Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and whether you think a wind turbine is attractive or not will always be your personal opinion. However, studies regularly show that most people find turbines an interesting feature of the landscape. On average 80% of the public support wind energy, less than 10% are against it, with the remainder undecided. Surveys conducted since the early 1990's across the country near existing wind farms have consistently found that most people are in favour of wind energy, with support increasing among those living closer to the wind farms.
Opinion surveys conducted by AusPoll (2001) suggest most Australians use words like "interesting", "graceful" and "attractive", rather than "industrial" to describe wind turbines.
- Anecdotal comments on Visual impressions of Windy Hill Wind Farm (Ravenshoe) carpark illustrate that: 90% thought them "majestic"; 5% "an eyesore" and 5% no opinion.
Guidelines provided by AusWEA recommend:
- Wind generators must be uniform in size and design (including direction of rotation)
- Support tower, blades and nacelles should be painted the same colour – preferably off-white or light grey – and have a matt finish. They should not be used as billboards
Why are wind farms built on the tops of hills? Why aren't wind farms built inland?
Due to speed up effects, wind speed is significantly higher at the top of a hill or ridgeline.
Wind farms can be built inland where wind speeds are sufficient and the electricity grid is nearby. Inland sites, do however, generally need to be in elevated terrain to have sufficient reliable wind. (AusWEA, 2012)
Consultants are commissioned to produce a series of high resolution photomontages and visual simulations to show what the wind farm will look like from the surrounding district.
Mt Emerald Wind Farm – Reduced Size TrueView Photosimulations, Aug 2011.
High resolution photomontages have been produced for 10 general locations around the site to show an "as real as possible" image of the wind farm view. 134 visual simulations were produced to show the view from actual residences around the wind farm.