Do demand-based obstruction lights on wind turbines increase community annoyance? Evidence from a Danish case

Sara Bjørn Aaen*, Ivar Lyhne, David Philipp Rudolph, Helle Nedergaard Nielsen, Laura Tolnov Clausen, Julia Kirch Kirkegaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Adverse impacts from wind turbine obstruction lights have received little attention in literature and practice with respect to community annoyance with wind energy and studies on the effects of mitigation measures are absent. Technology development has made demand-based obstruction lights possible, allowing lights to be turned on only when aircrafts are approaching. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of demand-based obstruction lights on community annoyance while considering the intervening effects from other influential factors. This is done by means of a before-after study of the installment of a demand-based obstruction light technology at a test center for wind turbines with a height up to 330 m in the northern part of Denmark. The results document that a radar-based obstruction light controlling system contributes to the reduction of community annoyance, but that annoyance is also influenced by several factors besides the direct impacts from obstruction lights. The results underscore the importance of communicating the effects of the radar system during the planning phase and when implemented. The findings thus provide important evidence that informs the efforts made by developers and authorities to reduce annoyance and increase community acceptance of wind turbines as part of the green transition of societies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRenewable Energy
Volume192
Pages (from-to)164-173
Number of pages10
ISSN0960-1481
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Community annoyance
  • Wind energy
  • Obstruction lights
  • Obstruction light control (OCL)

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