Windfarm noise – Renowned acoustician denounces double standards in noise regulations

UPDATE: Josh adds a cartoon and writes:

An extraordinary quote from a Scottish Wind Farm Landowner.

But with recent news that wind farms have been paid a secret £13 million compensation to shut down over the last few months it is no wonder all those in the industry are hearing the clink of cash above the roar of the turbines.

If you are wondering what a wind turbine sounds like and what a blight it can be watch this short video.

If, like me, you love birds then you might find this video a bit too sad.But this will cheer you up a bit … and this one.

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FROM EPAW:

Tricks are used to allow wind farms too close to habitations

In an email replying to the European Platform against Windfarms (EPAW), world-leading specialist in low-frequency sound Professor Henrik Moller of Aalborg University denounces the improper acoustic measurements carried out by Danish authorities. As a result, he says, the new regulations for wind farm noise are not in line with industrial noise standards.

According to EPAW, this effectively constitutes discrimination against wind farm neighbors, which now have less protection than other citizens – in Denmark, but also in those countries that may take their cues from the small kingdom.

Henrik Moller and his team of acousticians have been consulted by DEPA, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. But their recommendations have been ignored: “We had many objections to the proposal, but none of these were accommodated in the final version” (1). Answering a question from EPAW, the Professor explains how the new regulations will not effectively enforce the 20 dB(A) limit of low-frequency noise levels regarding wind farms, but that this limit is indeed being applied to other industries (2). Notes Mark Duchamp, of EPAW: “In reality, this is a case of double standards.”

In his email to EPAW dated Feb. 5, 2012, Professor Moller wrote: “All these errors sum up to probably not far from 10 dB, which means that the limit is suddenly not 20 but rather 30 dB(A). But the rules are claimed to give the same protection as for industrial sources, which is simply not true.”  His letter is reproduced below (2).

“At low frequencies,” continues the Professor, “the perceived intensity, the loudness, increases more steeply above threshold than at higher frequencies. This means that when the level is a few decibels above the 20 dB limit, the consequences are more severe, than if a limit for higher frequencies is exceeded by the same amount. Few people would probably accept 25 dB(A) in their home at night and hardly anyone would accept 30 dB(A).”

Adds Duchamp: “It would appear that the Danish authorities have been cooking the figures to accommodate the wind industry. Years ago, governments were protecting tobacco companies; today, they absolve wind farms of all sins and help them commit more.”

The North-American Platform against Windpower (NA-PAW) joins EPAW in denouncing these manipulations which threaten wind farm neighbors within and beyond Denmark’s frontiers. EPAW and NA-PAW in turn are joined by the Waubra Foundation, Australia’s best known organization investigating the serious health issues affecting wind farm neighbors.

References:

(1) – Quote from the Aalborg University web page on the new wind turbine noise regulations:

http://www.es.aau.dk/sections/acoustics/press/new-danish-regulations-for-wind-turbine-noise/

(2) – Email of February 5, 2012 from Professor Henrik Moller to EPAW:

Dear Mark Duchamp

The Danish 20 dB(A) limit for low-frequency noise cannot be compared to normal noise limits because

  • it is an indoor limit and not an outdoor limit like usual limits for wind turbine noise
  • the limit applies to the limited frequency range of 10-160 Hz – only frequencies in that range are included – the level of the full frequency range may be higher

Without an acoustical background, it may be difficult to understand how much 20 dB(A) 10-160 Hz noise is, but the limit is the same as for industrial noise in Denmark, and it is in the same order of magnitude as the limits in most other countries that have low-frequency limits (the limit may be defined in completely different ways). Most people will easily hear a noise at that level, and some will find it annoying, in particular if it goes on round the clock.

At low frequencies, the perceived intensity, the loudness, increases more steeply above threshold than at higher frequencies. This means that when the level is a few decibels above the 20 dB limit, the consequences are more severe, than if a limit for higher frequencies is exceeded by the same amount. Few people would probably accept 25 dB(A) in their home at night and hardly anyone would accept 30 dB(A). Therefore, measurements must be accurate.

In the new Danish statutory order for wind turbines, the noise is not measured but calculated. This need not be a problem, if the calculations are correct. But they are not.

The main problem is the sound insulation used to obtain indoor levels. The statutory order gives values to be used in the calculation, and these values are based on measurements in 26 Danish houses. Unfortunately, wrong measurements.

Sound at low frequencies varies a lot in a room, and according to the Danish rules for industrial noise, the level should – briefly explained – be measured, where the annoyed person finds it loudest. The sound insulation must be measured the same way in order to be applicable for calculations of indoor levels from the outdoor level. But it was not. The indoor measurement positions were simply chosen randomly and not selected for the high level. Thus the obtained values of sound insulation are too high – by several decibels.

Furthermore, statistical sound insulation values were chosen (from the wrong data) so that 33% of the houses have poorer sound insulation, meaning that the limit may be exceeded in 33% of the cases.

And finally, the calculated values may exceed the limit by a 2 dB uncertainty value. Measured levels from industrial sources are not allowed to exceed the limit.

All these errors sum up to probably not far from 10 dB, which means that the limit is suddenly not 20 but rather 30 dB(A). But the rules are claimed to give the same protection as for industrial sources, which is simply not true.

I hope this helps your understanding.
Sincerely,

Henrik Møller

Henrik Møller

Professor

Section of Acoustics, Department of Electronic Systems

Aalborg University

Fredrik Bajers Vej 7 B5

DK-9220 Aalborg Ø, Denmark

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106 thoughts on “Windfarm noise – Renowned acoustician denounces double standards in noise regulations

  1. The anti wind people are doing the right things for the wrong reasons. They are not trying to protect people from the devistating problems associated with wind turbines. They are trying to protect the coal, gas and oil industries who do far more damage to peoples health and quality of life. They are selling a devil known by creating doubt about the new devil in town. They learned how to do it from religions. We can’t possibly be raping your children and engaging in daisy chains when nobody is looking. We are pro life and hate homosexuals. Didn’t you read the brochure?

  2. When Gaia must be saved,
    what’s Green gets a free pass.
    What’s always worked before,
    must get it in the [assets].

    (Pardon me, Mr. Greenpeace rep, but will you be using Fair Trade latex?)

  3. Living with my window facing a highway, I can tell you how loud some seemingly quiet low frequency noises can be. And the worst part of it is that you can FEEL them as much as you can hear them, so there’s really no way to block out those low frequencies. Explains why so many neighbors to Wind turbines have complained about the noise level, though, if they’ve been cooking the books to make it “Acceptable”.

  4. Just to make this clear; one doesn’t have to be a Professor of Acoustics like Henrik Møller to see that there is one standard for them, and one standard for industry that actually makes things.

    I spent just a few hours of my Engineering studies at university on acoustics as such, out of more time on general virbrational analysis. With that inkling of “specialist” knowledge, I immediately suspected that the “measurement” method appears to have been designed to facilitate conformance, not to provide an environment where people can relax and rest.

    I suspect that the modes of transmission (as identified in the translation of submission to DEPA by the university) have been deliberately ignored.

    Gross theoretical extrapolation from scant measurements are of no practical value to acoustic engineering.. (Does anybody _not_ recognize a pattern here?) And it’s inappropriate theory in some cases which produces “measurements” by which compliance is judged.

  5. In my experience, it doesn’t have much to do with decibel level. That can be quite low, but a sound that continuously repeats itself with each pulse identical to the preceding one can be extremely stressful. Electric motors driving blowers or extractors working 24/7 are bad culprits in that respect. I have lived near a river weir; the sound was continuous but the variety of detail within the sound made it soothing. I have also lived near street traffic lights. Once again, the noise level from vehicles was quite high, however it was just about tolerable because it varied. I have never lived near a wind farm, but can well imagine the stress caused by repeated wooshes, even at low Db.
    So how do you determine the nuisance level just by counting decibels?

  6. The “20 dB(A) limit of low-frequency noise levels regarding wind farms”? dB(A)? The dB(A) scale rolls off steeply at both high and low frequencies, because it is a weighting devised specifically for assessing the noise levels from industrial machinery, which is mostly at midrange frequencies. It weights 160Hz by about -12dB, and anything below 20Hz (where much of the ‘thumping’ from wind farms occurs) by -50dB or more. Accordingly, use of the dB(A) scale for assessing the noise impact from something like a wind farm, which generates its noise primarily at low and very low frequencies, is entirely inappropriate in any circumstances. The standards should either be based on a weighting curve which gives full, or at least near-full, readings at these low frequencies, such as dB(C) (about -12dB at 10Hz) or, better given the frequencies involved, unweighted. Wikipedia article here has the curves.

    I would question whether Prof. Moller’s distinction between indoor noise and outdoor noise is particularly relevant at the low frequencies involved. Although it is relatively straightforward to insulate an indoor environment against midband and high frequency noise, insulating it against low frequency noise is practically impossible without resorting to the sort of heavy engineering employed in the construction of anechoic chambers – massive walls, putting the whole ‘environment’ on a soft springy suspension, etc.. Otherwise, LF noise outside –> LF noise inside, with very little attenuation. Been there, measured it with very expensive testgear (not my own, alas).

    The LF noise situation from wind farms is bad enough as it is, without the authorities fiddling the figures to pretend that it’s not really a problem at all. Prof. Moller is right to draw attention to this matter.

  7. Once again, sound science is trashed to give a greenie a go. Too bad the greenies have turned into gremlins, exploiting people’s natural sympathy. Looks like a Yin Yang pendulum has started.

  8. In the UK the wind industry wrote its own noise standards because it knew wind turbines couldn’t meet the standards applied to all other industries. In its desire have hundreds of wind farms, the Government agreed to these wind turbine noise standards. People were not protected from the effect of wind turbine noise, but the wind industry was. That is clearly stated in the Government policy document.

  9. Joe, above, makes some wild claims as to the safety records of oil, gas and coal. There are more people killed in the wind industry than any other power industry. Scrubbed flue gasses are water vapour and CO2 neither of which are a problem.

    Wind power is expensive and produces little power. Without the high subsidies it would not be installed. Photo-voltaic cells are expensive and an examination of them by a university in the UK found that payback was 25 years. The cell life was found to be 21 years. So not too good either.

    24/7 power can be supplied by nuclear, oil, gas, coal. Tidal will work but not everywhere and is expensive. Hydroelectric is good in some places but can have a limited life due to lake sedimentation rates.

  10. Berndt Felsche: great comment, especially on the too-common tendency to generalize from too small (and often too constrained) a sample. Daniel Kahneman (“Thinking, Fast and Slow”) describes many cognitive errors –the belief in the infallibility of experts is one–and he says that we are wired to find it hard to reason from general principles and apply baseline data to evaluate our specific case. That requires analysis and research and objective weighting of complex data. We find it much too easy to reason the other way, look at our specific (arbitrary, even contrived) case and assume it will work everywhere. As we are finding out with wind turbines, that assumption may be wrong, and every one of those ten thousand turning blades will remind us of it, by day and especially by night.

  11. Adds Duchamp: “It would appear that the Danish authorities have been cooking the figures to accommodate the wind industry. Years ago, governments were protecting tobacco companies; today, they absolve wind farms of all sins and help them commit more.”

    There is an article in the left-wing Counterpunch newsletter that’s discussing noise levels and community complaints in the US.

    A 2010 petition to the EPA by Maine residents —triggered by the Vinalhaven controversy—implored the agency to involve itself in regulating wind turbine noise. It was rejected by EPA and an administrator who referred petitioners back to the same state regulator in Maine who subsequently resigned after the regulatory effort to tame turbine noise was thwarted by political meddling.

    Dead still. So quiet that a conversation can carry a mile. Hundreds of feet above the island, wind shear picks up the turbine blades and hurls them around (The sardonic anthem of turbine advocates on Vinalhaven is “Spin, baby, spin”.) casting sound pulses through moisture heavy air. At other times, sound from the turbines skips like a rock on the surface of a cove.

    Think of the sounds from a wind turbine as of a thunderstorm. The noise metric, called the dbA scale, captures the peal of thunderbolts. It fails to capture the low rumble of the storm; the vibration and hum of the turbines. Most wind noise controversies are framed around the dbA level because that is how the industry established the metric for sound in the 1990’s. At nighttime in Maine, for instance, the upper limit is set at 45dbA. For ordinary homeowners, though, to prove 45dbA is more complicated than pointing an acoustic measurement instrument and registering its results. Our neighbor group has chased in the middle of the night, in the middle of the freezing cold, pointing microphones and instrumentation at the pitch black sky in an effort to provide statistics and samples that state-hired consultants will accept. You can’t pick up the phone and complain. You have to pay for tests to prove your complaint. On that playing field, ie. what constitutes a verifiable and legitimate complaint, the goal posts keep moving. So far as low frequency noise is concerned, the goal posts that citizens are trying to reach might as well be on the other side of the world.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/09/big-winds-inconvenient-truth/

    The article goes on to make a few demands such as, “2) apply 35 dbA limits to nighttime operations immediately,” which is rather high considering what the Danish scientist says about the maximum tolerable levels of noise (30 dBA).

    It is well-worth reading in full.

  12. joe says:
    February 10, 2012 at 12:46 am
    “The anti wind people are doing the right things for the wrong reasons. [...] We are pro life and hate homosexuals. Didn’t you read the brochure?”

    joe, we know the warmists are wrong but your parody of them is a little over the top.

  13. John Marshall says:
    February 10, 2012 at 2:11 am
    “Joe, above, makes some wild claims as to the safety records of oil, gas and coal. There are more people killed in the wind industry than any other power industry.”

    With one exception: forestry, which is partially a power industry. Deaths and injuries from falling trees, chainsaw accidents etc are so common they don’t even make it out of the local news.

  14. In Australia it seems people paid a lot of money to have them on their property don’t experience any health problems. Their neighbours on the other hand soon turn into the walking dead. Funny that.

  15. February 2, 2012 4:00 A.M.
    Wind Energy, Noise Pollution
    Living near wind turbines can be hazardous to your health.

    By Robert Bryce

    Original with many embedded reference links found here:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/289920/wind-energy-noise-pollution-robert-bryce

    Copy found here, faster loading without the images or links, on one page:

    http://wind-watch.org/news/?p=18597

    (PIPA/SOPA disclaimer: site says it’s allowable “fair use” by a nonprofit.)

    Good reading, much info.

  16. I hate that this sort of thing happens in the world.

    Why can’t people be honest about something so basic?

  17. **So how do you determine the nuisance level just by counting decibels?**

    I can’t think of a model which could include the enormous nuisance caused by a low-decibel but inquisitive and hungry mosquito…..

  18. Has anybody considered what effect windmills have on the climate? They are taking energy out of the climate system, there must be some effect.

  19. Here’s a fun game to play with warmista.
    It goes like- remind them that rising CO2 causes rising temperatures.So far so good.
    Next, point them to this especially with reference to Domestic Electricity prices in Denmark, Germany and Spain. Suggest that rising numbers of windmills and solar panels explain what you see there.
    Beware, exploding heads can get messy……

  20. From The Telegraph (UK):

    Switch-off for noisy wind farms
    Wind turbines are being turned off during periods of high wind in case they become too loud.

    By Jasper Copping, and Richard Gray
    9:00PM GMT 19 Nov 2011

    They’ve been throttling back the beasties when the wind is strong to quiet them down, making them even closer to completely worthless.

    Which of course naturally leads to this new article:
    World’s biggest offshore wind farm opens off Britain as new minister admits high cost
    Ed Davey, the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary, has admitted offshore wind turbines are a high cost form of energy as he opened the world’s largest wind farm off the coast of north England.

    By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
    3:36PM GMT 09 Feb 2012

    Due to the noise on land provoking too many complaints, wind farm developers are moving turbines offshore, even if it does make them much more costlier to build and operate. (But hey, it’s not like the taxpayers and ratepayers are paying for it, right?)

    Animal rights groups sued the US Navy over their underwater sonar disturbing the marine life. Won’t the noise from the offshore wind turbines disturb the sea critters as well? Will the animal rights groups jump up to support their noble cause and sue to stop the offshore wind farms from disrupting the hapless ocean dwellers? Will they rise up to save the innocent intelligent dolphins from this vicious unwarranted onslaught?

  21. Tolerance of low frequency noise varies from person to person. My sister was nearly killed by the low frequency noise from a windfarm near her house in Wales. Her husband wasn’t affected. They had to sell their house and farm because she was unable to sleep from the noise, which she described more as a vibration than noise. The new owners don’t seem to be affected either. She has exceptionally sensitive hearing, and anyone with similar hearing will suffer badly.

  22. “Steve C says:
    February 10, 2012 at 1:43 am”

    Well said! Anyone who has suffered ear damage, such as myself, and has studied noise, at any frequency, knows this. Politics at work again!

  23. In Australia, we call it the ‘doof doof’ factor. If you have ever spent a night near where the local hoons drive round and round with their sound systems turned up full bore, you usually can’t hear the music, just ‘doof doof doof’ – the bass notes. I recently spent a night on the ninth floor of a hotel where the noise of the ‘doof doofs’ not only kept me awake, they made things in the room rattle. Earplugs don’t fix it.

    Low level bass sounds may not be very loud, but they can certainly be disturbing.

  24. “joe says:
    February 10, 2012 at 12:46 am

    They are trying to protect the coal, gas and oil industries who do far more damage to peoples health and quality of life.”

    With coal, gas and oil, generating electricity, even just considering how these fossil fuels provide access to clean water and water treatment plants to millions worlwide alone would prove this part, and the remainder, of you post null and void!

  25. Think for a moment of all the pain and suffering in the world. Then compare it to a few Danes whining about some low frequency noise a few decibels above some low threshhold disturbing their beauty sleep.

    Then think about how obsessed and silly it is to think this is newsworthy.

    Can you spell “knee-jerk reaction”, Watts? I knew you could.

  26. Since not everyone lives near these wind farms, is there a way to simulate the sound on a personal computer? A downloadable .wav file for example? I think it would help folks understand what the numbers really mean.

  27. @John Marshall – While there have undoubtedly been deaths in the wind industry, it’s hard to argue that they outnumber those in coal mining!

  28. I immediately suspected that the “measurement” method appears to have been designed to facilitate conformance, not to provide an environment where people can relax and rest.Think for a moment of all the pain and suffering in the world.

  29. @ Curiousgeorge –

    “frequency range of 10-160 Hz”

    I doubt if many folks have good enough speakers attached to their PCs in order to handle this low a frequency. Many modern speakers may be rated at 20 to 20,000 Hz, but may not give a good reproduction until over 40 or 50 Hz. It may be a rare speaker that gets down to 10 Hz, at least for general home use.

  30. I’ll finish the joke for you, shall I ….?
    “Something sounds rotten in the Kingdom of Denmark.”
    :)

  31. “How does wind’s mortality rate compare with that from other energy sources? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Part of the problem is that statistics on mortality rates for the full fuel cycle of coal, for example, are not readily available. And where available they use different units. Yet, it appears that the current mortality rate of wind energy of 0.15 deaths per TWh is roughly equivalent to that of mining, processing, and burning of coal to generate electricity according to some researchers.”-from:
    Wind Energy — The Breath of Life or the Kiss of Death: Contemporary Wind Mortality Rates
    by Paul Gipe
    Not to mention that coal and natural gas provided warmth and power when the wind doesn’t
    blow. Also:
    “Split atoms, not birds.”

  32. The Danish plan for higher noise levels being allowed for wind farms can be seen as a future green (well maybe not green- how about red for brick and mortar) job creator.

    Think of all the jobs that can/should/will be created to build sound barriers like the ones we have to minimize the noise pollution near freeways. Good paying jobs are there to be had. First you ignore the adverse effects for your preferred industry, then you get sued by some enterprising legal folks. So what would a jury say when the evidence is presented to them. The claimants will have firm data that shows the regulating bodies say it’s ok for X1…..X5 firms in industry Y to pollute the “n” commons to level 1.5* a. Firms in all other industries, not Y, have to have mitigation plans for pollutant a (noise) at levels < firms in industry Y….. Imagine all the jobs that can be created for the legal profession. Any left over money can then be used for the brick and mortar efforts to mitigate "n" to the same level all other industry have to meet……… I think I'd settle out of court……..

  33. Joe,
    Can you make yourself more clear on the windmill issue?
    I’m confused: Do you think windmills are a papist pedophile plot, or are the coal and oil interests (you do know that nearly no oil is used to make electric power, don’t you?) are spending money to fight windmills, which at best offers low single digit percentage of power supply? And to be very clear, are you suggesting that those who are opposed are motivated by perverse religious leanings and/or the big energy conspiracy?
    TIA,
    hunter

  34. The following is well worth a read on the effects of turbine noise :

    http://www.thegwpf.org/best-of-blogs/4894-robert-bryce-wind-turbines-a-noise-pollution.html

    Wind turbines are not good at producing useful electricity, they do not save much CO2 [2% to 4%], but they are good at killing wildlife. They are thus ecologically unsound. However the elite 1% can make huge profits from the vast subsidies, which is what really matters. Obviously this aspect is covered in greenwash so the gullible can be made to feel guilty if they object.

    If governments specially legislate against their people to protect the profits of the few I can see a time when people start trying to find out how easy or difficult it is to stop a turbine working.

  35. Since wind power can never replace other sources (which always need to be there as a backup), even one negative effect is gratuitous and avoidable.

    Every bird, bat and human that dies or is injured by a windmill has been sacrificed for nothing.

  36. Low freqs, especially below 30 cps, can be stressful in ways that aren’t shown on the dB meter. The lower you go, the more it affects your entire body instead of your ears. Such freqs also tend to induce sympathetic vibrations in walls and floors.

    Because your auditory system tends to ignore these freqs, you aren’t conscious of it, so the stress can build up.

    Example: the school near my house has a heating fan that sometimes goes wrong, producing a low rumble. I may notice that I’m twitchy and wiggly, but I don’t pin down the cause until the heating fan [presumably] reaches its limit of eccentricity and shuts off due to overload. The sudden silence finally catches my attention: “What was that?!” … and the twitching and wiggling stops with a vast sense of relief.

  37. I think bird mills are scary, noisy, inefficient and expensive. They are now used by the National Weather Service in the US as icons for windy conditions at forecast.weather.gov
    The wind farms get paid by the taxpayers to both produce and not produce electricity.
    What’s there to like them?

    Thanks, Anthony!

  38. @Curiousgeorge says:
    February 10, 2012 at 5:16 am
    Since not everyone lives near these wind farms, is there a way to simulate the sound on a personal computer? A downloadable .wav file for example? I think it would help folks understand what the numbers really mean.

    I am a member of a grassroots group trying to stop the senseless industrialization of the eastern shore of Lake Superior by these useless wind ‘power’ (sic!) developments. At a recent open house we played IWT sounds, recorded by an audio engineer, through a decent stereo system with a 12″ subwoofer and good tower speakers. The volume was set to measure 40dBA across a 20′ room, using a cheap decibel meter.

    Our group had rented the room next to the developer’s and set up our information booths, videos etc… We turned the speakers so that they faced the closed doors and wall between our room and the developers and put the IWT playback on repeat.

    The sound of the IWT could be heard through the sound tracks of our videos and the conversations of an average of 25 people in our room and the 50 or more in the developer’s. It was a constant intrusive background that never allowed the subconscious to tune it out. Some people were more annoyed by it than others – especially the developers who complained bitterly that what we were doing was unfair, prejudicial and unscientific :-) Some people even claimed that the noise made them slightly nauseated.

    The point of this story, other than to share our enjoyment at the poetic justice, was to point out that even with a very good sound system and speakers you won’t get the full effect of the IWT noise. First of all it is very difficult to accurately record the low frequency & infra-sound given off by IWT. Secondly most sound systems are designed to optomize the response in the 20Hz to 20,000 Hz range, that of our hearing and will thus not properly reproduce the lower frequencies produced by IWT. Furthermore it would require very large subwoofers and powerful amplifiers to generate the equivalent sound pressure an IWT does.

    So a PC with good speakers won’t do the job – but it will probably do it well enough to annoy windbaggers, LOL

    @Joules Verne

    Think of all the pain & suffering in the world and then compare it to a few people whinning about their human rights being being violated through interrogation, sleep deprivation, water boarding or torture.

    Then think how silly and obsessed it is to think it newsworthy!

    Can you spell “knee-jerk” reaction, Joules? I’m sure you can…

    Can you spell troll, Joules?

  39. One of the aspects of low-frequency sounds is that they are readily structure-borne. In some cases, sound levels within structures can be greater than outside. Gross structural resonant frequencies tend to be between 3 and 10 Hz and will pass more easily through the structure than free air.

    Speaking of frequencies, with the speed of sound at 330 m/s, low frequencies can establish resonance (standing waves) within room by reflections between walls. IIRC from 30 years ago, this can result in a doubling of acoustic pressure; a 3 dB increase. Furniture, etc can ameliorate the effect but why redecorate because of a wind generator outside?

    As others have observed, acoustic annoyance is down to much more than a weighted sound pressure level. 20µPa is the reference pressure for the decibels and “A” is an arbitrary weighting that approximates the “average” hearing sensitivity of the human ear to moderate acoustic pressure according to frequency. The weighting only corresponds closely to the actual sound pressure around 1kHz. Hearing is a psycho-acoustic response that varies with the pressure level. The A weighting is really only appropriate for moderate noise levels.

    Actual pressure levels are much higher at low frequencies than the A weighting indicates. According to the yellowing B&K (somehow appropriate!) acoustic noise measurement guide that I’ve just pulled off the shelf; at 20Hz and 20dBA, the sound pressure level is 80 dB (re 20µPa) so the pressure to move stuff is substantially more intense. Hence the tendency to be able to “feel” low-frequency sounds which are below the hearing threshold.

    B&K cautions “It should be recognized that scales developed to rate one particular type of noise may give wildly inaccurate predictions when used to rate another, especially if their spectral and temporal characteristics differ significantly”.

  40. @Curiousgeorge says:
    February 10, 2012 at 5:16 am
    Since not everyone lives near these wind farms, is there a way to simulate the sound on a personal computer? A downloadable .wav file for example? I think it would help folks understand what the numbers really mean.

    I am a member of a grassroots group trying to stop the senseless industrialization of the eastern shore of Lake Superior by these useless wind ‘power’ (sic!) developments.  At a recent open house we played IWT sounds, recorded by an audio engineer, through a decent stereo system with a 12″ subwoofer and good tower speakers.  The volume was set to measure 40dBA across a 20′ room, using a cheap decibel meter.

    Our group had rented the room next to the developer’s and set up our information booths, videos etc…  We turned the speakers so that they faced the closed doors and wall between our room and the developers and put the IWT playback on repeat.

    The sound of the IWT could be heard through the sound tracks of our videos and the conversations of an average of 25 people in our room and the 50 or more in the developer’s.  It was a constant intrusive background that never allowed the subconscious to tune it out.  Some people were more annoyed by it than others – especially the developers who complained bitterly that what we were doing was unfair, prejudicial and unscientific :-)  Some people even claimed that the noise made them slightly nauseated.

    The point of this story, other than to share our enjoyment at the poetic justice, was to point out that even with a very good sound system and speakers you won’t get the full effect of the IWT noise.  First of all it is very difficult to accurately record the low frequency & infra-sound given off by IWT.  Secondly most sound systems are designed to optomize the response in the 20Hz to 20,000 Hz range, that of our hearing and will thus not properly reproduce the lower frequencies produced by IWT.  Furthermore it would require very large subwoofers and powerful amplifiers to generate the equivalent sound pressure an IWT does.

    So a PC with good speakers won’t do the job – but a home stereo will appaently do it well enough to annoy windbaggers, LOL

    @Joules Verne says:
    February 10, 2012 at 4:36 am
    Think for a moment of all the pain and suffering in the world. Then compare it to a few people  whining about some infringement of their human rights through sleep deprivation, stress positions or maybe even a little waterboarding.

    Then think about how obsessed and silly it is to think this is newsworthy.

    Can you spell “knee-jerk reaction”, Joules? I knew you could.

    Can you spell troll, Joules?

  41. While I have some hearing loss from my time in the military, I am very sensitive to low frequency noise. I was running a table saw in an industrial setting and was bothered by a continuous booming that was rattling my head, After turning everything off in the shop, I was lead by the noise outside, where a woman with small children was sitting in a running car with the bass turned up. I politely asked her to turn the base down.

    Wonder if I can claim victim status under the American with Disabilities Act. Low frequency sensitivity. Maybe I can sue boom box makers!

  42. It never fails to amaze me how the mass development of ‘Bird-o-matics’ is acceptable to the green lobby. Yet a few dozen birds dying in tailing ponds is reason to mount a world-wide protest. Pure and simple hypocrisy!

  43. Joe attempts a variation on the Big Oil anti-green conspiracy and throws in some insults to social conservatives as well. This is just another means of distraction — nobody here is in the pay of Big Oil or Big Gas or Big Coal. The problem is wind power just doesn’t deliver. It diverts resources from energy source that work and puts them into sources that don’t work.

    On the other hand, green energy does reward the politically connected.

  44. @Joules Verne

    Think about the disposable income being leached from individuals to pay subsidies for these machines, reducing money available for charitable donations to help relieve the pain and suffering in the developing world. Also think about the impact of fuel poverty on the old.

  45. I’m all in favor of making all regulators live in the conditions to which they would willingly subject the rest of us. If they happen to stack up on them, too bad.

  46. Below 100Hz perceived loudness (measured in fones) once the threshold is exceeded is approximately twice as great as it is at 3000Hz, where the human hearing is at its most sensitive, for the same rise in the sound pressure (measured in decibels).

  47. “If, like me, you love birds then you might find this video a bit too sad”

    That one’s a hoax. Bad motion tracking.

  48. Noise isn’t the only legitimate concern that exists for wind power generators. Increasingly (at least for our New England utility), generators have been attempting to either co-locate their structures at an existing electric/gas utility location (e.g., a substation) or to establish them in close proximity to such locations. For reference, most New England utilities cannot possess generation assets due to the region’s movement toward deregulation in the late 1990s; however, they are obligated to purchase power from generators (with a certain percentage coming from renewables) to provide a default service to their customers.

    Provided the local conditions are favorable, wind power generators believe that such a pairing is (1) an easier sell to local officials (it’s already zoned and used for energy generation/transmission/distribution), (2) provides a quick connection to the local, electric transmission grid, and (3) allows the utility to purchase wind power, assuring that a portion of its load is already paid for and permitting the utility to meet some of its renewables requirement.
    Unfortunately, most utilities do not desire a tall structure nearby, which has the potential to shed snow/ice and/or its own components in a catastrophic failure over an appreciable radius. And yet, local officials tend to ignore this rather obvious concern when it comes to establishing siting conditions for wind generators – http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/doer/renewables/wind/wind-siting-study-04-15-09.pdf .

    In fact, local officials have been amazed that they neglected to review a legitimate, public safety concern (e.g., the likely result when blade debris impacts a 30,000-gallon LNG tank) – because the great majority of siting requirements are focused on the impact to Nature. As noted in the referenced Massachusetts study from 2009 (p. 2-3), “…[Wnd generators] can apply and receive exemptions from local zoning requirements via a state-level review process conducted by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). Under Massachusetts law, decisions on zoning approvals such as special permits can be appealed… Because harm to the general public interest is not sufficient, the standing rules for zoning cases are generally considered more stringent than those for environmental cases…” The general public interest is (apparently) a vague and nebulous thing – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeoVaqdwZXw&feature=related .

    So, similar to the Danish noise issue, it’s okay to fold, spindle, and otherwise mutilate little Bobby, but you’d better make damn sure Bambi doesn’t leave the turbine’s area with so much as a hangnail on his hoof. Once again, the counter-productive, impractical, and divisive outcome of an “eco-friendly” requirement manifests its “ugliness.” Properly sited, wind power generation serves a useful peaking role but is certainly no substitute for a dependable, base load.

  49. It’s too bad people think they can escape the annoyances of the village by moving into ground zoned for agricultural use. If you choose to live among farmers don’t expect the protections afforded within town. If you do you gamble a move to the countryside and imagine a bucolic life, your house may have a hog farm, a noisy grain dryer, or an unsightly transmission line or wind tower built next to it. As far as I’m concerned one of the great advantages of wind turbines is that it keeps the complainers within city limits where they belong.

  50. Even at a kilometre distance, the noise is disturbing. Imagine what it must be like much closer.

    This is not a rhetorical question. I recently passed a house near Peterborough, England situated on a main road, and just behind was several acres of industrial estate, containing – you guessed it – a wind farm. If I say that the nearest turbine was so close to the back yard of the house that you could reach out and touch it with a broom, that is not an exaggeration. It is the most literal description possible. And this poor house was not alone – just happened to be the closest. This was off a main road, remember, with other houses further along.

    Just how did this get past planning? I am too incredulous for words.

  51. Anthony:

    If, like me, you love birds then you might find this video a bit too sad.

    Bird morality rate by source

    Buildings 550 million
    Power lines 130 milllion
    Cats 100 million
    Automobiles 80 milllions
    Pesticides 67 million
    Communication towers 4.5 mlilion
    Wind turbines 28.5 thousand

    ….

    Is the case against wind turbines so weak, we need to invent reasons?

    We’re doing a study with the Swedes on wind turbine noise, looking at low frequency noise and infrasound generated from a wind-farm. Perhaps presently I’ll have something to comment on that aspect.

    But I have no doubt group hysteria and NIMBA are playing a significant role here.

    As Steven Mosher might say, either you’re a skeptic or you’re not. You don’t get to pick what you are a skeptic about and what you swallow without blinking and remain a true skeptic.

  52. Carrick. How many buildings/Power lines/Cats etc etc?

    Mind you I had no idea wind turbines killed quite so many birds – that’s appalling.

    And yes, you do get to pick what you are skeptic about (tho’ I know what you mean, it is still a daft thing to say).

  53. Josh: Mind you I had no idea wind turbines killed quite so many birds – that’s appalling.

    Uh yeah. 0.01% of all human caused bird deaths. Appalling is the word I’d use… for the argument that this is even microscopically significant.

    Yep, that’s a >really gigantic number compared e.g. to glass windows in buildings.

    And yes, you do get to pick what you are skeptic about (tho’ I know what you mean, it is still a daft thing to say)

    What is daft is you not reading the entire sentence before pulling the Mr. Snit act.

    I believe it ended with “…and remain a true skeptic”.

  54. Mr Snit? That is a new one for me, what does it mean? I will hazard a guess in the meantime ;-)

    Two things would be great. One is what the ratios are in your figures, eg. how many cats killed how many birds, obviously less than 100 million. And then compared to wind turbines.

    Second, we can all be true skeptics and still choose what we are skeptical about. In fact almost impossible to do otherwise. If it were a verb it would go something like this.

    I am skeptic
    You are biased
    He, she and it are idiots

    Etc etc.

  55. joe says:
    February 10, 2012 at 12:46 am

    They are trying to protect the coal, gas and oil industries who do far more damage to peoples health and quality of life.
    ————————————————-
    Did you ever consider the benefits of the energy sources that you malign? One might even say that coal, gas, and oil actually improve people’s health and quality of life. I know that I prefer driving my car and living in a heated home to the alternatives, and I’m pretty healthy. Anyway It doesn’t seem as if wind “power” is going to be able to displace coal, gas, or oil.

  56. What about the frequencies below 20hz? Are those frequencies measured / monitored? I ask because Infrasound (Sound at frequencies below 20hz), has been linked with various anxiety related symptoms in about 20% of people.

    I’m informed most commercially available sound meters (at least in the UK) are built to an ITEC standard which does not include sound waves below 10hz. Anyone know anything more?

  57. Carrick,
    the birds killed by wind turbines are mostly birds of prey. Being at the top of the food chain they are much rarer than sparrows and thrushes, so number by number comparisons are meaningless. It would be like arguing that we shouldn’t care about the deaths of a few hundred siberian tigers because so many millions of lesser mammals are killed by man.

    In fact, the more I think about that, the more appalled I am by your reasoning.

  58. Josh says:
    February 10, 2012 at 11:18 am
    Second, we can all be true skeptics and still choose what we are skeptical about. In fact almost impossible to do otherwise.

    I somewhat agree. The real scientist, even in scientists supporting CAGW by CO2, demonstrates skepticism.

    I don’t have the links to them, but I’m sure we see this in the ClimateGate emails.

  59. @Carrick

    So I guess you also think that people that are against killing sharks for their vins are overreacting, since there are so many sardines in the sea?

  60. Carrick said @ February 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Bird morality rate by source

    Buildings 550 million
    Power lines 130 milllion
    Cats 100 million
    Automobiles 80 milllions
    Pesticides 67 million
    Communication towers 4.5 mlilion
    Wind turbines 28.5 thousand

    ….

    Is the case against wind turbines so weak, we need to invent reasons?

    Carrick, you are missing something here. I referred in an earlier thread to the potential for wind turbines to send the Tasmanian wedgetail eagle extinct. The turbines are not killing any significant numbers of sea eagles, even though they greatly outnumber their cousins. The number of wedgetails killed by cats, buildings, power lines, pesticides and communication towers appears to be nil.

    Up to 40% of the wedgetail eagles’ diet is feral cats. Feral cats are causing a noticeable decline in our local small bird population so eliminating wedgies will undoubtedly increase the rate of small bird loss. Small birds eat many agricultural pest species (such as chafers & army worms), so that in turn will lead to a need to increase agricultural pesticide use. Consequent knock-on effects such as poisoning the small birds eating pests that have been sprayed with organophosphate insecticides will reduce their numbers even further.

    Don’t be so glibly simplistic.

  61. Carrick says:
    February 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

    “Buildings 550 million
    Power lines 130 milllion
    Cats 100 million
    Automobiles 80 milllions
    Pesticides 67 million
    Communication towers 4.5 mlilion
    Wind turbines 28.5 thousand”

    First to note is the age of the report, read especially the biases section, and the older age of the studies that was used.

    Secondly since 2003 US has installed some 41 000 MW more capacity compared to the around 6000 MW that was installed in 2003–the latest date under the “Avian Mortality Due to Collisions with Wind Turbines” section used.

    Thirdly more and more wind power gets installed around protected areas, apparently it has something to do with the wind.

  62. Re Carrick

    Is the case against wind turbines so weak, we need to invent reasons?

    No real need when there are precedents, like:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/syncrude-blames-freezing-rain-for-duck-deaths-at-tailings-pond/article1773540/

    “Last Friday, an Alberta court levied a $3-million dollar fine against Syncrude for the death of 1,606 mallards in 2008.”

    So there’s a going rate for a common duck, what price an endangered species killed by a wind turbine, bird or bat? Strange how oil companies get fined for bird deaths, but windmill operators do not.

  63. Although sound and vibrations are mostly referenced in this post, another issue referenced in the linked video is the flicker effect. I live in an area where I am surrounded by hundreds of windtowers. I lived on a farm where we were less than 1/4 of a mile from the towers ( that company would not build within 1,000 ft. of a farmhouse), but we were upwind, so noise was not so much of an issue. At certain times of the year ( late fall, winter and early spring) the flicker of the towers would wake me up in the morning. Now I have moved and live where the closest windtower is just over 3/4 of a mile from my house to the southwest. In the late afternoons I still get the flicker effect through my south facing windows. The towers that affect me have 90 foot blades, but I still get flickering in my house. It is noticeable if you are doing something, but it drives you nuts if you are sitting in an area where the light hits you. blink, blink, blink, blink…

  64. As some have noted, the bird-choppers kill the soarers, the big birds of prey that are relatively rare. They’re also pretty good at killing kites & hawks and although I’m not overly keen on flying rodents, bats too.

    Considering the rarity of the birds they kill and the sparsity of wind turbines, I’m surprised at the magnitude of the kill Carrick notes.

    DaveE.

  65. So much for the conservative principle of private property rights. The people who own the land where the windmills reside have every right in the world to put windmills on them.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too. I recall recently when someone near and dear to Anthony in Australia lost or almost lost their farm because neighbors didn’t like the smell and got the government to step in and pull their operating permit. In that case dear Anthony was all up in arms about protecting the private property rights of the odor factory. I agreed with him though because I’m no hypocrite. If you own land where there are no restrictions against something you don’t get to complain (without being a hypocrite) when a neighbor makes some legal use of their land that you don’t like. Tough break. That’s the price of freedom. Move to town if you want fewer land use rights in trade for your neighbors having fewer rights too.

    Yet now Anthony is all against someone using their land for a perfectly legal purpose. How perfectly hypocritical.

  66. Dave… ‘scuse me, “Joules”,

    Anthony is not a hypocrite. It’s not hypocritical to be against something. I’m 100% against windmills. I’m against paying taxes to subsidize them. And your analogy is no good, because in that case the gov’t went after one family. I’m against having windmills anywhere. Solar, not so much. But windmills have no redeeming value.

  67. Joules Verne said @ February 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    So much for the conservative principle of private property rights. The people who own the land where the windmills reside have every right in the world to put windmills on them.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too. I recall recently when someone near and dear to Anthony in Australia lost or almost lost their farm because neighbors didn’t like the smell and got the government to step in and pull their operating permit. In that case dear Anthony was all up in arms about protecting the private property rights of the odor factory. I agreed with him though because I’m no hypocrite. If you own land where there are no restrictions against something you don’t get to complain (without being a hypocrite) when a neighbor makes some legal use of their land that you don’t like. Tough break. That’s the price of freedom. Move to town if you want fewer land use rights in trade for your neighbors having fewer rights too.

    Yet now Anthony is all against someone using their land for a perfectly legal purpose. How perfectly hypocritical.

    Talking through your arse, Joules? Nobody complained about the smell until after they reduced the number of stock. Nobody complained about the piggery next door. Cowshit smells one hell of a lot nicer than pigshit! Anyone that moves into a rural community and then complains about farmers doing what farmers do is asking for trouble.

    Installing wind turbines on a property is vastly different to running sheep, cattle or other stock, providing they don’t affect anyone else; for example by not maintaining fences. I also note that many of the individuals complaining about the wind turbines are the very same people who campaigned to have them installed. Now that’s hypocrisy!

  68. I agree with the author on the issue of the pulsing noise being the source of the problem. Jet skiis are extremely annoying on the water because they whine in time with the waves. Boats with a similar noise level are not nearly as annoying, because the noise is constant and easily ignored.

  69. JohnWho says:
    February 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm
    I don’t have the links to them, but I’m sure we see this in the ClimateGate emails.

    I’m skeptical of your claim :)

  70. There’s always a reason that we should be concerned about 0.005% of the total mortality rate among birds. Especially when—especially for raptors— the primary mortality rate comes from loss of habitat, not the “bird choppers”.

    And there’s always a reason that study after study that confirms that buildings are the leading cause of direct bird mortality, occurring at about 10,000 times the rate of “bird mortality”, should all be dismissed as “biased” in favor of well-repeated memes about “bird choppers”.

    Believe the data that confirms our beliefs. That’s the way to do it.

  71. Carrick,

    Most raptors are not killed by buildings. Smaller birds like sparrows tend to fly into windows because it looks to them like an opening. Raptors fly high looking for prey or carrion.

    And your argument also fails IMHO because you’re saying it’s OK to add another bird killer to the environment.

  72. fred bergle:

    I agree with the author on the issue of the pulsing noise beig the source of the problem.

    Yes I agree here too. Constant level sound is much easier to tune out, and when you are trying to address annoyance level using A-weighing of low-frequency sound is an especially bad way to go about assessing it. Another example is traffic noise… constant roar is easier to tune out and less disruptive than living by a major interchange where you hear occasional truck “jake braking” noises.

    In any case, there is another more serious problem for wind farms, which is the blades shed turbulence, which produces infrasound that interacts with structures, causing them to shake at their characteristic frequencies. This is very non-stationary noise, typically having a power spectrum S(f) between f^-5/3 to f^-7/3 [S(f) = constant is stationary noise], and even a 25 dB A level could be extremely aggravating.

    There’s also the issue of acoustic structural intensification—yes that’s a real term, it deals with how the building “breaths” at its characteristic frequencies in response to the infrasound, so that you can have much higher levels interior to the building at those frequencies than exterior to it.

    The problem here is that you don’t sensate infrasound, but it can still (potentially) cause nausea and even equilibrium issues. I would consider complaints of this sort at least plausible and needing to be properly characterized. No funding for it, unfortunately, that only goes for subsidizing the industry I suppose.

  73. Smokey: As plainly as I can say it: wind farms do not add an ecologically significant increase in the mortality rate of birds, not even raptors, nor even bats.

    If you want to address loss of raptor population, look at habitat loss and then illegal hunting in about that order. If you want to look at a success story in that department, look at the restoration of the bald eagle population in the United States. Removing wind farms played no role in that.

    (Or another example, the wets lands projects in the Southern US and migratory birds.)

  74. Carrick,

    You avoided my point completely. You’re still saying that it’s OK to add another bird killer to the environment.

  75. Smokey, actually your the one who completely missed the point here: “Another bird killer to the environment” is only relevant… if it’s relevant. I’m sure we can come up with all sorts of things that have 0.005% effect on bird population… and plenty that have a larger effect, such as overuse of pesticides, needless destruction of bird habitat, release of unwanted cats, etc etc etc.

    So yes, in the greater scheme of things, it’s simply not a relevant source of bird mortality. There always is a decision that gets made between ecological consequences and economic “necessity”, whether it’s the wind farm, or the housing development that springs up beside it.

  76. Carrick says:
    February 10, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Josh: Mind you I had no idea wind turbines killed quite so many birds – that’s appalling.

    Uh yeah. 0.01% of all human caused bird deaths. Appalling is the word I’d use… for the argument that this is even microscopically significant.

    Yep, that’s a >really gigantic number compared e.g. to glass windows in buildings.
    ——————————————————
    Gross figures about bird deaths are meaningless. As I have said on wuwt before, it matters not a jot if 10 million pigeons a year fly into office blocks. But if 100 raptors (which are at no risk from office blocks) a year are shredded by a wind ‘farm’ it can have significant effects on their numbers. Unlike pigeons, they are small populations in particular regions, with slow reproductive rates.

    As for the quasi arguments about property rights, they might make sense if windmills actually paid their way. Government subsidies and planning exemptions that facilitate windmills are the antithesis of property rights.

    And, many thanks to posters above who have explained the scientific basis for the ‘doof doof’ factor.

  77. Carrick, the problem is not the killing of birds, it’s that windmills are useless AND kill birds AND bug people. So why wastefully kill birds and torture people?

  78. Buildings 550 million
    Power lines 130 milllion
    Cats 100 million
    Automobiles 80 milllions
    Pesticides 67 million
    Communication towers 4.5 mlilion
    Wind turbines 28.5 thousand

    Simpleton here, no need to say it, but these figures do not add up. Not in their present form. It seems to my simple mind that the comparisons are skewed. The proper proportions would be evidenced if we knew how many buildings are responsible for 550 million bird deaths. The same way that knowing how many wind towers were responsible for those 28.5 thousand birds. Since there are millions of buildings on earth, divide that by how many birds killed, would give us a simple Average of Birds Killed Per Building vs. Average of Birds killed per Wind Tower. I would bet that the numbers would then tell a different story.

    But again, my simple mind obviously errs in thinking that this kind oif accuracy would be acceptable.

  79. Yeah, it’s such a non-issue that the American Bird Conservatory has a whole page devoted to bird deaths from windmills, and the numbers THEY’RE quoting at 500 mil for cats eating, and 440,000 for Windmills. They also note the especially outsized effect windfarms can have on specific birds, and ask for people to sign a petition forcing wind farms to basically be made more bird friendly… BECAUSE IT IS A PROBLEM. BTW, that’s nearly half the claimed estimate they made for birds dying due to glass strikes (1 million a year).

    There’s no weighting for scarcity or commonality in your numbers (or these numbers) since there’s a hell of a lot more windows than windmills, it’s apparent that a windmill on average kills likely hundreds of times more birds per year than any given house or office building. If the green dream of windmills providing a huge percentage of our power were realized (a pipe dream of it’s own) the numbers would probably be catastrophically higher.

    Furthermore, we have the information provided about relative wind power availability for your statistic (2003 – 6000 MW) versus now with 41,000 more (total of 47,000 MW)

    At 28.5k with 6k MW Windpower we were killing 4.75 birds a year per MW. At 47,000 MW and killing 440,000 a year, we’re now under 10 birds per MW installed. So as we increase the number of windmills, we’re killing more birds per windmill. In 2008 we had 1084 GW of production capacity in the US, so if 20% of installed capacity was Windmills we’d have just over 216 GW of Wind power (assuming 100% efficiency… IT IS TO LAUGH!) That comes out to 216,000 MW. Each MW kills 10 birds. We’d have a birdy armageddon with 2,160,000 dead birds a year… more than twice what the ABC suggests are dying to windows.

  80. I am thinking it will not be long before the odd Don Quixote starts tilting at a few of these windmills. They are probably an easier quest than the one he embarked on.

  81. A proposd offshore wind farm in the south of England is claimed to produce 700 MW.
    As I write, *all* the windmills in the UK are currently producing 422 MW.
    Something doesn’t compute….
    Admittedly, the 700MW figure is an average. But very often the total UK wind output falls to very low levels. If the Government continues its fantasy policy, and wind becomes a major part of our energy mix we’re going to have big, big problems.
    All these ridiculous subsidy farms will achieve is cripplingly expensive electricity and regular power cuts.
    And, to rub salt into the wound, the whole scam is based on science that is clearly wrong and quite possibly fraudulent.
    Chris

  82. Incidentally, do these ‘wind farms’ actually have any real animal farm nearby?

    I wonder how the vibration and noise would affect the productivity of an animal farm.

    What a case study that would make?

  83. Carrick,

    You have a talent for answering questions not asked. Here’s another one you can avoid:

    The Condor population is only about 100 free flying birds. That’s total. In the world [and all are in the Peoples' Eco-Green Soviet of Sustainable California]. Giant wind turbines are being planned for their current habitat and range. Those 100 birds [wingspan 9 feet] are part of your .005%.

    Question: Which should take priority, condors or windmills?

  84. Probably slightly off tiopic, but anecdotal accounts of settlers on the prairies tell of people (women especially) going mad because of the unceasing wind. Is it possible that the source of the “madness” was due to the low frequencey noise of the wind in the 10 – 160 hz range. Particularly in the near 10hz range the efects are felt more physically rather than auraly. Perhaps something similar is going on here.

  85. Carrick Talmadge says:
    February 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm
    “So yes, in the greater scheme of things, it’s simply not a relevant source of bird mortality.”

    Oil companies will be interested to hear about the double standards applied by wind power proponents.

  86. I was brought up in the country. My homes over the last thirty years have been in some pretty remote locations. I sleep like a baby on prop driven aircraft and on large ferries. The other side of that coin is that it is quite impossible for me to sleep in a room with any item of electrical equipment on standby. How green can you get. Nobody else hears what I am on about, they stand motionless without a whisper and try to hear it, no joy.
    35db are they crazy?
    it’s like saying townies have to live with it, impose it on everyone.
    Junkies can handle a shot of methadone, prescribe it for everyone.

    The upside is the industry is not sustainable and will die. It is merely a political expedient to try to quickly fill the energy gap until something more long term comes along. It is a failure of long term strategic planing at a political level which has brought this situation about, hence the political will to throw money at the problem to cover up their failings. If someone gets rich in the process that’s another invite to dinner or a pre-christmas shoot.

  87. Like I said this is a property rights issue and I have to be consistent. If it’s legal for your neighbor to put a windmill or a feedlot on his land then its his call not yours and taking away his legitimate use of his land after the fact is unfair and something I cannot support it lest I become an enabler for the same government to later restrict my right to use my land for any legal purpose I might choose.

    It is a very slippery slope once you begin to turn to the government to take away the rights of your neighbors. If his rights can be taken away then so too can yours. That is what is happening here. This is what most of you are advocating.

    You people are free to rationalize all you want, of course, but it’s transparently hypocritical to any obective observer that you are employing a double standard. I hate double standards and always will.

  88. Joules Verne said @ February 11, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Like I said this is a property rights issue and I have to be consistent. If it’s legal for your neighbor to put a windmill or a feedlot on his land then its his call not yours and taking away his legitimate use of his land after the fact is unfair and something I cannot support it lest I become an enabler for the same government to later restrict my right to use my land for any legal purpose I might choose.

    It is a very slippery slope once you begin to turn to the government to take away the rights of your neighbors. If his rights can be taken away then so too can yours. That is what is happening here. This is what most of you are advocating.

    I’m not going to “speak for most of us”, but yes, it’s a property rights issue. Libertarianism is freedom to do anything except infringe the rights of others. Introducing windmills infringes the rights of neighbors to the “quiet” enjoyment of their homes. Being forced to purchase a home miles from where you work and being unable to sell, or let your family home is definitely an infringement of basic rights.

    Note that I put quiet in quotes because we have far too many townies who move to the “peace and quiet” of the countryside only to discover that the air is filled with the sound of tractors, cattle, irrigation pumps, shooting of vermin as well as smells such as cattle shit, compost-making etc.Those who don’t like it usually leave after a year, or two, but my God some can make life miserable for everyone else until they do.

  89. Joules Verne said on: February 11, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Like I said this is a property rights issue and I have to be consistent. If it’s legal for your neighbor to put a windmill or a feedlot on his land then its his call not yours and taking away his legitimate use of his land after the fact is unfair and something I cannot support it lest I become an enabler for the same government to later restrict my right to use my land for any legal purpose I might choose.

    It is a very slippery slope once you begin to turn to the government to take away the rights of your neighbors. If his rights can be taken away then so too can yours. That is what is happening here. This is what most of you are advocating.

    Aside from the fact mentioned by “The Pompous Git” that the windmills infringe on the the neighbours’ enjoyment of their own properties, the windmill wouldn’t even exist if the neighbours’ money hadn’t been stolen to pay for it, by having a portion of their income confiscated and used to pay for the windmill, or maybe through being forced to source a portion of their electricity from this unwanted, unreliable, extremely expensive power source. The first case is outright theft, and the second is indirect theft through precluding people from entering into a free market transaction to buy their electricity from a source of their choosing. Either way, it is theft to pay for a scam based on fraudulent science.

    I just don’t think there’s a property rights argument when:
    (a) Your windmill infringes on your neighbours’ property rights by forcing noise pollution on them.
    (b) Your windmill’s existence depends on the theft of your neighbours’ property.

  90. TPG and e? you are both talking sense. As a lawyer I did consider telling Joules he was talking complete &*^% on the basis of exiting law in most jurisdictions but why bother. J V inverts the truth and suggests that a neighbor protecting the peaceable enjoyment of his property is somehow the government taking away the other guys rights. Quite the contrary, it’s government and big scam commerce trampling on the little guy damaging the value of his property with out so much as a by your leave. J V’s proposition is that no one should have recourse against government, big business or anti social neighbors. On the basis he can write a post I doubt if he is that stupid. JV has got to be a troll, Ignore.

  91. The Euros imposed RoHS rules nearly a decade ago killing certain materials including cadmium on all of our electrics/electronics and raising costs for everybody.

    They exempted solar panel manufacturers from the cadmium prohibition.

    Hypocritical bastards. Anyone surprised about the double standards for wind?

  92. “”””” Joules Verne says:

    February 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    So much for the conservative principle of private property rights. The people who own the land where the windmills reside have every right in the world to put windmills on them. “””””

    Well that’s a very good principle Joules.

    So you would have no problem if the neighbors put up a wall to block wind over their property from going over to the wind jammer’s land.

    Where does the wind jammer get a right to restrict land use before and aft of his fan. His private use of HIS land requires that he get a clear flow of wind unconstrained by his neighbor’s rightful use of their land. And shouldn’t he keep his effluent (aka wind jammer noise) confined to his own land, and stop it propagating to the neighbor’s land.

    It takes thousands of acres of unrestricted air flow both before the wind farm and after it, to get efficient flow through those turbine blades.

    The blades tend to self destruct also from fatigue. Due to vertical wind shear, the axial thrust and radial torque on the blade increases as the blade moves from BDC around to TDC, so the blade undergoes axial and circumferential oscillations at the frequency of rotation of the fan. This ultimately leads to blade failure, which is always catastrophic, since one blade failing leads to fatal unbalance. And not surprising, that circumferential torque vibration is delivered to the gear box which results in a frequency multiplied torsional vibration of the gear box. Guess what a principal source of the audible noise is ?

  93. I have sympathies with both Joules Verne and The Pompous Git.

    JV took it too far mentioning smells from feedlots.

    Townies moving to the country & then complaining that it smells like the country are just tw@ts.

    I live in the UK.

    I regularly drive from the A1 at Dishforth to Thirsk during muck spreading season. The smell of pig [SNIP] is disgusting but I accept it, it’s part of the country. Wind turbines & their noise isn’t!

    I worked at an abattoir near Thirsk. people driving past complained about the smell from the filtration plant I worked on there. Believe me, concentrated warm piss & [SNIP] stinks, but it was no worse than the muck spreading.

    Townies in the country are [SNIP]s!

    DaveE.

    [NOTE: Dave, there are other words with the same meaning, and if I let you do it then everyone else will want to also. -REP]

  94. Sorry REP but I know of no single word to describe solid, or semi solid animal waste other than poo.

    As for R Souls, well again, what better word?

    I always did find the culture that could allow Zappa to say F*** but bleep out Cash saying son of a B**** a bit strange.

    DaveE.

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