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Noise issues at only 3% of wind turbine sites – but problems can be solved



A new study has found that only 15 of the 521 wind farm sites it analysed suffer with noise problems – which the authors claim can be fixed using specialist software.

The report, published by wind and marine energy trade association RenewableUK, analysed previous reports carried out by academic institutions in 2007 and said that the results were similar.

Noise is believed to occur when the blades of a turbine partially stall due to a sudden change in wind conditions. The report says that the noise is similar to that of a single carriageway road.

The noise – known as other amplitude modulation – is a low-frequency sound and can be heard up to a kilometre away. However, the Temple Group environmental consultancy, which authored the report, said that the problem can be solved through making changes to the software which commands the running of the turbines.

RenewableUK deputy chief executive Maf Smith said, “The research shows that this only affects a limited number of wind farm sites, and when it does occur it can be resolved using a software fix which controls the angle of the turbine blades.”

Smith added that it was the responsibility of the wind industry to lead investigations into such issues.

Whilst those opposed to wind farms sometimes refer to noise as justification for their opposition, a recent survey found that 70% of Britons were happy with wind farms being built near their homes.

Further reading:

70% of people ‘happy’ with wind farms being built near their homes

Majority of public want ‘fair, affordable and sustainable energy’, says study

Increase in support for renewable energy in government poll

Renewables receive ‘unequivocal vote of confidence’ in poll

The Guide to Limitless Clean Energy 2013


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