Tag Archives: australian energy

Turbine opponents release own health impact study

“Of real concern is that children are included as part of respondents’ households and are being impacted,” the report states.

By SEAN McCOMISH Sept. 10, 2013, 4 a.m. – The Standard – Australia
  • A survey of 84 people living near wind farms has found 63 of them believe their health has been affected.A survey of 84 people living near wind farms has found 63 of them believe their health has been affected.

WIND farm opponents in Macarthur are again making a case to be heard over claimed health impacts, releasing a lengthy community survey.

The preliminary report commissioned by the Australian Industrial Wind Turbine Awareness Network, an anti-wind farm group, has compiled complaints and apparent symptoms caused by turbines.

It will be sent to various health departments in a bid to get an authoritative study done.

Both levels of government are refusing to accept claims that turbines cause health issues and anti-wind campaigners and residents are relying on a handful of acousticians and GPs to back their claims of headaches and nausea.

About 84 people filled out questionnaires, with 63 claiming their health had been affected, according to the report.

All 63 said their sleep had suffered since the wind farm began operating.

“Of real concern is that children are included as part of respondents’ households and are being impacted,” the report states.

However, the survey lacks independence and is authored by a resident opposed to the construction of a wind farm near her own home in Berrybank.

Report author Anne Schafer acknowledges midway through the report that her “interest in wind energy began soon after she and her husband purchased their property and found that a wind facility was proposed next to it”.

“I understand that but it’s what has started my interest,” she told The Standard.

“We are concerned that we won’t be able to live here.”

Ms Schafer said The Australian Industrial Wind Turbine Awareness Network had contacted her to undertake the survey.

The survey refers to complaints about subaudible noise called infrasound but also lists comments likening the wind farm to “a jet engine overhead … an unrelenting drone … a truck that never arrives”.

But AGL has maintained that noise levels, in particular infrasound blamed for health effects,  has not changed since construction of the Macarthur wind farm.

“Although we take all allegations of health problems seriously and investigate any complaints, there is currently no credible peer-reviewed scientific evidence to link wind turbines to adverse health effects,” an AGL spokesperson said.

In July the company released a voluntarily-commissioned report by independent acousticians that was then peer reviewed.

“This research demonstrates that there was no measurable change in the infrasound levels measured before and after construction of the Macarthur wind farm,” AGL’s power development general manager Scott Thomas said.

“AGL has undertaken the most extensive and rigorous research by a wind farm operator in Australia and also has gone above and beyond its regulatory requirements.”

Researchers at RMIT University in Hamilton had hoped to conduct a scientific study into health claims in 2012 but were unable to secure funding.

Meanwhile, the opponents are likely to find a sympathetic ear in the new Coalition government.

Wannon MP Dan Tehan has voiced calls for an independent study into health impacts. 

Two more wind farms are proposed at Penshurst and Willatook.

Original Article Here: http://www.standard.net.au/story/1765096/turbine-opponents-release-own-health-impact-study/

Coalition energy document focuses almost entirely on fossil fuels

Only reference to Australia’s $20bn renewable industry is repeat of promise to hold another investigation into the health impacts of wind farms – September 5, 2013 – Giles Parkinson – The Guardian

On wind, the energy document – in an apparent gesture towards the anti-wind members of its constituency – says: “Some members of public have serious concerns over the potential impacts of wind farms on the health of people living in their vicinity.

“The lack of reliable and demonstrably independent evidence on the subject of wind farms both adds to those concerns and allows vested interests on either side of the debate to promulgate questionable information to support their respective cases.

“We will implement a program to establish real-time monitoring of wind farm noise emissions to be made publicly available on the internet.”

The renewables industry has previously said that real-time monitoring would impose unbearable costs on the wind industry, and would be almost useless because of the inability to separate other noise in real-time.

Read entire article  here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/coalition-energy-document-focuses-almost-entirely-on-fossil-fuels