Yes 2 renewables

Waubra wind farm

If you’re looking for a controversial issue in central and western Victoria, you could go no better than talking about wind farms.

But whats going on behind the hype and angst? Are they actually making people sick? Who are the (often quite right wing) groups coming into the anti wind campaigns? Where are the projects happening?

This website is an attempt to provide a pro renewables perspective on the debate. You can find it here.


5 thoughts on “Yes 2 renewables

  1. I have read three or four independent apparently credible studies into wind turbine syndrome and note the universal failure to find any link between low frequency sound and/or infra-sound for the symptoms.

    One independent Australian study found higher levels of infra-sound at the beach and in Adelaide CBD but we hear nothing of ‘surf syndrome’ or ‘Adelaide syndrome’. One Dutch study I read found the symptoms in a small number of people living in the vicinity of wind farms but could find no link to acoustic characteristics of the turbines. It did however find they were more prevalent in people who could see the wind turbines (and perhaps didn’t like what they could see?) and among people who didn’t derive any income from the turbines (and perhaps wished they did?)

    I had plenty of contact with smaller turbines in Denmark in years gone by but had no direct experience of a large wind farm. I have now twice visited the Waubra wind farm to try and get some personal experience of the ‘noise’ that some folk blame for wind turbine sickness. First visit, mild winds, enough to keep the turbines spinning but gently. My wife and I couldn’t pick up audible sound at the nearest point I could drive to the turbines on Big Hill. We could just pick up the faintest irregularly spaced, occasional, pressure variations in our ears.

    Second visit, fairly brisk wind, turbines powering around. We could just perceive a faint irregular pressure variation as before (but more frequent), but this time (just) audible also. Impossible to believe that this could actually be causing the symptoms the Waubra residents were talking about. So what is going on? I would have thought the background rumble of the city coming over our suburban back fence was more damaging than what I could (almost) hear at Waubra.

    Wind power is too important as a part of the mix of renewable energy sources underpinning our urgent transition to a carbon constrained future to be derailed by a combination of bogus science and nimby selfishness but this is what seems to be happening.

    A minority who claim to experience negative symptoms as a result of their proximity to wind farms are making themselves heard. Until we devise some way to hear from the many others to whom the turbines are not a problem the discussion will become more and more skewed. The public perception of wind turbines will become more and more negative and politicians more and more afraid of voter backlash will impose more and more stringent conditions on the siting and performance of wind turbines. Victorian regulations controlling the siting of and noise from wind farms are already among the most stringent in the world..

  2. Hello. I am afraid you are wrong, and the reason I know this is because there is an application for a wind farm near me, at first i thought it was a great idea, so I visited other wind farms on a “fact finding” expedition. At this point I had never heard that they might make anyone ill. To cut a long story short, When I am within 1.5miles of the turbines, I experience severe headache, nausea, pressure in my ears, and this only after 10 minutes exposure. I have no idea what causes this but i have spent a considerable ampount of time and very numerous visits to different windfarms. Now I am an objector, and I believe that the turbines have their place, but either offshore or more than 2miles from dwellings. I just wish that all the people around the world whose lives are being destroyed by these turbines had someone who would find out the cause of this problem. I suffer from motion sickness and i believe it to be something to do with that, and low frequency sound. I stress again that during my initial visits I had no idea that they would have this effect on me.It may be that only a certain percentage of people will be affected in this way, but it is a nightmare, people are having to leave their homes in idyllic locations because the wind industry does not want to hear. It is all about money, not about protecting the planet.They also kill bats and birds, and has anyone calculated the amount of co2 released in making the turbines, and the concrete used for the foundation?Not to mention the deisel and fumes during the construction phase. So all you sceptics out there, try believing what people tell you, you never know, it could be you next.

  3. hi Janice
    thanks for this. I have read that there are 3 groups of people who are suseptible to being impacted by turbines, and those who get motion sickness is one of them. If you are experiencing these symptons, then thats a real problem.

    But its a shame you have then added some of the usual ideological anti-wind campaigner arguements to what could be a straight forward conversation about how to minimise the health issues: for instance, your question about CO2 emissions associated with turbines (the average turbine actually ‘pays back’ the embedded emissions within about 3 months of operation).

    Please educate yourself aboput the real impacts & benefits of wind farms rather than just relying on the fear mongering and mis-information of the ‘antis’.

    Out of interest, what area is the wind farm in?

  4. I asked a question in order to educate myself, so in actual fact I didnt add ideological anti wind campaigner arguments. I am a believer in renewables, However i think everything has to be balanced, and i am not relying on any fear mongering, I am a very highly educated and intelligent person, and it makes me angry when i see or rather read articles from people like yourself who ignore people who are actually suffering because of these machines. This is not about nimbyism or bogus science, in fact a paper presented at this years noise conference in Rome has concluded that it is premature to say that the turbines cannot have a detrimental physiological effect on people. Just because you dont suffer in this way doesnt mean other people dont, people do not abandon their homes for no reason, and this is happening all over the world- so yes, lets say yes to renewables, but lets believe people who have nothing to gain and everything to lose, i.e. their health and their home, and use a precautionary principle and keep them at least 2 km away from habited dwellings..

  5. Hi Janice

    The debate around the siting of wind farms is tinged with hysteria and deliberate distortion. It has become as much about politics and the short term satisfaction of winning an argument as about the facts. This characterizes aspects of the arguments presented by both sides. However, in the absence of supporting ‘facts’ it is more characteristic of those arguing that wind-farms are a health hazard than those who simply state there is no evidence (other than anecdotal reports) supporting these claims. Nevertheless I reckon that at least some percentage of those reporting unpleasant symptoms linked to proximity to wind turbines are genuine and are honestly reporting their experiences and I will assume that you are also. I would be interested in your response to the findings of the Senate Inquiry into the Adverse Health effects of Wind Turbines. If you haven’t read them they can be found here I think the discussion of setbacks and how to determine what is appropriate is interesting. In summary they suggest that given the impact of local factors like topography a blanket set back distance is inappropriate and the setback should be determined in each case by measurement to see that mandated standards are complied with. What do you think?

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