Resource Documents: Finland (5 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: Holttinen, Hannele
[abstract] The variations of wind power production will increase the flexibility needed in the system when significant amounts of load are covered by wind power. When studying the incremental effects that varying wind power production imposes on the power system, it is important to study the system as a whole: only the net imbalances have to be balanced by the system. Large geographical spreading of wind power will reduce variability, increase predictability and decrease the occasions with near zero or peak output. The goal of this work was to estimate the increase in hourly load-following reserve requirements based on real wind power production and synchronous hourly load data in the four Nordic countries. The result is an increasing effect on reserve requirements with increasing wind power penetration. At a 10% penetration level (wind power production of gross demand) this is estimated as 1·5%–4% of installed wind capacity, taking into account that load variations are more predictable than wind power variations.
Hannele Holttinen, Technical Research Centre of Finland
Wind Energy 2005; 8:197–218. DOI: 10.1002/we.143
Download original document: “Impact of Hourly Wind Power Variations on the System Operation in the Nordic Countries”
Author: Hongisto, Valtteri; Oliva, David; and Keränen, Jukka
The existing exposure-response relationships describing the association between wind turbine sound level and noise annoyance concern turbine sizes of 0.15-3.0 MW. The main purpose of this study was to determine a relationship concerning turbines with nominal power of 3-5 MW. A cross-sectional survey was conducted around three wind power areas in Finland. The survey involved all households within a 2 km distance from the nearest turbine. Altogether, 429 households out of 753 participated. The households were exposed to wind turbine noise having sound levels within 26.7-44.2 dB LAeq. Standard prediction methods were applied to determine the sound level, LAeq, in each participant’s yard. The measured sound level agreed well with the predicted sound level. The exposure-response relationship was derived between LAeq outdoors and the indoor noise annoyance. The relationship was in rather good agreement with two previous studies involving much smaller turbines (0.15-1.5 MW) under 40 dB LAeq. The Community Tolerance Level (CTL), CTL20 = 50 dB, was 3 dB lower than for two previous studies. Above 40 dB, a small number of participants prevented a reliable comparison to previous studies.
Valtteri Hongisto, David Oliva, and Jukka Keränen
Indoor Environment Research Group, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 2017 Oct;142(4):2185
Download original document: “Indoor noise annoyance due to 3-5 megawatt wind turbines—An exposure-response relationship”
Author: Tuulivoima-kansalaisyhdistys ry
From the English press release:
Tuulivoima-kansalaisyhdistys (TV-KY) ry – the National Association of Citizens Against Giant Windmills – has recently released an extensive report on the infrasound emissions from wind turbines and their impact on people’s health.
The wind turbines being built in close proximity to residential areas in Finland are the biggest in Europe. Their rotating blades generate low frequency noise and infrasound, i.e. frequent and continuous air pressure pulses that can travel for very long distances.
Low frequency noise refers to frequencies between 20-200 Hz that are audible to the human ear, and infrasound refers to frequencies between 0.1-20 Hz that can’t be picked up by the human ear. Wind power companies, as well as some researchers, have claimed that “infrasound can’t cause adverse health effects as it is inaudible”. Similarly, we could maintain that radiation isn’t harmful as it is beyond sensory perception.
However, in the summer of 2015 the German Max Planck Institute released a study conducted using a new kind of measurement technology. Contrary to the well-established view, the study showed that the alarm mechanisms of the human brain are sensitive to very low infrasound that is below the hearing threshold.
The need for a survey conducted by the TV-KY Association arose when a growing number of residents in areas located near wind farms started to report health problems, some of which were serious. The measurements showed that the rapidly changing low frequency noise and infrasound caused by wind turbines can indeed be measured inside Finnish homes. Low frequencies permeate the structures of buildings and they can be disturbingly distinguishable from background noise, particularly indoors. Infrasound, on the other hand, can’t be picked up by the human ear, but the residents complain over a great number of symptoms, some of which are serious. The emergence and degree of problems depend on the strength and length of exposure.
In Finland, large scale wind farms have only been constructed for a few years. We don’t yet have any records of the number of people who have had health problems caused by the infrasound emissions of wind turbines. For this report, we interviewed 12 Finnish families who live in close proximity to giant wind turbines in Finland, and we collected the experiences of 55 people concerning the health impacts of industrial wind power production. Out of these 55 people, 33 suffer from sleep disturbances, 26 from ear problems, 23 from headache, 17 from nausea, 11 from heart problems and 11 from inertia.
In addition to infrasound emissions, the audible low frequency noise of the up to 230 m tall wind turbines is directed with force horizontally away from the rotating blades, both downwind and against the wind. The massive air pressure pulse, generated by the blades, that varies with 1-2 seconds intervals, produces low frequency noise that isn’t actually directed at the foot of the wind turbine or on the side.
This partly explains why the interviewed residents in areas that are close to wind farms don’t react identically to wind turbine noise, which is at its worst during night time.
In our measurements, we used a microbarometer, an exceedingly accurate instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure. The measurements were carried out in homes that had reported adverse health effects caused by wind turbines. The report presents the noise measurements carried out inside the homes of some families interviewed in the survey. The infrasound emissions from wind turbines were clearly perceivable.
The report describes what types of well-known health problems are caused by infrasound and what kind of mechanisms are involved. In addition to this, the report contains basic information on the infrasound emissions of wind turbines and on how those emissions can be measured.
Author: Balotari-Chiebao, Fabio; et al.
Abstract. As a clean and renewable energy source, wind power is expected to play a major role in climate change mitigation. Despite its benefits, the construction of large-scale wind farms in many parts of the world is a cause of concern for wildlife, including the often vulnerable raptor populations. Here, we examined the influence of distance to wind-power plants on the white-tailed eagle Haliaeetus albicilla in terms of (1) breeding success; (2) post-fledging survival; and (3) territory occupancy and turbine avoidance (via nest site changes). Our results show that the probability of a pair breeding successfully is lower when the territory is located closer to turbines, potentially because of collision mortality (to which adults are particularly vulnerable). A capture-mark-recapture analysis showed no evidence for the effect of distance on post-fledging survival, suggesting that collision risk may not have been greater for juveniles that fledged closer to a power plant. The levels of disturbance experienced by birds in the study areas were not great enough to prevent breeding at closer distances to the turbines. Our findings on breeding success underline the importance of building appropriately sited wind farms as a way to reduce or avoid undesirable effects on avian populations.
F. Balotari-Chiebao, J.E. Brommer, T. Laaksonen
Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
WWF Finland, Helsinki, Finland
Animal Conservation. Published online before print, October 19, 2015.
Download original document: “Proximity to wind-power plants reduces the breeding success of the white-tailed eagle”