Wind turbine noise: A serious problem or just an annoyance?


As more wind turbines are built, and as larger more powerful ones come on line, the number of complaints about noise and the potentially harmful side effects of living near them have increased. And the complaints are coming from Japan, Germany, Britain, Australia, and the U.S. Most victims say they suffer from insomnia, headaches, heart palpitations, dizziness or buzzing in the ear, and stress. In some cases, the symptoms are so pronounced entire families have abandoned their homes to escape them.

In response, industry groups including the American Wind Energy Assoc., and the Canadian Wind Energy Assoc., sponsored a report, Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects, An Expert Panel Review. It concluded that:

•There is no evidence that audible or sub-audible sounds emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.

•Vibrations from wind turbines transmitted through the ground are too weak to be detected by or affect humans.

•Sounds emitted by wind turbines are not unique. There is no reason to believe that the sounds from wind turbines could plausibly have direct adverse health consequences.

Not surprisingly, industry groups insists no new studies are needed and that current regulations are sufficient.

However, there are a host of consumer groups around the world concerned about wind-turbine noise and the urgent need for more real-world studies, including the Society for Wind Vigilance and SOUL, The Barmoor Anti Wind Farm Group. These groups that find the report and it conclusions less than compelling. They say, for example, that the report acknowledges wind-turbine noise causes stress and sleep disturbance that lead to adverse physiological and psychological symptoms, but then ignores the consequences. These groups also note that the report ignores research and noise guidelines established by the World Health Organization.

Videos of both sides of the issue:

Pro-wind turbine references:



A downloadable copy of the report: A/Can WEAs’ Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects, An Expert Panel Review:

Anti-wind turbine references:

The Society for Wind Vigilance:

SOUL, The Barmoor Anti Wind Farm Group:

Analysis of the A/CanWEA Panel Review:

A copy of the report: Summary of recent research on adverse health effects of wind turbines:

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