Private Nuisance: An Ill Wind for Wind Energy Projects?

Penelope Crossley

University of Sydney - Faculty of Law

November 2011

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/86

Wind energy will play an important role in the development of Australia’s renewable energy sector. However, there have been a growing number of private and statutory cases brought in the United States and the United Kingdom seeking relief from the alleged interferences arising from neighbouring wind farms in respect of noise, aesthetic values, shadow flicker and blade glint. This article examines these cases to assess the likely impact of private nuisance claims on the Australian wind industry. It argues that those private nuisance claims that have been successful overseas generally relate to substantial and unreasonable interferences from noise and can often be attributed to failures either in the planning process or in compliance with the planning permission. The article further argues that with technological improvements and the introduction of the National Wind Farm Development Guidelines, it is less likely that there will be successful private nuisance cases in Australia as the wind turbine manufacturers, developers and planning bodies increasingly address these concerns.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: tort, private nuisance, wind farm, energy, Australia, United Kingdom, United States, noise, shadow flicker, blade glint, planning, social utility

JEL Classification: K10, K13, K30, K32

Accepted Paper Series

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Date posted: November 4, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Crossley, Penelope, Private Nuisance: An Ill Wind for Wind Energy Projects? (November 2011). Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/86. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1954243

Contact Information

Penelope Crossley (Contact Author)
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )
Faculty of Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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