A new noise report on a wind farm in Victoria comes to questionable conclusions, and the vast weight of scientific evidence shows that wind turbines do not directly affect health, the Clean Energy Council said today.
Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said the report was not a health study, and it was not scientifically rigorous.
“Noise measurements were taken at just three houses, and a small number of self-nominated people participated who had previously made complaints about the wind farm’s operation,” he said.
“Despite a very small number of complaints about a wind farm that was compliant in every way, Pacific Hydro went the extra mile to address the concerns of these residents at significant cost to itself, as it believes this was the right thing to do.
“The author believes he has discovered a link between ‘sensations’ felt by the participants and the operation of the wind turbines. However, a number of these ‘sensations’ were reported when the wind turbines were not operating.
“A small, hand-picked selection of the data was used in the preparation of this report and the wind farm operator Pacific Hydro has said the conclusions of the report do not appear to be supported by the data.
“The acoustician involved has been working closely for some time with opponents of wind farms to try and show there is a problem with wind turbines, rather than looking at the issue objectively. It is not surprising he has drawn some very strong conclusions here.”
Mr Marsh said close to 20 reviews of the scientific evidence across the world had found no evidence that wind farms can directly cause health problems.
“In Australia, multiple reviews into the operation of wind farms have been carried out in the last three years, which have all given the wind industry a clean bill of health. A further comprehensive review into the issue by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is due to be released soon.
"Many of the issues relating to wind farms and health have already been tested in court cases across the country, which have all concluded in favour of wind energy."
For more information the Clean Energy Council has developed a comprehensive fact sheet on the issue of wind farms and health.
Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.