Common Concerns About Wind Power - 2nd edition

Evidence-based analysis drawing on peer-reviewed and publicly funded studies

Project duration: July 2017 ongoing

In 2011 we published a popular booklet called Common Concerns About Wind Power in response to requests from community energy groups looking for factual information about wind power. Since then, much has changed in the legal, economic and political sphere.

However, the demand for accurate, balanced and factual information to counter the many myths and misconceptions about wind is as strong as ever. This time we've published the second edition as a series of downloadable chapters, to facilitate easy sharing and distribution.

Chapter 1: Wind turbines and energy payback times
Chapter 2: Materials consumption and life cycle impacts of wind turbines
Chapter 3: Wind power costs and subsidies
Chapter 4: Efficiency and capacity factors of wind turbines
Chapter 5: Intermittency of wind turbines
Chapter 6: Offshore wind turbines
Chapter 7: Wind power and nuclear power
Chapter 8: Public acceptance and community engagement
Chapter 9: Wind turbines and property prices
Chapter 10: Siting wind turbines on ecologically sensitive land
Chapter 11: What effect do wind turbines have on wildlife?
Chapter 12: Wind turbines and safety
Chapter 13: Shadow flicker and epilepsy risk
Chapter 14: Wind turbines and noise
Chapter 15: Infrasound, 'wind turbine syndrome' and other health concerns
Chapter 16: Wind turbines and radar

To download all the chapters as as a single 'portfolio' PDF, click here.

Despite the clear market-readiness of the technology, wind power developments continue to be a highly contentious and politically charged issue and readers familiar with the first edition will note that this second edition contains several new chapters, covering topics that were not being widely discussed when the first edition was being prepared.

In some of these chapters the policy concerning topics has changed so abruptly, and is likely to continue doing so, that the information contained within them will necessarily quickly go out of date. Other topic areas have been more resilient to fluctuations in political and public opinion and as such are likely to have a longer shelf-life.

The increasing presence of wind farms across the country means that communities everywhere will continue needing to address the issues surrounding wind power. Changes to government planning policy in 2015 mean that onshore wind developments cannot now proceed without a site first having been allocated in a local or neighbourhood plan. (Back in 2016, CSE produced a guidance note for community energy groups seeking to do this.)

Even though the current government has decided to withdraw support for onshore wind, it is now the cheapest form of low carbon electricity generation (according to the government's own figures). It therefore remains important that current and future public discourse and policy decisions about this important technology are well-informed, drawing on a wide range of the high quality evidence available rather than a partial selection to suit a line of argument (either in favour or against).

This publication, therefore, should provide a comprehensive grounding in the facts for local authorities and communities as they undertake the development of local policies with regards to wind power and renewable energy in general. As before, this edition of Common Concerns about Wind Power relies heavily on academic peer reviewed publications, expert reports and government studies and we hope this update continues to provide an independent guide to the issues.

All chapters written and researched by Iain Cox. 

Looking for the first edition? It's still available here.

To download all the chapters as as a single 'portfolio' PDF, click here.

For further information contact:

Rachel Coxcoon | 0117 934 1426

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