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Wind turbines: unreliable, expensive, climate-changing and harmful to health due to infrasound

Source: TKP.at, Dr Peter F. Mayer, 14 May 2024

The climate must be protected from CO2 and therefore we need energy from falsely labelled “renewable” energy sources. One of these sources is supposed to be wind. But there are more problems associated with it than it initially may seem. Not least, it has negative health consequences for humans and animals.

A fundamental problem, as with solar parks, is the intermittency, which requires either replacement power plants or huge investments in storage systems. This makes electricity from wind an expensive affair. Energy giant Vattenfall, for example, has pulled out of a project in the sea off Scotland where hydrogen was to be produced from wind power as a storage medium – it was too expensive despite massive subsidies.

Wind energy is changing the climate, but not in the supposedly desired direction. In Burgenland, Austria’s easternmost province, with an annual wind power generation of 3 billion kWh or around 177% of Burgenland’s electricity consumption, studies have shown an increased rise in temperature since the wind farms were commissioned.

This finding has also been confirmed by studies in Germany. in 2017, the German higher authority admitted that the wind speed was decreasing according to measured values, a phenomenon known as “global terrestrial stilling”. There is evidence that higher temperatures occur in the vicinity of wind turbines. in 2018, one (of many) corresponding studies came out of Harvard, which measured higher temperatures and less soil moisture. The soil and air behind the wind turbines is less humid. The cause: the upheaval of the natural temperature layers caused by the wind turbines, as explained in more detail here.

Wind turbines have another negative effect on the climate when trees have to be cleared to make way for them. The turbines are now being built in the middle of forests. Forests that would undeniably absorb CO2 are being cleared for this purpose. In March, five hectares of forest were cleared for the wind farm in St. Pölten. In Scotland, as many as 16 million trees were felled for wind farms.

Damage to health due to infrasound

Far too little attention is paid to the not inconsiderable effects that wind turbines have on the health of humans and animals.

Infrasound is generated when large masses are in motion. This happens in nature, for example, during avalanches and earthquakes. But infrasound is also generated by technology and industry. It is caused by large machines and blasting. Wind turbines also generate infrasound when their blades rotate. In densely populated countries such as Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and other European countries where wind farms border on residential areas, many people are deprived of their sleep.

The Germans, who are inundated by more than 30,000 huge industrial wind turbines, know the misery of wind turbine noise inside out.

Some of the cacophony of low-frequency, amplitude-modulated noise produced by these turbines is at frequencies below what humans can normally hear. However, this does not mean that they do not perceive the so-called “infrasound”.

Evidence is mounting that the noise generated by giant industrial wind turbines is unnecessarily disruptive to people living near wind farms: the German Max Planck Institute has identified inaudible infrasound as a cause of stress, sleep disturbance and more. It is the pulsating nature of low-frequency wind turbine noise (“amplitude modulation”) that is responsible for sleep problems in those who have to live with it.

Thousands of people living within 20 kilometres of a wind turbine may suffer from health problems caused by infrasound. The effects include a reduction in the strength of the heart muscle. Infrasound affects the inner ear and brain and can cause insomnia, emotional reactions and many other disturbing symptoms. Infrasound has even been studied as a weapon.

“A wind farm with a capacity of five megawatts would potentially generate a detectable infrasound signal from a distance of twenty kilometres. Dr Lars Ceranna, Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Germany.

We can definitely say that infrasound does indeed have a significant effect on heart muscle tissue under these acute conditions. Both series of tests showed a clear reduction in cardiac muscle strength,” says Christian Vahl, Director of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at the Mainz University Medical Centre.

There are numerous scientific studies on the noise of wind turbines. A recent study published in Nature is by Chun-Hsiang Chiu et al entitled “Effects of low-frequency noise from wind turbines on heart rate variability in healthy individuals“:

“Wind energy is used around the world as a clean energy source. However, wind turbines generate low-frequency noise (LFN) in the range of 20-200 Hz. Since many community complaints focus on the sound generated by wind turbines, it is important to investigate the health effects of low-frequency noise on people living near wind farms.

LFN exposure has been found to cause a number of health disorders. Exposure to LFN from wind turbines causes headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, fatigue, dizziness, tinnitus, earache, sleep disturbance and annoyance. Clinically, exposure to LFN from wind turbines can cause an increased risk of epilepsy, cardiovascular effects and coronary heart disease. It has also been found that noise exposure (including LFN) can have an impact on heart rate variability (HRV).”

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