Wind turbine shadow flicker causes no health risk, according to UK study

Posted on June 3, 2011. Filed under: Wind | Tags: |


From a news release issued by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change:

An independent research study into the phenomenon of shadow flicker from wind turbines was today published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Shadow flicker is the flickering effect caused when rotating wind turbine blades periodically cast shadows through constrained openings such as the windows of neighbouring properties.

The study, commissioned from Parsons Brinckerhoff following a competitive tender process, found that:

There have not been extensive issues with shadow flicker in the UK;
The frequency of the flickering caused by the wind turbine rotation is such that it should not cause a significant risk to health;
In the few cases where problems have arisen, they have been resolved effectively using mitigation measures, in particular turbine shut down systems.

The report was peer reviewed by independent experts The Energy Workshop and DECC’s Engineering and Analysis Team. The Department for Communities and Local Government, Defra and the Department of Health also engaged in the review.

The Government has considered the report’s findings and concluded that existing planning guidance on shadow flicker is fit for purpose, and no changes to it are necessary.

Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change said:

“It is vital that we use the most up to date, robust and accurate scientific evidence when looking at the impact of wind farms on communities.

“This study will be helpful to communities, developers and planners as they assess proposals for onshore wind projects”.

Access the report on this page.

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