Because relatively little research has been done on the human impacts of wind-energy projects, when wind-energy projects are undertaken, routine documentation should be made of processes for local interactions and impacts that arise during the lifetime of the project, from proposal through decommissioning. Such documentation will facilitate future research and therefore help future siting decisions to be made.

The impacts discussed in this chapter should be taken within the context of both the environmental impacts discussed in Chapter 3 and the broader contextual analysis of wind energy—including its electricity production benefits and limitations—presented in Chapter 2. Moreover, the conclusions and recommendations presented by topic here should not be taken in isolation; instead, they should be treated as part of a process. Chapter 5 elaborates on processes for planning and evaluating wind-energy projects and for public involvement in these processes.

Finally, the text of this chapter describes many specific questions to be asked and issues to be considered in assessing various aspects of the effects of wind-energy projects on humans, especially concerning aesthetic impacts, and those questions and issues should be covered in assessments and regulatory reviews of wind-energy projects.

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