Statutory framework (measurement against the norm)
The noise impacts for wind farms are laid down in the Netherlands in the Activities (Environmental Management) Decree. It includes the noise measurements for 47 dB (Lden) and 41 dB (Lnight). Noise regulation norms for wind turbines, take into account background noise caused by wind. The higher the wind speed, the stronger the background noise, the higher the norm. The NCEA advises to elaborate the following information in the EIA report on the basis of which, can be measured against the norm:
- The noise conditions (acoustic quality) of the area. It indicates the nature of the area (rural, village, urban) and displays the already existing normative noise-related sources (industry, traffic, etc.).
- The noise emissions from the wind farm, alternatives and measurement against the set limits. For EA, it is important to monitor cumulative noise exposure from nearby wind turbines in relation to nearby residential properties.
- An overview of (technical) options to reduce noise emission (including equipping wind turbines with wind speed-dependent control) and the actual potential reduction in noise exposure.
The legal framework for sound and wind turbines (Activities (Environmental Management) Decree) can be found on the website of the Infomil Knowledge Centre (only available in Dutch).
The connection between wind turbines and human response is complex and many factors are involved in public debate. While there are many approaches to look at the pros and cons of wind turbines, initially the (local) focus is often on potential health effects of living near wind turbines. An extensive collection of scientific and non-scientific publications on the subject of wind turbines and health is available, which can be addressed in the discussion on wind turbines (source RIVM 2013).