Windfarm noise will not harm your health, finds German research team

The TremAc Joint Project has completed research looking at the potential for noise emitted by windfarms to have negative health impacts on nearby residents. The research project was launched in 2016 as a joint venture involving several German universities and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and focussed on the transmission of low-frequency sound and seismic waves (aka, ground vibrations). The conclusion? Researchers were unable to prove a plausible connection between the acoustic or seismic waves associated with windfarm operation and any mental or physical health complaints. Ground vibration frequencies and sound wave amplitudes were found to be well below the threshold of human perceptibility and therefore could not reasonably be the cause of any health issues.

This study could be a breakthrough for onshore wind projects that have faced objections from local residents and planning authorities on the grounds of health concerns. More work will be required, however, to expand the existing dataset and to convince the wider public of the truth that windfarms will not harm your health. Avenues for future research will include investigations into perceived negative mental health impacts of nearby turbines and whether these are purely placebo or can be linked to some other factor such a shadow flicker, or different sources of operational noise. 

More information about the work is of this research consortium can be found at their website:

TREMAC: Objective criteria for vibration and sound emissions of onshore wind turbines

 

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