Resource Documents: Impacts (117 items)
Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate.
Author: Zajamšek, Branko; Hansen, Kristy; Doolan, Con; and Hansen, Colin
This paper seeks to characterise infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN) from a wind farm, which contains distinct tonal components with distinguishable blade-pass frequency and higher harmonics. Acoustic measurements were conducted at dwellings in the vicinity of the wind farm and meteorological measurements were taken at the wind farm location and dwellings. Wind farm ILFN was measured frequently under stable and very stable atmospheric conditions and was also found to be dependent on the time of year. For noise character assessment, wind farm ILFN was compared with several hearing thresholds and also with the spectra obtained when the wind farm was not operating. Wind farm ILFN was found to exceed the audibility threshold at distances up to 4 km from the wind farm and to undergo large variations in magnitude with time.
Branko Zajamšek, Con J. Doolan
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Kristy L. Hansen
Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
Colin H. Hansen
University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Journal of Sound and Vibration 370 (2016) 176–190
Author: Roeleke, Manuel; et al.
Worldwide, many countries aim at countering global climate change by promoting renewable energy. Yet, recent studies highlight that so-called green energy, such as wind energy, may come at environmental costs, for example when wind turbines kill birds and bats. Using miniaturized GPS loggers, we studied how an open-space foraging bat with high collision risk with wind turbines, the common noctule Nyctalus noctula (Schreber, 1774), interacts with wind turbines. We compared actual flight trajectories to correlated random walks to identify habitat variables explaining the movements of bats. Both sexes preferred wetlands but used conventionally managed cropland less than expected based on availability. During midsummer, females traversed the land on relatively long flight paths and repeatedly came close to wind turbines. Their flight heights above ground suggested a high risk of colliding with wind turbines. In contrast, males recorded in early summer commuted straight between roosts and foraging areas and overall flew lower than the operating range of most turbine blades, suggesting a lower collision risk. Flight heights of bats suggest that during summer the risk of collision with wind turbines was high for most studied bats at the majority of currently installed wind turbines. For siting of wind parks, preferred bat habitats and commuting routes should be identified and avoided.
Manuel Roeleke, Stephanie Kramer-Schadt, and Christian C. Voigt
Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 28961 (2016)
Author: Wagner, Fritz; and Rachlew, Elisabeth
Abstract. The Swedish electricity supply system benefits strongly from the natural conditions which allow a high share of hydroelectricity. A complete supply is, however, not possible. Up to now, nuclear power is the other workhorse to serve the country with electricity. Thus, electricity production of Sweden is basically CO₂-free and Sweden has reached an environmental status which others in Europe plan to reach in 2050. Furthermore, there is an efficient exchange within the Nordic countries, Nordpol, which can ease possible capacity problems during dry cold years. In this study we investigate to what extent and with what consequences the base load supply of nuclear power can be replaced by intermittent wind power. Such a scenario leads unavoidably to high wind power installations. It is shown that hydroelectricity cannot completely smooth out the fluctuations of wind power and an additional back-up system using fossil fuel is necessary. From the operational dynamics, this system has to be based on gas. The back-up system cannot be replaced by a storage using surplus electricity from wind power. The surplus is too little. To overcome this, further strong extension of wind power is necessary which leads, however, to a reduction of the use of hydroelectricity if the annual consumption is kept constant. In this case one fossil-free energy form is replaced by another, however, more complex one. A mix of wind power at 22.3GW plus a gas based back-up system with 8.6GW producing together 64.8TWh would replace the present infrastructure with 9GW nuclear power producing 63.8TWh electricity. The specific CO₂-emission increases to the double in this case. Pumped storage for the exclusive supply of Sweden does not seem to be a meaningful investment.
Fritz Wagner, Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, Greifswald, Germany
Elisabeth Rachlew, Department of Physics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
European Physical Journal Plus (2016) 131: 173
Author: Schäffer, Beat; et al.
[Abstract] Current literature suggests that wind turbine noise is more annoying than transportation noise. To date, however, it is not known which acoustic characteristics of wind turbines alone, i.e., without effect modifiers such as visibility, are associated with annoyance. The objective of this study was therefore to investigate and compare the short-term noise annoyance reactions to wind turbines and road traffic in controlled laboratory listening tests. A set of acoustic scenarios was created which, combined with the factorial design of the listening tests, allowed separating the individual associations of three acoustic characteristics with annoyance, namely, source type (wind turbine, road traffic), A-weighted sound pressure level, and amplitude modulation (without, periodic, random). Sixty participants rated their annoyance to the sounds. At the same A-weighted sound pressure level, wind turbine noise was found to be associated with higher annoyance than road traffic noise, particularly with amplitude modulation. The increased annoyance to amplitude modulation of wind turbines is not related to its periodicity, but seems to depend on the modulation frequency range. The study discloses a direct link of different acoustic characteristics to annoyance, yet the generalizability to long-term exposure in the field still needs to be verified.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 2016 May;139(5):2949.
Beat Schäffer, Reto Pieren, Kurt Heutschi
Laboratory for Acoustics/Noise Control, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland
Sabine J. Schlittmeier, Ralf Graf, and Jürgen Hellbrück
Work, Environmental, and Health Psychology, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Eichstätt, Germany
Noise and NIR Division, Federal Office for the Environment, Bern, Switzerland