Shadow flicker not a problem

An independent study into the phenomenon of shadow flicker from wind turbines has been published today (March 16).

The study was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and carried out by infrastructure company Parsons Brinkerhoff.

Based on the findings of the research, the government has concluded that existing planning guidance on shadow flicker is fit for purpose and no changes are necessary.

Shadow flicker occurs when rotating wind turbine blades periodically cast shadows through constrained openings such as the windows of neighbouring properties.

The researchers only identified one case of shadow flicker in the UK and therefore concluded that there have not been extensive issues with it.

The study found that frequency of the flickering caused by the wind turbine rotation is such that it should not cause a significant risk to health.

In the few cases where problems have arisen, they have been resolved effectively using mitigation measures, in particular turbine shut down systems.

Energy and Climate Change minister of state, Charles Hendry, said: “It is vital that we use the most up to date, robust and accurate scientific evidence when looking at the impact of wind farms on communities.

“This study will be helpful to communities, developers and planners as they assess proposals for onshore wind projects”.

Alison Brown

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