Power of infrasound from wind turbines sick?

Die Welt|Daniel Wetzel|March 3, 2015
DenmarkGermanyImpact on PeopleNoise

How close can wind turbines be sited near back in inhabited localities? Reports of adverse health noise emissions from wind turbines in Denmark already have led to a dramatic slowdown in the pace of expansion.

Few wind turbines are being erected in Denmark out of fear the infrasound produced by the turbines harm human health. A government investigation is ongoing. German authorities have the problem down yet.

In the first test, the animals began to scream. "You blew with a shrill screech in their cages and they began to bite each other," says Kaj Bank Olesen, Nerzzüchter in Vildbjerg, Denmark.

When his vet at dawn, the police called in the municipality Herning to let off New wind turbines behind the Olesen Farm, already half a dozen animals dead in their cages. More than 100 inflicted deep wounds on each other so deep wounds that they had to be killed.

The incidents at the Olesen mink farm on the night of December 6, 2013, unsettled many of the ecologically-oriented Danes. Wind power sick? Generating turbines oscillations below the audibility, may cause animals to go crazy and may also impair the health of humans?

Sudden lull in the state of Denmark

The fate of the Jutland Nerzzüchters made national headlines and even presented to the Parliament in Copenhagen. And since the energy transition has a problem, such as Jan Hylleberg admits, the chief executive of the Association of Danish wind industry: "The majority of Danish municipalities put plans for new wind farms on hold until the government investigation into health problems related to infrasound is finished."

In 2014, the first year after the incident in Vildbjerg, only new windmills with a total capacity of 67 megawatts were connected to the grid throughout the country. The previous year, there were 694 megawatts.

Could what the Danes are currently experiencing also threaten Germany? A wind turbine in this country does not rotate differently. The local manufacturers of turbines, blades and steel towers are alarmed. Germany is currently experiencing an unprecedented level flight: 1766 wind turbines were rebuilt last year in Germany, more than ever before. This year, as many will be added. Could the boom end soon?

Meanwhile there have been more than 500 citizen initiatives against wind power projects. They are frequently arguing to German licensing authorities that the noise emissions from wind turbines are plading the health of residents at risk. The fear that now prevails in Denmark can quickly spready to Germany.

Wind power development splits Danish society

The small neighboring country, with a share of 40 percent of electricity consumption from wind is the worldwide leader in wind power generation. The ambitious energy policy radiates far beyond the borders of the country.

All of Denmark is "a gift to the earth," proclaimed the environmental group WWF in 2013 as Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt was presented with their " Gift to the Earth "award . The parliamentary monarchy in the North "is regarded as an example for the conversion of an entire country, away from dirty coal, oil and gas, towards renewable energy," reported the German news magazine "Der Spiegel". The Viking descendants are " the tamers of the wind ".

In the countrty of 5.6-million-inhabitants, more than 200 citizen initiatives are active against wind farms. And this is not only because of Europe's highest electricity prices.

The Danish newspaper "Jyllands Posten" published reports of families who gave up their homes out of concern for the health of their children, because wind turbines were built nearby. The tabloid " Ekstra Bladet "shows the full page cartoon of a farmer who holds out to the reader the middle finger in the form of a wind turbine. Headline: "Vindmoller has altid ret" The wind Müller is always right. The controversy over the pros and cons of further wind power expansion splits the Danish society.

Animals bite dead always at West Wind

Kaj Bank Olesen is a blond two-meter giant with a flushed face from sun and wind. "I do not think there will be this farm in two years from now," he says, referring to his own house, which is now considered uninhabitable and therefore not for sale.

Since the four wind turbines are next door, his wife and he spend night sleeping in their summer cottage retreat 50 kilometers away. Olesen complained of breathing problems, headaches and a feeling of tightness in the chest. The complaints come from the sound waves of wind turbines, it holds for granted. The animals have not responded.

Olesen holds 25,000 minks in elongated, flat stables. A profession that not just enjoys high reputation in Denmark. "My ethics require that I tend to the animals every night and that they are good," he says. But the animals, there is no longer good. Always at Westwind the females bite her cubs dead. Other newborns have birth defects. Olesen believes that the low-frequency sound of the wind turbines that is inaudible to human makes the animals crazy.

The four rotor towers behind his court are just 561 meters away from the house. This is four times the height of the wind turbines in Denmark which is prescribed as the minimum distance from residential buildings. He is rarely at the house. The distance does not apply to animal stables, The next wheel rotates 320 meters from the Nerzkäfigen.

After the first mating season, Olesen had approximately 500 of the 4500 Nerzweibchen miscarriages and stillbirths. "Normally, the average is 20 spontaneous abortions," says Olesen, while he goes through a dimly lit corridor of his tool shed. In the end, he opens a two-meter freezer: Therein lies some 2,000 thumb-sized dead Nerzwelpen.

Editor's note: This story was translated to English using Google Translate.


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