There are numerous independent reports debunking so called wind turbine sickness. While the visual impact of living too close to an operating wind turbine are understood, the more esoteric claims of headaches, sleep deprivation and effects on livestock breeding have almost always been found to be false.
So it’s somewhat surprising that one of the most go-ahead Renewable energy Governments, Scotland, has just commissioned a study into the potential ill effects of turbines at 10 sites across the country. More than 33,500 families live within two miles of these 10 wind farms – which represent just a fraction of the 2,300 turbines already built in Scotland.
Hundreds of residents are now being asked to report back to Scottish ministers about the visual impacts, and the effects of noise and shadow flickers from nearby wind farms. Of course when these wind farms were planned and commissioned the local authorities conducted enquiries into issues such as these, so one wonders why additional enquiries are necessary? The answer lies in anti-wind campaigners claims that many people do not realise they are suffering from ailments brought on by infrasound – noise at such a low frequency that it cannot be heard but (allegedly) can be felt.An ex-Army captain and campaigner says he has suffered from headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, raised blood pressure and disturbed sleep since a wind farm was built near his home. He says that in the military infrasound is an accepted interrogation technique; if directed at you, you can feel your brain or your body vibrating. he also blames the turbines for an increased number of dead hares on the moors around the turbines, suggesting that they succumbed to “internal haemorrhaging and death” as a result of the effect of the turbines.The 10 sites included in the new survey include one in Dunfermline, where almost 23,000 households are nearby, and one in Little Raith near Lochgelly, Fife, where there are nearly 9,000 households. The others are Achany in Sutherland, Baillie near Thurso, Caithness, Dalswinton in Dumfriesshire, Drone Hill, near Coldingham, Berwickshire, Griffin in Perthshire, Hadyard Hill in Ayrshire, Neilston in Renfrewshire and West Knock, near Stuartfield, Aberdeenshire. About 2,000 questionnaires have been sent to residents.Unsurprisingly the move is understood to have caused tension between the Scottish Government and the renewable energy industry. The survey is called a “wind farm impacts study” and is being managed by ClimateXChange, which has published information about the project online.A spokesperson for the company said: “The research will use two sources of information: how local residents experience and react to visual, noise and shadow-flicker impacts, and how the predicted impact at the planning stage matches the impact when the wind farm is operating. The final report is due in autumn 2014. It will inform the Scottish Government’s approach to planning policy on renewables and good practice on managing the impact of wind farms on local residents.”