This review is focussed on large-scale, horizontal-axis upwind turbines. Vertical-axis turbines are not considered here as they are not sufficiently efficient to be deployed in the commercial generation of electricity. Recent developments in horizontal-axis wind turbine noise research are summarised and topics that are pertinent to the problem, but are yet to be investigated, are explored and suggestions for future research are offered. The major portion of recent and current research on wind turbine noise generation, propagation and its effects on people and animals is being undertaken by groups in Europe, UK, USA, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Considerable progress has been made in understanding wind turbine noise generation and propagation as well as the effect of wind farm noise on people, birds and animals. However, much remains to be done to answer many of the questions for which answers are still uncertain. In addition to community concerns about the effect of wind farm noise on people and how best to regulate wind farm noise and check installed wind farms for compliance, there is considerable interest from turbine manufacturers in developing quieter rotors, with the intention of allowing wind farm installations to be closer to populated areas. The purpose of this paper is to summarise recent and current wind farm noise research work and the research questions that remain to be addressed or are in the process of being addressed. Topics that are the subject of on-going research are discussed briefly and references to recent and current work are included.
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