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Wind turbine flicker shadow study released

The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s independent study shows that flicker shadow caused by wind turbines should not cause a significant risk to health.

An independent research study into the phenomenon of shadow flicker from wind turbines was today published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc).

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

The study, commissioned from Parsons Brinckerhoff following a competitive tender process, found that:

  • There have not been extensive issues with shadow flicker in the UK
  • The 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

The report was peer reviewed by independent experts The Energy Workshop and Decc’s Engineering and Analysis Team. The Department for Communities and Local Government, Defra and the Department of Health also engaged in the review.

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

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