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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(8), 746; doi:10.3390/ijerph13080746

Windmill Noise Annoyance, Visual Aesthetics, and Attitudes towards Renewable Energy Sources

Institute of Transport Economics, Gaustadalléen 21, NO-0349 Oslo, Norway
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 16 July 2016 / Published: 23 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Combined Health Effects of Environmental Exposures)
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Abstract

A small focused socio-acoustic after-study of annoyance from a windmill park was undertaken after local health officials demanded a health impact study to look into neighborhood complaints. The windmill park consists of 31 turbines and is located in the South of Norway where it affects 179 dwellings. Simple exposure-effect relationships indicate stronger reactions to windmills and wind turbine noise than shown internationally, with the caveat that the sample size is small (n = 90) and responses are colored by the existing local conflict. Pulsating swishing sounds and turbine engine hum are the main causes of noise annoyance. About 60 per cent of those who participated in the survey were of the opinion that windmills degrade the landscape aesthetically, and were far from convinced that land-based windmills are desirable as a renewable energy source (hydropower is an important alternative source of renewables in Norway). Attitudes play an important role in addition to visual aesthetics in determining the acceptance of windmills and the resulting noise annoyance. To compare results from different wind turbine noise studies it seems necessary to assess the impact of important modifying factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: wind farms; environmental impacts; noise change wind farms; environmental impacts; noise change
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Klæboe, R.; Sundfør, H.B. Windmill Noise Annoyance, Visual Aesthetics, and Attitudes towards Renewable Energy Sources. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 746.

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