Environmental and Social Impacts of Offshore Wind Farms in Botany Bay
Environmental and Social Impacts of Offshore Wind Farms in Botany Bay; When planning offshore wind farms the following impacts are studied to make sure the purposed project has a net benefit environmentally.Steps can then be taken to manage any negative impact resulting from the construction of the wind farms.Environmental Impact: Botany Bay has a diverse marine life the impact of the wind turbines on the environment; have surprisingly shown to produce artificial reefs.
A recent study; “Effect of the Horns Rev 1 Offshore Wind Farm on Fish Communities”(Leonhard, Stenberg, Stottrup;2011) has produced positive results illustrating the turbines have no adverse effect to the marine life; and has actually increased the population of some species of fish in the area.
It is also shown the most disturbance will coming in the construction stage of production. Wind farms also would have effects on the local bird-life; as both a collision risk with the rotors and disturbance and barrier effect to migrating birds.
Botany Bay is noted to have close to seventeen species of shorebirds prompting the need for further research to be looked at bird behaviour the area. Social Impact: Many studies have been developed to review wind turbines effect on the health of people; an Australian study “Wind Turbines and Health” (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2010) concluded that overall wind farms have minimal health effects compared to health burdens of conventional electricity generation.
The concept of “wind turbine syndrome” includes the worse of the adverse health issues; involved in hear loss and insomnia resulting from noise levels of the wind farms but it is generally believed to be a nocebo reaction to the presence of wind turbine. The noise level of 10 turbines at 350 metres is 35-45 dbA, in comparison to a standard quiet room being 35 dbA. The main legitimate health issue includes annoyance impact by locals and according to World Health Organisation (WHO; 1999) annoyance is an adverse health effect.
In terms of the planned wind farm at Botany Bay’s area; designing offshore greatly reduces the sound and visual impact; Being far out enough to have no shadow flicker to no effect. Also located in such an urban area sound from city is found to offset the noise level of the wind turbines (Ion Paraschivoiu). Recreational fishing in Botany Bay is a large attraction to Botany Bay with commercial fishing currently banned. Several artificial reefs were construction in 2006 to help fish habitats.
With the potential of more artificial reefs from the wind farms; marine wildlife will look to prosper; however building of offshore wind farms will pose safety issues to fishing in the area. Closing fishing areas closest to the wind farms may be necessary to provide proper safety; which will most likely irritate local fishermen. Environmental and Social impact of off shore wind farms cannot be taken lightly and for closer look on such effects proper detailed investigation have to be made on the surrounding wildlife and population of Botany Bay.
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Available: http://www. thefishsite. com/fishnews/11577/offshore-wind-power-creates-artificial-reefs Last accessed 12 Oct 2012. Hazel Watson. (2010). Shorebirds of Botany bay. Available: http://www. wetrivers. unsw. edu. au/research-projects/shorebirds/shorebirds-of-botany-bay/ Last accessed 12 Oct 2012. The Society for Wind Vigilance. (2010). Annoyance and Wind Turbines. Available: http://www. windvigilance. com/about-adverse-health-effects/annoyance-and-wind-turbines Last accessed 12 Oct 2012.
Magnus Johnson. (2009). Fisheries, the environment and offshore wind farms: Location, location, location.. Available:http://www. academia. edu/892929/Fisheries_the_environment_and_offshore_wind_farms_Location_location_location Last accessed 12 Oct 2012. Sustainable Development Commission (United Kingdom) (SDC), (2005): Wind Power in the UK: A guide to the key issues surrounding onshore wind power development in the UK, Government of the United Kingdom, England.
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