Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

sd.commission.org.uk

Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

11 TelecommunicationsSummary• Wind turbines can interfere with radio signals and effect TV reception and telecommunicationssystems• However, a number of solutions are available to developers to counter any negative effects andthese should be identified early so that mitigation measures are included in the consentsprocess11.1 BackgroundTelecommunications signals (including TV, radioand data/voice transmission) can be negativelyaffected by wind turbines. The main issue is themulti-path effect, where there is corruption ordistortion of the received signal. Multi-patheffect can be caused by any object capable ofreflecting radio waves. This may includebuildings, towers and other stationary objects.The effect of wind developments ontelecommunications fall into two maincategories: effects on broadcast television (andits supporting transmission network), and effectson fixed radio links, mostly at microwavefrequencies. Technological trends are changingthe telecommunications environment, whichbenefits wind energy development.The Office of Communications (Ofcom) hasresponsibilities for licensing telecommunicationssystems and protecting radio systems againstinterference. It also plays an important role inthe pre-planning consultation process, providinginformation on potentially affectedtelecommunications facilities in the vicinity ofproposed wind farm developments.11.2 TelevisionTelevision signals are broadcast from a networkof main transmitters around the country,supplemented by additional, lower power, localtransmitters in areas where the main signal is ofpoor quality. Broadcast transmissions arevulnerable to multi-path effects in the sameway as any radio signal, leading to 'ghosting' onthe TV picture.Wind turbine impacts on television receptionquality are generally only found where thetelevision subscribers are located in an areawhere they have a wind farm between themand their nearest TV transmitter. To overcome TVtransmission interference the following can bedone:• A more sensitive receiver antenna could beprovided for affected householders• Antennae could be moved to receive from adifferent source transmitter• A local community re-broadcast facility couldbe installed• Alternative means of transmission, such assatellite or cable, could be used by affectedhouseholdersIn the future, the switch from analogue todigital terrestrial television may mean thattransmission networks become less vulnerableto interference from wind developments.Communities should negotiate with developersearly on in the development process to be surethat they do not suffer negative consequenceswhen the wind farm is operational and thatappropriate mitigation measures are planned. Itshould be noted that any large or talldevelopment could interfere with televisionreception, including the chimneys of local power106 Wind Power in the UK sustainable development commission

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines