Do renewable energy projects negatively impact our health?
No. People have been safely living and working around wind turbines, solar panels and batteries for decades. Wind and solar energy emit no pollutants and the overall impact of renewable energy on human health is overwhelmingly positive. In fact, studies have shown health-related air quality benefits from wind and solar energy are worth even more than the electricity itself.1
Modern, photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are made of materials typical of those found in electronic equipment and are encased, so as not to pose a concern for the water supply or public health.2
Advanced energy storage utilizes primarily lithium ion batteries, similar to what you would find in your smart phone or laptop computer. Energy storage systems have zero direct air and water impacts and a small footprint, and they can be deployed rapidly at multiple-megawatt scale.
The weight of scientific evidence, including more than 80 peer-reviewed studies, shows properly sited wind turbines are not related to adverse health effects.3,4 This includes concerns around: audible noise, low frequency noise, infrasound, and shadow flicker.
Studies have found the mere perception of a negative impact, known in the scientific-medical profession as the “nocebo” effect (the opposite of the “placebo” effect) can lead individuals who are subject to misinformation about wind energy to mis-report negative health effects when there actually is no evidence for the health effects.5