Library filed under Noise from Australia / New Zealand
After receiving evidence from more than 500 people, the Senate inquiry, chaired by John Madigan, this month released an interim report recommending urgent steps to improve scientific knowledge about the health effects of wind turbines. This includes the creation of an independent expert scientific committee on industrial sound to provide research and advice to the Environment Minister on the impact on human health of audible noise (including low frequency) and infrasound from wind turbines.
Wind turbine noise from various wind energy facilities in Australian. After watching this video there should be no confusion over why the federal government initiated hearings on the topic on health impacts.
The Abbott government will appoint a “windfarm commissioner” to handle complaints about turbine noise and a new scientific committee to investigate, again, their alleged impacts on human health, in a late-night deal with anti-wind senators over amendments to renewable energy legislation. Leaked letter can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
Clive and Petrina Gare presented their story before the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines. The Gares leased their land to a wind developer for 19 turbines to be erected. The nearest turbine was sited about 800 metres away from their home with three towers within approximately one to 1.5 kilometres away. In total, they were paid $200,000 per year for hosting the machines. The construction phase was difficult but when the turbines were placed in service in October 2010, the situation became unbearable. The Gares, and others, gave testimony before the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines. The full testimony is provided below can be accessed by clicking the links on the page.
Fears over adverse health impacts caused by wind farms are being heavily scrutinised during a parliamentary inquiry into the controversial renewable energy source. The Senate select committee inquiry into the regulatory governance and economic impact of wind turbines, established last November, is due to report by August 3.
“The problem is that, in spite of the fact that you say they are the most stringent rules and regulations, people are still claiming to have health effects and annoyance and sleep deprivation. What we are trying to establish here is: what needs to be done to remedy this situation so that people - the general public; the people who are suffering - have a greater sense that they are being listened to and that there are stringent guidelines in place for the development of wind farms.”
"I am usually the last person to support the creation of additional government bureaucracy but when we are directing around $22 billion towards the Renewable Energy Target (RET), the creation of a regulator would be a drop in the bucket," Senator Leyonhjelm says. "Those who justify action on climate change because of the precautionary principle will understand the need to apply the same principle to infrasound."
Senator Day applauded the bravery of landholders opposed to wind farms and said renewable energy operators needed to take their concerns more seriously. “Scientists and doctors are only just beginning to understand the connections between the infrasound emitted from turbines and the impact on the health of nearby residents.”
Sonia Trist moved from Britain to the spectacular rolling hills overlooking the Southern Ocean at Cape Bridgewater in Victoria’s southwest in 2007 knowing that wind turbines would soon surround her new home. What she was not expecting were health problems including sleeplessness, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and dizziness, which she says she began to suffer months after the turbines began operating.
This important news report from Australia documents the ongoing investigation into infrasound emissions from an operating wind project and the impacts on nearby residents.
Cooper told yesterday’s senate hearing how Pacific Hydro had effectively gagged him from publishing or presenting papers on the results of his work by claiming copyright. There was also evidence that by limiting the number of participants in the Cape Bridgewater survey to six, the company had built into the research brief a ready defence to attack what Cooper had found.
The wind farm company which commissioned a recent groundbreaking study investigating links between health complaints and low-frequency noise generated by wind turbines has told a Senate committee it was “never meant to be a scientific study”.
In this important interview with acoustic engineer Steven Cooper, Mr. Cooper explains how his study at the Cape Bridgewater wind project came about, why his study is unique, and how to evaluate the results of the study. To listen to the full interview click the link on this page.
Mr Cooper has received further support for his work at Cape Bridgewater from computer scientists in Canada who have been working to record sub-audible noise or infrasound from wind turbines since 2013. Richard Mann, at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, said scientists there had arrived at a similar position to Mr Cooper despite working in a different way. “Our results show that wind turbines emit a characteristic pulsation (change in barometric pressure) that repeats with every blade passage,” Professor Mann said.
Acousticians Paul D. Schomer and George Hessler critiqued, and positively supported Steven Cooper's study of infrasonic emissions at the Cape Bridgewater wind facility. An initial critique is provided below and can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. In addition, Dr. Schomer and Mr. Hessler have supplemented their review with a response to the Australian wind energy supporters who have been critical of Steven Cooper's report. The supplemental commets can also be accessed from this page.
Pacific Hydro said it understood some people would be disappointed but considered the National Health and Medical Research Council the appropriate body to co-ordinate further work. The NHMRC said last week that it would commission targeted, high-quality research into the effects of wind farms, including into low- frequency noise and infrasound.
Mr Cooper will present the findings of his report — which ranked reported “sensations” experienced by six residents against the operation of the wind farm — to a special meeting in Cape Bridgewater tonight. ...The report has been praised internationally as a “first-of-its-kind test” by some of the world’s most respected and experienced acoustics experts, with firsthand knowledge of wind farm noise.
A scientific researcher whose groundbreaking study into the impact of wind turbines on nearby residents has criticised the ABC’s Media Watch program, saying its journalist hounded his company about alleged media misrepresentations without reading or understanding his report.
Dr Christopher Hanning submitted this testimony to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines explaining the impact of turbine noise on sleep. The summary of his testimony is provided below. The full submission can be accessed at the links on this page.
The Acoustic Group’s Principal, Mr Steven Cooper, was commissioned by wind developer Pacific Hydro to undertake an investigation into “noise” emitted at the Cape Bridgewater wind energy facility. Symptoms reported by residents living near the turbines include severe nausea, headaches, ear pressure, inability to concentrate, and severe and debilitating sleep problems. The primary document explaining the study and the results can be downloaded from this page. The full study, including six appendices, can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.