A new report investigating how noise from the Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm was affecting residents in three nearby households was released today.
The full version can be downloaded here.
On an initial impression it leaves alot to be desired in terms of scientific rigour. Wind farm opponents have been trying for years is to link subjective sensations felt by nearby residents to wind turbines themselves. This report claims to be a step in this direction but the weight of evidence for it appears slim.
We'll come back to you with more detail once we've waded through the 200+ pages of the report, but in the meantime here is our media statement:
Speculative study unable to show damage from wind farms
The Australian Wind Alliance has today rejected claims that six people referred to in a study demonstrate evidence of health issues with wind farms.
After months of work and unprecedented access to wind farm data, a new report has been unable to produce any credible evidence that wind farms damage people’s health, the Australian Wind Alliance said today.
The report admitted that the wind farm was fully compliant with planning guidelines and that it could make no case for strengthening regulation.
The report was produced by acoustician, Stephen Cooper, for The Acoustic Group on the Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm near Portland with full cooperation from the wind farm’s operator, Pacific Hydro.
"The report admits that some claims of physical effects from the residents were made when the turbines were switched off.
"This report also admits that it is not scientifically rigorous and that they spoke to just six people about their concerns which raises serious questions about the credibility of its findings.
"It is likely that more experts will reject this report than there are people who were studied in it.
"There is no control group and of all the hundreds of people living in the vicinity of the wind farm, it investigates only six, all of whom had previously complained about the wind farm.
"When accepted scientific methods of measuring sound don’t provide the evidence it wants, it instead invents its own to come up with the answers it wants.
"Hundreds of thousands of people live comfortably in close vicinity of wind farms across the world. This report can’t change this.
"Wind farms provide massive opportunities for employment and economic activity in regional communities. We shouldn’t threaten this on the basis of speculative reports like this.
"There is peer-reviewed evidence that anti-wind farm campaigners encourage people who live near wind turbines to attribute any health concerns to wind farms. This should have been considered in this report but seems to have been ignored.