- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Wind turbines can be hazardous to people’s health

Although I understand the ACT is not well suited to wind energy, the reference in ACT Labor’s renewable energy plan to large-scale wind farms is cause for concern (”ACT Labor’s bid for 90 pc clean energy”, September 19, p3).

In contrast with solar technologies, industrial wind turbines have many disadvantages, including being community dividers par excellence. In Scotland and England, turbines are breeding like rabbits and are now at loggerheads with planning and heritage considerations.

A landmark legal hearing in Ontario, Canada, last year concluded: ”This case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents.”

Research is still needed to determine what ”setback” distances are needed to protect human health. However, such distances may turn out to be much larger than what is currently considered acceptable.

That the disturbance caused by the new large turbines is not trivial is highlighted by concerns about low-frequency vibrations from the British Ministry of Defence. It objected to any wind farms within 80 kilometres of Eskdalemuir in Scotland in case this compromised its nuclear test monitoring capacity. In Scotland, the Tharpaland International Buddhist retreat has been forced to sell as the monks found meditators suffered from ”acute physical symptoms” after as little as a few hours next to three wind farms.

Murray May, Cook