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Resource Documents: General (101 items)

RSSGeneral

Unless indicated otherwise, documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are shared here 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. • The copyrights reside with the sources indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations.


Date added:  February 11, 2021
GeneralPrint storyE-mail story

Peaks in bat activity at turbines and the implications for mitigating the impact of wind energy developments on bats

[abstract] Wind turbines are a relatively new threat to bats, causing mortalities worldwide. Reducing these fatalities is essential to ensure that the global increase in wind-energy facilities can occur with minimal impact on bat populations. Although individual bats have been observed approaching wind turbines, and fatalities frequently reported, it is unclear whether bats are actively attracted to, indifferent to, or repelled by, the turbines at large wind-energy installations. In this study, we assessed bat activity at paired turbine and control locations at 23 British wind farms. The research focussed on Pipistrellus species, which were by far the most abundant bats recorded at these sites. P. pipistrellus activity was 37% higher at turbines than at control locations, whereas P. pygmaeus activity was consistent with no attraction or repulsion by turbines. Given that more than 50% of bat fatalities in Europe are P. pygmaeus, these findings help explain why Environmental Impact Assessments conducted before the installation of turbines are poor predictors of actual fatality rates. They also suggest that operational mitigation (minimising blade rotation in periods of high collision risk) is likely to be the most effective way to reduce collisions because the presence of turbines alters bat activity.

Suzanne M. Richardson, Paul R. Lintott, David J. Hosken, Theo Economou, and Fiona Mathews
Hatherly Laboratories, Biosciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Centre for Ecology and Conservation, and College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter; University of the West of England, Bristol; University of Exeter, Cornwall, Tremough, Penryn, Cornwall; and University of Sussex, Falmer

Scientific Reports (2021) 11:3636 | doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-82014-9

Download original document: “Peaks in bat activity at turbines and the implications for mitigating the impact of wind energy developments on bats

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Renewables, land use, and local opposition in the United States

Author:  Gross, Samantha; and Brookings Institution

Decreasing greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector is crucial to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. The American public overwhelmingly favors renewable power, and the costs of wind and solar power have declined rapidly in recent years. However, inherent attributes of wind and solar generation make conflicts over land use and project siting more likely. Power plants and transmission lines will be located in areas not accustomed to industrial development, potentially creating opposition.

Wind and solar generation require at least 10 times as much land per unit of power produced than coal- or natural gas-fired power plants, including land disturbed to produce and transport the fossil fuels. Additionally, wind and solar generation are located where the resource availability is best instead of where is most convenient for people and infrastructure, since their “fuel” can’t be transported like fossil fuels. Siting of wind facilities is especially challenging. Modern wind turbines are huge; most new turbines being installed in the United States today are the height of a 35-story building. Wind resources are best in open plains and on ridgetops, locations where the turbines can be seen for long distances.

Even though people like wind and solar power in the abstract, some object to large projects near their homes, especially if they don’t financially benefit from the project. Transmission for renewable power can also be unpopular, and even more difficult to site when the power is just passing through an area, rather than directly benefiting local residents. This is an issue today building transmission to move wind power from the Great Plains and Upper Midwest states to cities in the east.

Technological and policy solutions can lessen the land use impact of renewable power and the resulting public opposition. Offshore wind eliminates land use, but it raises opposition among those concerned with the impact on the environment and scenic views. Building on previously disturbed land and combining renewable power with other land uses, like agriculture or building solar on rooftops, can minimize land use conflicts. Community involvement in project planning and regulations for land use and zoning can help to alleviate concerns. Nevertheless, there is no perfect way to produce electricity on an industrial scale. Policymakers must recognize these challenges and face them head-on as the nation transitions to a lower-carbon energy system.

Download original document: “Renewables, land use, and local opposition in the United States

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Date added:  October 3, 2019
GeneralPrint storyE-mail story

Comparison of inaudible windfarm noise and the natural environment noise whilst monitoring brainwaves and heart rate

Author:  Cooper, Steven

ABSTRACT—
A pilot study undertaken in late 2017 using inaudible wind turbine noise and persons having a heightened sensitivity to turbine noise found the test subjects could detect the presence of the signal by way of feeling (rather than hearing) the signal. A control group that had not been exposed to wind turbine noise was unable to detect or sense the inaudible signal. A single case study as a precursor to a further pilot study utilised inaudible wind turbine noise, inaudible white noise, inaudible surf (ocean) noise and an inaudible ventilation fan, was undertaken in a 126 m³ reverberation room and also in a 313 hemi-anechoic room, whilst monitoring of the test subject’s heart rate and brainwaves was obtained. The results of that testing are discussed.

Steven Cooper, The Acoustic Group, Australia

Proceedings of the 23rd International Congress on Acoustics, 9–13 September 2019, Aachen, Germany: pages 928–934

Download original document: “A comparison of inaudible windfarm noise and the natural environment noise whilst monitoring brainwaves and heart rate

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Date added:  August 25, 2017
General, Impacts, New YorkPrint storyE-mail story

Report on Wind Turbines to the Town of Enfield

Author:  Enfield Wind Farm Advisory Committee

Contents:
Report on Wind Turbines and Noise
    Introduction
    What Is Noise and How Is It Measured?
    Complaints
        Wind Turbine Syndrome
        Vibroacoustic Disease
    What Peer-Reviewed Literature Says
    Conclusions and Recommendations
Wind Turbine Noise
    Summary
        Conclusions
        Mitigations
    Introduction
    Animal Studies
    Human Studies
    Conclusion
Ice and Blade Fragment Throw
    Introduction
    Setback Mitigation
    Other Mitigation Measures
    Summary
Fire, Lightning, Mechanical Failure, Flicker and Other Miscellaneous Issues
    Overview – Mechanical Failure, Fire, Lightning
    Array Loss/Bearing Failure
    Fire
    Lightning
    Foundation Failure/Turbine Collapse
    Flicker
    The Impact of Flicker on Horses
    Stray Voltage
    Lighting of Turbines
    Aeroelastic Flutter Stability
    Bibliography
Water Resources – Climate and Air Quality
    Summary
Geology, Soils & Topography
    Test Borings
    Changes to the Turbines
    Monitoring

Download original document: “Enfield Report on Wind Turbines

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