Deliverable D7.2. Reports with data from on and offline panels

H.M. Solman, Paula Struthoff, Mattijs Smits, S.M.J.M. Brasseur, Julien Christophe, Benjamin Adrian

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Public concerns over wind energy are complex as they tend to be case-dependent and linked to personal or collective attitudes to wind and renewable energy. However, existing literature on the acceptance of wind energy has highlighted that the key concerns emerging across Europe tend to be linked to visual and auditive public perception of wind parks and how these impact local communities. Wind turbine noise is one of these recurring key concerns. In particular, the literature has documented that annoyance to wind turbine sounds affects public acceptance of new and existing wind parks. To address concerns about wind turbine noise, noise data can be internalised into wind turbine simulations. By doing so, noise concerns can be anticipated, and the simulation framework itself could be used to facilitate better decision-making about noise management strategies, and improved turbine design and operation.The goal of this report is to demonstrate how UPWARDS simulation platform achieves that by integrating wind turbine noise data to provide guidelines for how noise perceptions (and linked to them data) should be understood within the socio-political context of wind energy in Europe.More specifically, this report shines light on how one of the objectives of UPWARDS, that is to predict wind turbine noise is achieved thanks to a numerical simulation platform developed in the framework of the project. The UPWARDS simulation framework could be used to facilitate better decision-making about noise expectations and turbine design and operation. For example, the simulation platform allows to adapt the threshold of annoyance to a certain db(A) level,depending on the local regulations For this purpose, noise predictions have to be compared against noise annoyance and regulation criteria to determine if the sound levels are acceptable.This report identifies these criteria so that numerical simulations can be used as a tool for better wind energy governance.By drawing on existing literature, this report identifies different levels of noise and linked to them degrees of acceptance. These noise levels span from 30dB(A), where little to no annoyance can be expected, to >45dB(A), where over half of the residents can be expected to report annoyance.We suggest placing an upper limit at 45dB(A) to minimise public disturbance due to noise in the simulation and list specific wind turbine noise regulations in Europe, which UPWARDS should account for. Whilst this presents a robust approach to predict levels of community acceptance to wind energy, we argue that noise annoyance alone may account for only some of the reasons for why local communities may resist wind energy. Other concerns, such as degree of financial involvement or the visual impacts on landscape are also likely to play a role. This is why we highlight the limitations of using noise simulation for predicting public support for and opposition to wind energy. Taking these into account, we provide examples for how the simulation can be applied as a tool of co-production in wind energy governance for future wind energy projects,beyond the UPWARDS simulation framework.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWageningen University & Research
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2020


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