International Legislation for Wind Turbine Noise

Regular paper

Erik Koppen


Monday 1 june, 2015, 11:40 - 12:00

0.6 Madrid (49)

The analysis of wind turbine noise is considered an important aspect during the planning process of wind farms. When developing new policy or regulations for wind turbine noise governing authorities are interested in reliable references from other countries in order to gauge their own specific needs. Where regulations are lacking developers look for references how to avoid or judge noise complaints. The public often refers to legislation in other countries, but misinterpretations are quite common. The intent of our study is to provide a comparison of wind turbine noise regulations in the countries of Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, and Canada. Research shows numerous European countries have strict regulations for wind turbine noise.Other countries describe the use of turbine set back distances or impose a penalty for tonal or impulse noise characteristics where regulatory noise limits, and the parameters to describe these specific metrics, differ per country. In converse to Europe, the United States and Canada do not include national legislation whereby deferring to local province, state, and county. In instances where there is no wind turbine noise legislation, the applicable threshold limits are enforced by standardized noise ordinances of the governing jurisdiction or simply rely on national environmental noise guidelines. Overall, research indicates that noise regulations implemented for limiting wind turbine noise is shown to widely vary between these countries. No common influence or application of metrics can be identified between sampled jurisdictions. Depending on the noise metric used, the range in noise impact threshold limits could be a difference of 20 decibels or greater. The findings of this study are proposed to further educate the governing authorities, the wind industry and the public and assist to improve the quality of advice within industry and governing authorities.

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