Noise

“Wind Farm Noise does not exist. It is only a few Nimbys that complain about what they think will happen and no one complains after they are built“. That is the spin that the Wind Farm Companies, Renewables UK and Scottish Renewables would like you to believe. The then arbiter of standards, the DTI produced a report for planning ETSU-R-97 to prove it. It was written by consultants Hayes and Mackenzie and, despite a World Health Organisation report just prior that stated a maximum night-time level in a bedroom of 30dba, this report came out at 47dba.  The report is reasonably standard as to the conceptions at the time, but the conclusions are at variance with the report. A Freedom of Information enquiry by the Daily Telegraph exposed the truth. The committee, heavily weighted to the Windfarm Industry; nine members from the Wind industry, one from the National Physics Laboratory, two from south west councils(no wind farms at the time), one from North Wales and one from the DTI; adjusted the parameters to enable the noise output of turbines to stay with the limits.

A warning about the health effects of noise from wind turbines was removed from a government study following pressure from civil servants.

A sample of that information removed

“The analysis of the external and internal noise levels indicates that it may be appropriate to re-visit the issue of the absolute night-time noise criterion specified within ETSU-R-97. To provide protection to wind farm neighbours, it would seem appropriate to reduce the absolute noise criterion for periods when background noise levels are low. In the absence of high levels of modulation, then a level pf 38db LA90 (4o db LAeq) will reduce levels to an internal noise level which lies around and below 30db LAeq with windows open for ventilation. In the presence of high levels of aerodynamic modulation of the incident noise, then a correction for the presence of the noise should be considered”

Extract from a letter from the Minister at the Dept of Energy & Climate Change.

“With regards to your comments to the ETSU R-97 guidance, our main concern is that it is not always applied in a consistent or effective manner. To address this, we have appointed consultants Hayes and Mackenzie to undertake a project to review how noise impacts are currently considered in planning applications in England. The report will be published in April 2011, and we will consider the future direction of wind turbine noise policy once the findings of this report are clear”  (Still waiting 22nd July 2011-Ed)

Charles Hendry MP, Minister of State, DECC.

I would not hold my breath if they have appointed the same consultant. They rolled over and aquiesced to a convenient obfuscation before. There is a Wind Farm Noise Conference in Rome this April and by the amount of papers to be read one would hope that something positive comes out of that. The post conference report states that one of the main themes that came out of the Conference was:

The main effect of daytime wind turbine noise is annoyance. The night time effect is sleep disturbance. These may well lead to stress related illness in some people. Work is required in understanding why low levels of wind turbine noise may produce affects which are greater than might be expected from their levels”

The Renewable Energy Foundation has presented a very good report to the DECC and one would hope that due consideration is given to that.

RENEWABLE ENERGY FOUNDATION RESPONSE TO:

DECC Consultation on the Revised Draft National Policy Statement EN-3 Renewable Energy Infrastructure and related documents.

So, it would seem that the DECC and the Renewables Industry have been the proverbial Ostriches and, conveniently it would seem, ignored critisiscm from those affected by the Noise of Turbines for far too long. There is an increasing history of considerable problems caused by Wind Turbines and it is about time that the lies and deceipts of those Government and Council Bodies tasked with protecting our lives and our environment were exposed and those officers stood up to the Mark and do the job that they are paid to do.  As Peter Hadden stated in his report to the House of Lords “it is not possible to justify allowing wind energy to claim status as being in the national interest. As a result, wind energy schemes should be treated in Town Planning terms, on equal footing with any other proposal to industrialise areas of the countryside” In other words “The End does not justify the means”

Therefore, I would conclude that ETSU R-97 is not fit for purpose and for that matter never was. A complete re-appraisal by a totally independant body needs to be urgently put in place and issues such as low frequency sound and infra sound should be included in that brief. It should also have the power of law behind it in the UK as a whole, not as a planning guidance, but as a Health and Environment standard and should be allowed nowhere near the Department of Energy and Climate Change or the Energy and Climate Change Directorate who have demonstrated in this a far too cosy relationship with the Renewable Industry.

 

 

Addition papers:                                                            

House of Lords comment on ETSU                                         

Wind Farm Noise Conference 2011 – Rome

Officials cover up Wind Farm Noise Report

Assessment of Wind Farm Noise – Dick Bowdler

Critical View of Noise Model – National Physics Laboratory

List of Members of Noise Group(part 1)

Evaluating the impact of wind turnbine noise

 

 When will the wind energy companies finally admit that noise can be a problem?

When some people make so much money out of wind power, why is there no compensation for its victims – why is there no justice?

A single turbine placed in the school yard at Raasay drew comments on noise from two crofts within 100 metres. Read the letter to Highland Council

The Wind Industry denies there are problems which is either naive or an outright lie.

Gail and Walter Mair just finished their new house in Italy before a new wind farm was switched on. They were advoactes of wind. They have kept a diary and they have asked that as many people as possible read THE TRUTH ABOUT TURBINE NOISE. Again the Industry is ingenuous in prmulgating the fiction that they have been working in many countries about the world without problems. Just look at the information on the Windbyte web site

©Minneapolis Star Tribune (Source: American & Canadian Wind Energy Associations).

 There is masses of information about ETSU-R-97 on the Windbyte site and there is not a lot more that we can add. A flawed report twisted byIndustry insiders appointed to what should have been an environment dept brief.

Another video, this time from Swindon where Honda wish to build three large turbines in close proximity to people homes. Remember these are not just houses, they are people’s homes!

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6 Responses to Noise

  1. Comment from a local resident at Tomatin.
    The Farr WF was intolerable on Monday and Tuesday this week (and turbines not turning at all today!)
    No point talking to nPower and if I’d had time I was going to phone Environmental Health.
    There are people locally whose lives are made a misery with the noise
    .
    Pat Wells

    Therein lies the problem. After fighting the developer for a year or so, you really have no energy left and most suffer in silence. From the reactions of HC I suggest that more are objecting and it is essential that everyone objects and is as forceful as possible with the Environmental Health dept. Tec will be far less supportive of wind farms if their lives are blighted by having to deal with the people whose lives have been ruined by stupid and idiotic policy driven by multi national companies that don’t care a damn! Phone your local councillor every day. His “I think the’re Beautiful and so good for the environment” may well change after hundreds of phone calls from aggrieved constituents at 3.00am in the morning. Go for it! Get the telephone number of the chair of the planning committee that approved them. Why should you suffer sleepless nights while they are comfortable in their beds? If they think that they are so great ask them to swap houses for a month so that you can catch up on your beauty sleep!

  2. The answer is sleep with your windows shut! You can tell he is an urban dweller.
    This is a reoprt by James Delingpole about a gentleman in a welsh valley faced with a massive wind farm.
    The emails he sends me recording his battles with the unsympathetic authorities are so sad I can scarcely bear to read them. Here was their response when he wrote to ask how he was supposed to put up with the increased noise of those humming turbine blades at night. ‘Regarding your concerns about ETSU permitting higher noise levels at night, there are a number of reasons for this, including that most people tend to be indoors and have their windows closed between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., which mitigates against the sound of wind turbines.’

    So at the whim of some bureaucrat, Wyck has not only had his view ruined, and the value of his property trashed (with no compensation), but is also expected to do something he has never done before in all his life and probably never thought he’d have to do — sleep with the windows shut.

  3. Shelli says:

    Therein lies the problem. After fighting the developer for a year or so, you really have no energy left and most suffer in silence. From the reactions of HC I suggest that more are objecting and it is essential that everyone objects and is as forceful as possible with the Environmental Health dept. Tec will be far less supportive of wind farms if their lives are blighted by having to deal with the people whose lives have been ruined by stupid and idiotic policy driven by multi national companies that don’t care a damn! Phone your local councillor every day. His “I think the’re Beautiful and so good for the environment” may well change after hundreds of phone calls from aggrieved constituents at 3.00am in the morning. Go for it! Get the telephone number of the chair of the planning committee that approved them. Why should you suffer sleepless nights while they are comfortable in their beds? If they think that they are so great ask them to swap houses for a month so that you can catch up on your beauty sleep!
    +1

  4. Marc Duchamp says:

    Noise regulations: Denmark accused of applying double standards to windfarm neighbours

    Opposition to wind farms has been growing in Denmark. Because of this, the Danish energy company DONG had taken the decision to no longer erect wind turbines in the countryside, and to put them offshore instead. But wind farms at sea cost twice as much to build and to maintain, and the price of electricity for households is already, in Denmark, 100% more expensive than in most of Europe. So the new government elected in September wants to build more wind farms onshore, in spite of their adverse impacts on the health of neighbours.

    To help placate angry country dwellers, noise limits are being reviewed by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a public consultation is underway. But there is much controversy. Dr Mauri Johansson, a Danish physician specialised in community health and occupational medicine (now retired), accuses the EPA of manipulations to the detriment of the health of neighbours. He is not alone: a team of researchers from Aalborg University led by Professor Henrik Moeller, an internationally-renowned acoustics specialist, are also putting in doubt the work of the Danish government. They are themselves supported by Kerstin Persson Waye, professor of occupational and environmental medicine at Gothenburg University, Sweden. (1)

    In a nutshell, under the proposed EPA regulations, for 33% of neighbours it will feel “as if a truck is idling just outside their homes”. Dr Johansson and Professor Moeller are at odds with their government, which claims against all evidence that “Denmark is leading the fight against low frequency noise from wind turbines.”

    Canadian physician Dr Robert McMurtry, formerly Dean of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario, and formerly Assistant Deputy Minister of Population & Public Health, at Health Canada, wrote a letter supporting Professor Moeller:
    “Truth has become a casualty. Sadly there are many ill-consequences to the policies for the installation of industrial wind turbines (IWT), not the least of which are adverse effects on human health. I have met more than 40 people whose lives have been devastated when IWT became their bad neighbor. It is also clear that this is a global phenomenon and yet the denial by many of those in authority continues.” (2)

    Support for the Danish and Swedish academic opposition to the new, lax legislation on wind turbine noise being concocted in Copenhagen has been coming from a number of noise engineers, acousticians, doctors, psychologists and nurses in the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc. who have expressed in conferences and in the media their concern about the failure of governments to address properly the wind farm health problem. To name a few: Dr Nina Pierpont, USA, author of “The Wind Farm Syndrome”; Dr Sarah Laurie, Australia, Medical Director of the Waubra Foundation; Dr Bob Thorne, Australia, Psychoacoustician; and Dr Carl Phillips, a Harvard-trained epidemiologist specializing in public health policy, formerly tenured professor in the School of Public Health, University of Alberta, who wrote about governments denying the health problem: “The attempts to deny the evidence cannot be seen as honest scientific disagreement and represent either gross incompetence or intentional bias.” (3)

    Per Clausen, chair of the Unity Lists Energy Committee in the Danish Parliament, is concerned by the preferential (lax) treatment being applied to noise from wind farms. He understands that his government wants to speed up the deployment of wind turbines, but is opposed to applying double standards in favour of any industry, to the detriment of its neighbours’ health. (1)

    European and North American wind farm health victims, represented by EPAW and NA-PAW, are concerned that the improperly-conducted, double-standard studies of the Danish EPA will be used as a model by governments world-wide. They remind the health authorities that the Australian Senate, after hearing evidence in a special public enquiry on wind farms, recommended that infrasound & low frequency noise issues be properly investigated. The above shows that this is not being done. A parallel may be drawn with the bogus tobacco studies conducted years back, which resulted in class action lawsuits.

    Contacts:

    Mark Duchamp +34 693 643 736 (Spain) Skype: mark.duchamp
    CEO, EPAW http://www.epaw.org
    save.the.eagles@gmail.com

    Sherri Lange +1 416 567 5115 (Canada)
    CEO, NA-PAW http://www.na-paw.org
    kodaisl@rogers.com

    References:

    (1) – Source: article published in Politiken, a Danish daily, 14.11.2011. http://politiken.dk/indland/ECE1449860/miljoestyrelsen-anklages-for-at-fifle-med- vindmoellestoej/

    Translation available here: http://www.epaw.org/echoes.php?lang=en&article=n71

    (2) – Dr Robert McMurtry: private email, available upon request.

    (3) – Dr Carl Phillips: http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/303.short

  5. http://wind-watch.org/news/?p=19029 This demonstrates that we are not talking about an isolated issue but a world wide problem. Why have not our politicians been working for us? Because they have been Green-washed and now are in a state of self denial. The Climate Change/AGW bandwagon has reached a critical mass and now there is too much to loose for so many who jumped aboard. Not easy to admit you were conned. The Scam of the Century? And some! When the lead writer of the IPCC report on Climate(third series) jumps ship and adds his support to the 16 scientists that wrote to the Wall Street Journal recently, one realises that the issue is more like an evangelical religion. No doubt Gore and Paucholi will issue a Jihad on him now! The worm is turning though. Some 101 MPs supported by a further 25 of ministerial rank have thrown off the yoke of support for Wind and have challenged the Prime Minister. Now we see how strong he is against the angst of the Lib-Dems and their green gods.

  6. Tom Stacy says:

    Great web site!

    I noticed a cartoon in your site’s side margin about wind net CO2 savings that seemed a little off, so I did some calculations and it looks like a wind turbine must run approximately 1 month to offset the carbon emissions from the manufacture of the concrete in its foundation (not including transportation related emissions). As well, it is important to recognize that all electric generating plants use concrete, albeit wind likely uses far more per lifetime realized MWHs (or GJs).

    Some links I used to make my calculations:
    http://www.iea.org/stats/unit.asp
    http://www.nrmca.org/greenconcrete/concrete%20co2%20fact%20sheet%20june%202008.pdf
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_does_one_cubic_yard_of_concrete_weigh
    http://www.concreteconstruction.net/concrete-construction/structural-concrete-projects.aspx

    Best wishes on your efforts in t he Highlands!
    Tom Stacy,
    Ohio, USA

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