Common Misconceptions

Onshore wind turbines are really noisy aren’t they?
The noise levels produced by a wind farm are thoroughly regulated through the UK planning system. Banks Renewables, or indeed anyone else, could not get planning permission for an onshore wind farm that did not meet the strict rules set out in the Government’s ETSU-R-97 guidelines. You can also see a copy of ETSU-R-97 via our links page. The Institute of Acoustics (IoA) published a Good Practice Guide on onshore wind turbine noise assessment which has been prepared after a long period of consultation with acoustic experts. For a copy of the IoA’s latest report, published in August 2016, please see our links page.

The construction of onshore wind farms is disruptive isn’t it?

Shadow flicker in nearby homes is a big problem with on onshore wind turbines isn’t it?
Shadow flicker is caused when the rotating blades of a wind turbine cast a shadow on an observer. As the blades move they cause shadows on the ground or nearby dwellings to move too, giving rise to a flicker effect through windows and doors. As a result of advances in modern technology, wind turbines can now be fitted with computer controlled devices that prevent shadow flicker from occurring. New technology can predict the conditions when shadow flicker is likely to occur and shut down the turbines during these periods.

Don’t onshore wind turbines kill birds when birds fly into the blades?
Wind turbines are responsible for only a tiny proportion of bird mortality. By far the largest causes of death are buildings, power lines and domestic cats. For example, the report by A. Manville, working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, estimates that cats kill around 1 billion birds each year in the US. Whilst wind farms kill around 440,000 birds in the US. Please see our links page for a copy of the report. When we apply to build a new wind farm we must carry out a full Environmental Impact Assessment. We employ expert ecological consultants to carry out several years of surveying of sensitive bird populations and migratory species using the area. In order to gain planning permission we need to ensure that any perceived effects can be successfully overcome. Our wind farm applications always include a Habitat Management Plan which details how we will produce new wildlife habitats in the area to improve the local biodiversity and provide even better conditions for wildlife.

Do wind turbines really reduce carbon emissions?
Wind farms reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the overall electrical grid on close to a 1:1 basis. Typical electricity grids throughout the world (including the UK’s National Grid) produce c800g of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per KWh generated by their mixes of fossil, nuclear and renewable generation, and wind energy displaces virtually all of that CO2. For more information please see our links page.

If you have any specific questions about the points raised then we would be happy to hear from you.

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