Wind Power Myths
- Windmills are Noisy
- Windmills produce low frequency sound or infrasound that is dangerous to human health
- Windmills are unusually harmful to birds and disrupt bird migratory patterns
- Windpower will cause property values to decrease
- Wind turbines look ugly
Fact: Extensive testing shows that a windfarm 500 metres away is less noisy than a car traveling at 40 miles an hour half a block away. A wind farm 2 km away will not produce enough sound to be heard above the normal background noise of a rural nighttime or a quiet bedroom.
Fact: Low Frequency sound emitted from the 'swish' of a turbine's blades as it passes the base is often confused as infrasound. Numerous studies have demonstrated that wind turbines do not produce infrasound that affects human health.
Additional concerns about health impacts from sound, infrasound and flickering light from wind turbines have been extensively studied around the world and found to have no significant human health impact
- More info:
- Report from Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health - May 2010
- Report from Toronto Public Health about health impacts of Toronto Hydro wind proposal - February 2010
- Evidence Review from National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health - January 2010
- Why Wind website - Myths and Evidence
Fact: Windmills can potentially have impacts on birds through collisions and habitat disruption. However, the impact is very small, and dramatically less than that of urban sprawl, buildings, house cats or climate change. For example, one study notes that for every 10,000 birds killed by human activities including fatalities by collisions with man made structures, less than one death is caused by a wind turbine. For every 1 bird death caused by a wind turbine, 1,000 to 2,000 bird deaths are caused by cats. Even the National Audubon Society strongly supports wind power as a clean alternative energy source that reduces the threat of global warming.
- More Info:
- Bird Mortality study published in US Forest Service journal
- National Audubon Society wind power page
Fact: There is no evidence that the presence of a commercial windfarm within sight of a property reduces its value. Some studies even show the sight of windmills raises property values. The U.S. National Association of Realtors writes “…wind farms appear to have a minimal or at most transitory impact on real estate.”
- More info:
- Report on Property Values in Chatham-Kent, Ontario - February 2010
- The US National Association of Realtors report
Fact: Beauty is the eye of beholder, and no two people agree on what is beautiful. However, research and anecdotal evidence indicates that wind developments do not negatively influence the viewscape. On the contrary, they have been found more than often to be a positive influence on tourism.