Hearing in the European Parliament with demands for rules for noise from wind energy plants
Organizations from different EU countries demand rules for the noise generated by wind turbines. The work has resulted in a petition and a hearing in the European Parliament.
This petition calls on the European Parliament to draw up conditions for regulations to evaluate and reduce noise from wind turbines, as well as to ensure their control, on the basis of independent science and appropriate references. Noise emissions from wind turbines include infrasound and audible sound affecting countless citizens throughout the Union, especially in their homes.
100 000 wind turbines in the EU
There are currently over 100,000 wind turbines in the EU, with plans to triple this figure by 2050. Current noise regulations do not correspond to the specific complexity of wind turbine-generated noise. For example, applying current calculation standards (ISO standard 9613-2) for wind turbines results in an incomplete assessment, as these are intended for other noise sources.
Measurement methods for the regulations are of debatable scientific value, while the World Health Organisation (WHO) links the need for further scientific research to the specific properties of wind power noise. (p.7) Link > World Health Organization – Noise guidelines
Associations from Belgium, Germany and France submitted a petition to the European Parliament in 2021 demanding EU rules for wind power noise > PETITION ON WIND TURBINE NOISE FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF LEGISLATION REGARDING THE EVALUATION AND THE MINIMISATION OF WIND TURBINE NOISE (Peti 482-2021, 29 April 2021)
Organizations from the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Greece, Spain and Denmark have joined forces to support this initiative and call for factual and comprehensive EU legislation on wind turbine noise. Press release 29 April 2022 > NOISE POLLUTION FROM WIND TURBINE – ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS CALL FOR EU RULES
Despite several Union laws on the reduction of noise generated by machinery and outdoor equipment, it is noteworthy that the Union rules do not specifically cover the acoustic impact of wind turbines on citizens, in particular by not explicitly identifying wind turbines as a source of noise, unlike other industrial noise sources.
Despite several Union laws on the reduction of noise generated by machinery and outdoor equipment, it is noteworthy that the Union rules do not specifically cover the acoustic impact of wind turbines on citizens, in particular by not explicitly identifying wind turbines as a source of noise, unlike other industrial noise sources. This is of particular importance because wind turbines emit infrasound with specific properties and amplitudes that pose a serious health risk to affected citizens, especially over a period of time. It is, among other things, this loophole in the regulatory framework that should be addressed to protect the health and quality of life of Union citizens.
The Noise Directive (2002/49), which helped deal with noise sources such as airports or vehicles over the last 20 years, is an appropriate tool for tackling noise from wind turbines. The associations also recall the Union’s commitment to update the Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75) and demand that provisions on wind turbines be included in the revised Directive 2010/75. Link >
Hearing in the European Parliament
The European Parliament PETI committee has launched the hearing on Wednesday 13 July at 2.30 pm in the European Parliament. Patrice d’Oultremont from Belgium represents the petitioners ”Vent de raison / Wind met redelijkheid, Vent de colθre, Fιdιration environnement sustainable and Bundesinitiative Vernunfkraft” raises the noise problems and the pollution associated with harmful noise in a general question time in the European Parliament. Link >
The audition of the petition on wind power noise on Wednesday 13 July starting at 2.30 pm could be followed here > Multimedia Centre Parlement européen
The national association Motvind Sverige has, via Madeleine Staaf Kura, participated in the presentation and the hearing that is now taking place in the EU, where the problems with harmful noise from wind turbines are finally raised as a separate point.