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CSIRO report on wind farms 'not credible'

19, January 2012


The Australian Environment Foundation today slammed the CSIRO report released this week ‘Exploring community acceptance of rural wind farms in Australia’ as not befitting the premier national scientific research organisation.

“This report which claims to show the silent majority of Australians support the further roll-out of inefficient taxpayer subsidised wind farms is indicative of the one-sided, unbalanced research masquerading as science that is meant to inform debate on important issues” said Max Rheese, executive director of the AEF.

“Our view is that the report is based on a biased and inadequate review of the available peer-reviewed literature, much of which does not support wind energy on economic, environmental or health impacts.

“The report is littered with errors and the material referenced in the report presents a one-sided view of the robust community debate about the adverse impacts of wind farms.

The report makes no reference to the nine peer-reviewed studies since July 2011 linking wind turbine operation with adverse health effects from low-frequency sound even though the report states that this is a major issue for opposition to wind farms. 

Adverse health effects and the need for medical research were the primary issues of the 2011 senate inquiry recommendations into the economic and social impacts of wind farms, which the federal government is yet to respond to.

Only 27 interviews were conducted to inform the research findings over eight selected wind farms.  Only three of the wind farms selected for the study had actually commenced operations leaving respondents ‘guessing’ as to the impact a wind farm might have on their health or amenity.

Of the 27 respondents selected by the authors for the report only four were acknowledged to be opposed to wind farms.  The remainder were turbine hosts, wind industry executives, wind farm supporters and local government officials. 

The chairman of a community wind farm was asked to provide ‘helpful feedback’ on the report prior to publication.

The full AEF critique of the report is available here  

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