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

The health issues, and not the acquisition of neighbouring properties, are the real problems in connection with giant wind turbines

KL [National Union of Local Councils], in an application of 21st January 2013 to the group involved in the settlement of the energy agreement 2012, has put forward a proposal regarding formation of an arrangement to buy up large open country areas – to buy properties, “that are in the way of future wind turbine areas”. The reason for this arrangement should be “to establish bigger – and thus fewer – areas for building of wind turbines on land”. It is the opinion of the KL that this arrangement could also “contribute to avoid conflicts with the closest neighbours”.

The proposal is put forward in connection with a decision “that the government mid 2013 will put forward an introduction as to how the building of wind turbines can be supported by new planning tools, strategic environmental valuation and improvements of the framework conditions”.

The national association Neighbours of Giant Wind Turbines with this letter want to point out to KL, the parliamentary parties as well as to the public that buying up of properties within the present distance regulations and noise limits is not the problem that is first and foremost on the list of issues that the settlement partners should deal with. However the revision of “The Announcement regarding wind turbine noise” is.

When this announcement in 2011 was ‘in consultation’ there were in the resulting response warnings from the work environment medical side that the announcement does not adequately protect neighbours against the health impact, among other things because disturbance of sleep affects people’s health. Status now is that exactly what the warnings predicted, is the situation that has proved to exist by the turbines that are already erected. Here are some examples:

DASAM (scientific association under the medical association) writes in their consultation response in November 2011 that DASAM sees it as relevant that the Health Administration undertakes a professional health valuation of the effects of – as planned – the introduction of several thousand wind turbines in Denmark.

The Environmental Minister in June 2012 says that the problem has never been scientifically investigated and that influences on cardiovasculars diseases cannot be ruled out.

Danish neighbours as mentioned above have started to report the influence on their health and the first cases have by the occupational health doctors been linked to wind turbine noise.

So there is no doubt that the noise announcement does not protect neighbours sufficiently against the effects on their health. There is no doubt at all about the influence on the health, the question is just how much.

LNtK is often from various people in the wind turbine debate accused of scaremongering. The above facts from real life speak for themselves. Our work aims at information and on the background of the above LNtK has formulated the following main demands:

A new noise announcement is to be drawn up that defines noise limits that apply to all wind speeds and protect people’s health. Independent, scientific empirical research in the health area is to be initiated so that the occupational health relevant noise- and distance requirements are identified.

People are not to be used as guinea pigs. Until there is certainty with regards to the health risks that are associated with being a neighbour to a wind turbine the building of wind turbines on land must be postponed.

KL’s application to the settlement partners completely bypass this problem. A new announcement that takes into account the neighbours’ actual situation must precede an improvement of the framework conditions and thus extend the possibilities of building wind turbines within the current – and inadequate – noise- and distance demands.

If there are deliberations regarding acquisition of properties it should be for the purpose of increasing the distance to the neighbours, and a new announcement regarding the noise and distance demands must be the planning premise.

Therefore there is no doubt that the announcement must be changed before the building of turbines on land continues.

To the National Union of Local Councils (KL), FAO Erik Nielsen and Kristian Wendelboe

cc to the energy and health spoke persons of the members of parliament and the mayors of Denmark’s councils