Renewable Energy Foundation

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Wind Farm Noise Guidance Launch Should Not Hide Behind Pay Wall

REF has today written to the Secretary of State at DECC concerning the decision to charge stakeholders and members of the public to attend the launch of the wind farm noise guidance. The consultation and launch of the guidance is under the auspices of the Institute of Acoustics but was instigated and subsidised by Government. 

IoA Wind Farm Noise Guidance will Lack Credibility unless Primary Data is Made Public

REF has today written to the president of the Institute of Acoustics, Professor Bridget Shield, with the warning that the forthcoming IOA Good Practice Guide on Wind Turbine Noise will be valueless and lack credibility unless the underlying primary data providing the evidence base for the recommended methodology and conclusions underpinning the guidance is also published to enable independent validation. 

Analysis of Wind Farm Performance in UK and Denmark

REF publishes today a research paper by Dr Gordon Hughes, Professor of Economics at the University of Edinburgh, on the performance over time of wind farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark.  The paper can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.  The UK and Danish data used in the analysis is also available below. The following summarises the results of the research.


Wiltshire Council Wind Turbine Separation Distances from Dwellings

REF has responded to the Wiltshire Council consultation on separation distances between houses and wind turbines in the proposed Amendment to the Council's Core Policy 42.

REF consultation response to IoA on ETSU-R-97

REF has responded to the Insitute of Acoustics' consultation on their discussion document entitled  “A Good Practice Guide to the Application of ETSU-R-97 for Wind Turbine Noise Assessment”.

REF correspondence re DECC's use of statistics

In the publication Shortfall, Rebound, Backfire REF raised the issue of misleading statistical information from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, specifically that the headline statements, including those of the then Secretary of State, Mr Huhne, to the House of Commons, were misleading. It was stated that the net effect of the UK's climate change policies would be to reduce the average household energy bill in 2020, whereas close reading of the Department's own models showed clearly that 65% of households were expected to see their bills increase. REF raised this issue in correspondence with the UK Statistics Authority. The correspondence is as follows.

REF Comments on the Economics of Wind Power

REF has responded to the call for evidence on the Economics of Wind Power from the Energy and Climate Change Committee.

A Critique of the IoA Treatment of Background Noise for Wind Farm Noise Assessments

This information note examines the revision to the ETSU-R-97 method of deriving noise conditions for wind farm planning permissions from background noise measurements, as proposed in an article in the Acoustics Bulletin of the Institute of Acoustics (IoA).[1] We have used actual wind speed data to model the impact of the revision on noise conditions and likelihood of noise complaints from neighbours. 

The revision is designed to correct for site-specific wind shear that was erroneously assumed to be constant between two heights in the ETSU-R-97 guidance. The impact of this assumption is shown graphically in Appendix 1. However, in this note we show that the Acoustics Bulletin revision increases the uncertainty of the background noise curves and reduces confidence in the reliability of noise conditions based on them.

Energy Policy and Consumer Hardship

REFs study of the likely impact of climate change policies on the affordability of energy concludes:

1.  Current renewable electricity policies intended to meet the EU Renewables Directive in 2020, will impose extra consumer costs of approximately £15bn per annum, which is roughly equivalent to 1% of current GDP. This annual total is comprised of approximately £8bn in subsidy, £5bn in grid integration, and a further £2bn in VAT charged on these extra costs.

Access this URL (attachments/article/243/REF%20on%20Fuel%20Poverty.pdf)REF on Fuel Poverty

The Den Brook Amplitude Modulation Noise Condition

The noise most commonly associated with wind farms, and frequently complained of, is the repetitive swishing beat occurring at turbine blade rotation frequency, which is known as Amplitude Modulation (AM) of the aerodynamic turbine noise.

Download this file (ref info note 111031 AM Noise.pdf)AM Noise Inf Note