Private Nuisance: An Ill Wind for Wind Energy Projects?
Torts Law Journal, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 135-152, 2011
21 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2011 Last revised: 27 May 2014
Date Written: November 1, 2011
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.
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
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation