Global installed capacity of wind energy has increased 568 percent over the past ten years. This significant acceleration of wind energy development, while benefiting the health of humans and the environment, has drawn opposition. Individuals and local groups who are opposed to the construction of wind turbines have claimed health impacts in order to prevent the wind farms from being built. But, these efforts have not been successful, and for good reason: wind farms do not cause health problems.
Therefore, government entities at the local and state level, and developers should not expect to be held liable for health issues blamed upon wind energy, as the cases have been rejected time and time again.
This Energy and Policy Institute report assesses legal cases in five English-speaking countries pertaining to wind energy. The intent is to provide clarity in assessing potential legal liability, and to identify the weaknesses of evidence and expertise that are common in health-related suits against wind farms.
This report was designed as a resource for wind energy legal defense teams and expert witnesses in preparing for any future court proceedings. The precedence of past legal cases shows health claims against wind energy have not been substantiated in court.
This report would not have been possible without the ongoing support and guidance of a worldwide collection of experts in wind farm noise and health with whom I communicate frequently and are regularly asked to provide evidence in different courts regarding wind farm noise and health concerns. These include but are not limited to Professor Simon Chapman, Dr. Geoffrey Leventhall, Professor Emerita Cornelia Baines, Christophe Delaire, Fiona Crichton, Dr. David Perry, Loren Knopper, Dr. Norm Broner and Richard Mackie. Further, wind energy experts such as Paul Gipe, Malcolm Hamilton, Ketan Joshi, and Roger Short have provided excellent insights as I have been assessing wind energy court proceedings and health concerns worldwide.
Of course, the leadership and staff at the Energy and Policy Institute must be thanked, especially Gabe Elsner and Matt Kasper, without whom this report would not exist.