the Erisa-Universidade Lusofona, Lisbon, Portugal and the Center of Human Performance, Alverca, Portugal.
The important paper reviews research articles within the field of acoustics concerning the acoustic properties of wind turbines and noise and recommends a safe buffer zone of at least 2 km between turbines and residential dwellings. The abstract of this paper is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Noise - ‘unwanted sound’ – can ruin people’s well-being and environment “Peace and quiet is the single most important factor people have in mind when buying a home – with one in five prospective homebuyers rating it as the most important consideration when choosing where they will buy.” Alliance and Leicester Survey, 3/6/02 The Noise Association, which published this report, is the research arm of the UK Noise Association. Both organisations are based at 2nd Floor, Broken Wharf House, 2 Broken Wharf, London EC4V 3DT, tel 020 7329 0774, email firstname.lastname@example.org www.ukna.org.uk Editor's Note: The complete report is available in the attached pdf file 'Noise Association'. A smaller, edited version that excludes two pages of photos (pages 7 & 11) is also available. Selected Extracts from this report appear below.
A7 Energy's appeal against the Easington District Council for refusing to grant planning permission with respect to a wind plant consisting of 2 x 2.3MW turbines was dismissed by D. L. Burrows, an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The principal reason for dismissal was adverse impact the turbines would have on the activities of Shotten airfield.
To conclude, it can be stated that with respect to wind turbine sound an important phenomenon has been overlooked: the change in wind after sunset. This phenomenon will be more important for modern, tall wind turbines and in view of the many wind farms that are planned. If this problem is not recognized and solved it will hamper the expansion of wind energy.
A study of the Outer Clyde Estuary, covering Kintyre, Cowal, Arran, Bute, Inverclyde and North Ayrshire, conducted by AWF, demonstrates the huge and increasing pressure on the area from wind farm developers. It concludes, that if all the wind farms in or approaching the planning system at present are approved, the level of cumulative impact will degrade the environment of this unique area to a totally unacceptable extent. It would not be an exaggeration to state that every transport route (road or ferry) would have a prominent view of at least one wind farm. The need for a strategic review is overwhelming.
The wind energy debate represents a new kind of environmental controversy which divides environmentalists of different persuasions who attach contrasting priority to global and local concerns. Case studies of public attitudes towards existing and proposed windfarm developments in Scotland and Ireland are used to test three counter-intuitive hypotheses derived from previous attitudinal research. Editor's Note: This study was conducted in collaboration with the Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen. The Institute's commercial arm, Macaulay Enterprises, acts as a consultant for the renewables industry, and is linked to the Scottish Renewables Forum and the British Wind Energy Association. The pro-wind pre-disposition of the authors is evident and should not be ignored when evaluating survey results. Survey respondents generally expressed support of wind energy based on the belief that it was a solution for global warming. Given wind energy's limited effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gases based on today’s studies, we question how survey participants might respond if contacted again. The report also comments that communities selected had no organized opposition to the wind facilities. Today, throughout England, Wales and Scotland, organized opposition is the norm, not the exception.
Department of Environmental Medicine, Goteborg University, P.O. Box 414, SE-405 30 Goteborg, Sweden (Received 14 November 2003; revised 1 September 2004; accepted 18 September 2004)