Cummings, J. Acoustic Ecology Institute: Wind Farm Noise 2011

The Acoustic Ecology Institute – Wind Farm Noise 2011, Science and policy overview
Compiled by Jim Cummings

Jim Cummings writes: “It’s been over two years now since wind farm noise issues showed up on my radar here at the Acoustic Ecology Institute. In early 2010 I published AEI’s first annual report on the issue, in which I tried to make sense of the wildly incongruous perspectives that seem to dominate our discourse: on the one hand, wind boosters minimise the extent and effect of noise near wind farms, insisting there’s nothing to bother ourselves over, while on the other hand, increasing numbers of apparently clear-headed citizens say their quality of life is destroyed by the incessant noise of nearby turbines. A few cranks harping on their latest pet peeve, or brave souls speaking truth to power? Is wind energy a benign key to our energy future, or a scourge in our communities that we’ll live to regret?”

AEI’s perspective:

Most wind advocates, including both industry players and regional renewable energy organisations, appear to continue to be in a state of disbelief that the noise of turbines could possibly be a significant issue for nearby neighbours.

Most community groups are over-reaching in their approach to raising the issue of noise, by focusing too much of their argument on possible health impacts of wind turbine noise exposure.

The annual report downloadable here aims to frame the current state of research and policy in a way that can help those trying to find a constructive middle ground that protects rural residents from an intrusive new 24/7 noise source while also encouraging wind development as part of our renewable energy future.

Download the paper →