November 9, 2014
Announcements, Noise, Studies, U.K.

Working group to investigate wind turbine excess amplitude modulation noise

Independent Noise Working Group

30 Oct 2014

We are pleased to announce the formation of an Independent Noise Working Group to investigate wind turbine Excess Amplitude Modulation noise.

Ask anyone living close to a wind farm about the noises it makes. Many will tell you that the most annoying is a ‘swish/thump’ from the turbine blades that frequently occurs at night. It isn’t its loudness that upsets – for this they should have protection through the normal planning process – but its recurrent, sleep disturbing, nature. The noise is called ‘excess’ amplitude modulation (EAM). Until recently, EAM has been a mystery that has created a huge problem for the wind power industry, (which presumably does not wish to create intolerable conditions for people living close to wind farms), the planning system (which has to consider the impact on the public when granting permission for wind farms to be built) and local authorities (which have to investigate complaints about the nuisance from working turbines).

In 2013 the wind industry trade association RenewableUK published a series of in-house commissioned studies that led it to conclude that the EAM problem is ‘too large to ignore’ and in response the Institute of Acoustics (IoA) has convened a Noise Working Group to investigate and propose a method by which it can be controlled. To adequately protect the public from EAM, it is vital that this group:

1. is independent of any financial interest in wind power;

2. has experience of field measurement and observation of EAM;

3. can call on the best available science; and

4. takes objective note of consultations with other interested parties and scientists.

Regrettably, its published terms of reference and composition suggest this may not be the case.

In response to a request from Chris Heaton-Harris MP (Con. Daventry), this new multidisciplinary and financially disinterested group wholly independent from the IoA’s Noise Working Group, will review the evidence for EAM and produce a rationale for effective controls on wind turbine EAM. It will report early in the New Year.

Contact and Offers of Help
For more information on this group including its terms of reference, please contact the study editor, Richard Cox at

The group would like to hear from individuals wishing to offer their expertise in these disciplines: Acoustics, Physics, Meteorology, Data Analysis, Environmental Health, Audiology (including sleep disturbance) and legal and planning.

Download : “Wind Turbine Amplitude Modulation and Planning Control Study Terms of Reference” [1]

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[1] Download : “Wind Turbine Amplitude Modulation and Planning Control Study Terms of Reference”: