Comparing Strongly Annoyed Individuals with Symptoms Near U.S. Turbines to those in Europe

Comparing Strongly Annoyed Individuals with Symptoms Near U.S. Turbines to those in Europe

March 13, 2018

Fourth in a four-part series on results from a Berkley Lab-led effort to characterize and help explain attitudes toward local wind power projects in the US.  Data were collected randomly from 1,705 homeowners living within five miles of 250 U.S. wind power projects across 24 states with a focus on individuals within close proximity of the turbines (e.g., < 1 mile). These data represent the first nationwide survey of wind power project neighbors in the United States and the largest such survey conducted in the world to-date.

This webinar will focus on: an investigation of individuals that are “strongly” annoyed (i.e., annoyed with symptoms), and compare results between this U.S. study and other studies in Europe, to examine differences and correlates.

Strongly annoyed respondents are individuals who are very, moderately or somewhat annoyed and report having symptoms. The symptoms include “being in a bad mood”, “anger”, “lack of concentration”, “difficulty falling asleep” and “otherwise not sleeping well”, any of which must have a frequency of at least monthly and be attributed to the turbines. This “strongly annoyed” group is compared to four other groups in the Annoyance Stress Scale: 1) have not experienced (i.e., cannot hear or do not see the turbines), 2) not at all annoyed, 3) slightly annoyed, and 4) somewhat annoyed (i.e., annoyed without symptoms).

Preliminary results, which will be the subject of the webinar, find that strongly annoyed individuals represent a very small portion of the population (<2%). 

Results indicate that those that are strongly annoyed by sound, compared to the other groups, have stronger negative attitudes toward the local wind project.  Also, they are less satisfied with the planning process and more annoyed by it.  Distance from the nearest turbine, A-weighted sound levels (dBA), and stated noise sensitivity are not correlated. A similar mean level of annoyance to sound is found in European results.