Monday, 14 May 2007

Benefits of windfarms

Today, it was drawn to my attention that the sale of houses in Lewis could suffer a setback because of the windfarm. Although a final decision is yet to be made by the Scottish Executive, potential buyers are experiencing cold feet when they see the visual impact that the 500 ft high turbines are going to make. One buyer, who was thinking of erecting a house in the area where the windfarm is due to be sited, indicated that he was seriously considering pulling out of the project. A visual impact study was enough to put him off. Selling houses is also going to be a problem, as was shown in Ayrshire several months ago. The presence of a turbine on a ridge behind an otherwise beautifully located farmhouse made it practically unsellable. So much for the economic benefits.

The other is the much-underrated problem of noise-pollution. When in operation, there is a distinct hum and swishing noise as the turbine blades move through the air. I attended a meeting about the windfarms back in April 2005, when an expert on the subject swept the problem under the carpet, saying a windturbine only added 10 dB to background noise. Methinks it's rather more - I've heard figures of 30 to 40 dB quoted, but that is unsubstantiated and would warrant further research.

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