U of Waterloo year 4 wind turbine summary

Magnetically-Levitated-MEMS-RobotRenewable Energy Technologies and Health, University of Waterloo
1.1 Wind Turbine Health Studies: Epidemiological study and GIS analysis
As previously reported, the RETH survey was sent to 5000 homes across eight Ontario communities with wind generation facilities (the counties of Bruce, Dufferin, Elgin, Essex, Frontenac, Huron, Norfolk, and Chatham-Kent) in January, 2013. Homes within 5km of the selected wind farms received a survey and, later, an invitation to participate in the same survey online if they had yet to participate. The survey included sections focussing on health, sleep, environmental stressors, housing and community, and perceptions of wind. Analysis and publication of survey data is still ongoing. Results from the sleep and health sections are now available and are being prepared for submission to peer-reviewed journals. Results from other sections of the survey (perceptions, environmental stressors, health) have beenpresented at conferences and preliminary results are discussed here.

Sleep and Health
Results from the survey could suggest that there is a possible association between various health outcomes and how far someone lives from an industrial wind turbine. A cross-sectional study involving eight Ontario communities that contain greater than ten industrial wind turbines were selected for study. The ‘Quality of Life and Renewable Energy Technologies Study’ survey was sent to 4,876 residences near industrial wind turbines in these eight communities. Descriptive analyses were performed and multiple regression models were run to investigate the effect of the main independent variable of interest (distance to nearest industrial wind turbine) on the various outcome variables. Descriptive statistics, including means and standard deviations were performed on a number of dependent and independent variables including age, sex, time in home, number of industrial wind turbines within 2,000 meters and sleep and health outcomes.Read article

13 thoughts on “U of Waterloo year 4 wind turbine summary

  1. I skimmed the info, but what struck me was how few people responded to the survey — I would have expected more. I wondered if surveyed were people who had left the area – moved and left their homes. Also, how many surveyed leased land for the wind turbines.

    • ‘[excerpt] The survey included sections focussing on health, sleep, environmental stressors, housing and community, and perceptions of wind. Analysis and publication of survey data is still ongoing.’

      It’s a forever school project.
      How smart is that?

    • The survey was actively opposed by this group and other opponents of wind turbines.

      In the end we got the federal survey — which in my opinion was far worse in terms of expertise and intent.

      You get what you pay for — or not.

  2. I send my condolences to family and friends
    associated with University of Waterloo.

    UW strikes – a brand new low!

    • ‘[excerpt] Study findings suggest that industrial wind turbines could have an impact on health.’

      Ha ! ! !

      • Note: the document is not dated.
        Just, “SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES – YEAR 4”

        Rec’d: Dec. 1, 2014

    • Page 16 of 17:
      ‘[excerpt] 5. MEMBERS OF THE RESEARCH TEAM
      (other than graduate students) – YEAR 4

      Faculty Members*:
      Dr. Siva Sivoththaman, Professor,
      Electrical and Computer Engineering

      Dr. Philip Bigelow, Associate Professor,
      School of Public Health and Health Systems

      Dr. Stephen McColl, Associate Professor,
      School of Public Health and Health Systems

      Dr. John Vanderkooy, Distinguished Professor Emeritus,
      Department of Physics and Astronomy

      Dr. Laurie Hoffman-Goetz, Professor,
      School of Public Health and Health Systems

      Dr. Shannon E. Majowicz, Assistant Professor,
      School of Public Health and Health Systems

      Dr. Jane Law, Associate Professor,
      School of Planning

      Dr. Fue-Sang Lien, Professor,
      Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

      Dr. Zhongchao Tan, Associate Professor,
      Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
      *The team members also collaborated with several other faculty members on campus.

      Post-doctoral Fellows:
      Dr. Bahareh Sadeghimakki,
      Electrical and Computer Engineering

      Dr. Roohollah Tarighat,
      Electrical and Computer Engineering

      Technical Support:
      Mr. Joseph Street, Facility Manager,
      Centre for Advanced Photovoltaic Devices and Systems

      Ms. Julia Guan, Research Technician,
      School of Public Health and Health Systems’

    • page 2, Perceptions

      ‘[excerpt]
      The first section of the survey focuses on perceptions of wind turbines. There was no standardized scale available to assess perceptions of wind turbines, so survey statements were created by modifying questions/statements from similar surveys examining environmental stressors, and in some cases created by researchers based on findings from the literature and unique characteristics of Ontario’s wind energy development. These statements were displayed beside a 5-point Likert scale with which respondents could rank their agreement/disagreement with each statement. Some preliminary findings from the analysis of perceptions indicate that some opponents to wind turbines in Ontario can be categorized into groups that are consistent with the literature (Bell, Gray & Haggett, 2005) – qualified supporters and NIMBY or self-interested opponents. The identification and characterization of these groups can help inform wind turbine development and policy in the future.’

    • page 3, Perceptions [continued]

      ‘[excerpt] First, what would be considered “NIMBY” or Not-In-My-Backyard opponents who oppose wind turbines based on concerns for their own property or self-interest were defined as people who agreed that “Building wind farms to produce energy is acceptable if they are situated far away from homes” which is referred to as self-interested opposition (SIO) in this research. Second, we defined opponents who are specifically opposed to wind turbine development because of issues with certain aspects of development to be qualified supporters, who have qualified support for wind turbines and are not outright against them. These opponents were defined by their agreement with the statement Wind farms should only be located in communities that want this type of development” (sic) .’

    • pages 3-4, Perceptions [continued]
      ‘[excerpt] These preliminary results show that within Ontario communities, distinct opinions groups that have been found in other international wind turbine communities exist as well. Qualified supporters are more likely to be annoyed with environmental stressors and perceive risks from wind turbines. It appears that the qualified supporters hold many of the opposing positions that are seen among vocal wind turbine opponents and that demographically, they are wealthier retirees. Self-interested opponents were more likely to be working and with lower incomes, and were more interested in the ownership and economic fairness of these developments. These findings indicate that Self-interested opponents may be more inclined to favor wind turbine developments if they benefitted financially from the development. Qualified supporters seem to find many aspects of wind turbines worthy of opposition. Although some literature suggests that opposition based on positions on the danger of stray voltage requires better education or that opposition based on visibility and landscape impact can be addressed in better siting practices it may be that the support of “qualified supporters” is contingent on too many qualifiers to ever be accomplished. It may be that opposition based on noise or low-frequency noise cannot be resolved for this specific group, although it is worth noting that they represent only a small number of the total respondents to the survey and, potentially, the population as a whole. Changes to increased economic benefits may address opposition from self-interested respondents. To reduce opposition from qualified supporters, risk communication messages may be effective, but addressing concerns in development may be more effective if possible.’

      • More of shift the blame to the victims. Pay off the victims and everything will be ok.

        What about the money the developers are making from IWTs? And the big boys in this don’t have IWTs near them.

      • Judges consider the “weight” of the evidence/studies. So if two piles of “evidence” are piled in front of a judge the biggest “pile” will win even if it is wrong.

        Just another perspective on this situation.

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