The Independent Scientific Committee on Wind Turbines (the Committee) was an independent, multidisciplinary, expert group. It monitored and considered the science on the potential impacts of sound (including infrasound and low frequency) from wind turbines on health and the environment.
The Committee concluded at the end of 2021.
While the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner (the Commissioner) drew on the work of the Committee, the Committee was independent and separate from the Commissioner.
Terms of Reference for 2018-2021
The Committee was convened as an independent, multidisciplinary, expert group to improve science and monitoring of the potential impacts of sound from wind turbines (including low frequency and infrasound) on health and the environment.
The Committee provided advice on:
- the development of Australian methodologies and frameworks in sound measurement and standards for wind farms, including in the field of infrasound and low frequency sound
- innovation in cost-effective, continuous sound monitoring of wind farms
- options for wind farm operators to maximise transparency such as by providing information on wind speed, operational statistics, operating hours and sound monitoring
The Committee monitored and periodically reviewed progress in understanding the potential health impacts of wind farms and commented on further possible research developments to support standards and measurement protocols.
An important part of the Committee's role was bringing together partners to inform their work, including linking to the work being undertaken through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
The Committee complemented the work of the Commissioner to identify needs and priorities for monitoring efforts to deliver transparency of information.
- supported the Commissioner to consider the harmonisation of wind farm noise standards across states and territories
- provided advice to Government on the need to consider changes to existing standards, based on a review of the World Health Organization's Environment Noise Guidelines, and the two ongoing NHMRC projects
The Committee provided an Annual Report to the Australian Parliament reporting on delivery against these Terms of Reference and other achievements.
The Committee was established in 2015 for three years and was extended until December 2021. Committee members were:
- Adjunct Professor John Davy (Chair)
- Dr Kym Burgemeister
- Professor Simon Carlile
- Clinical Professor David Hillman AO
The Committee’s annual reports were tabled in Parliament and published on this website.
The Committee published three peer-reviewed papers:
- A Review of the Possible Perceptual and Physiological Effects of Wind Turbine Noise is available on the Sage Journals website
- Wind turbine sound limits: Current status and recommendations based on mitigating noise annoyance is available on the Science Direct website
- A Review of the Potential Impacts of Wind Turbine Noise in the Australian Context is available on the Springer Link website
- The Australian Government responded to a Senate Inquiry on wind turbines
- The government is developing a regulatory framework to enable the exploration, construction, operation and decommissioning of offshore wind in a fair and transparent way
- View the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner’s website
- View the health advice on wind farms from the National Health and Medical Research Council