Monday, February 19, 2018

Wind Farms Are Hardly the Bird Slayers They’re Made Out to Be.  Here’s Why.

The potential to harm local birdlife is often used to oppose wind farm development. But research into how birds die shows wind farms should be the least of our concerns. (Image Credit: Click to Enlarge.
People who oppose wind farms often claim wind turbine blades kill large numbers of birds, often referring to them as “bird choppers”.  And claims of dangers to iconic or rare birds, especially raptors, have attracted a lot of attention.

Wind turbine blades do indeed kill birds and bats, but their contribution to total bird deaths is extremely low, as these three studies show.

A 2009 study using US and European data on bird deaths estimated the number of birds killed per unit of power generated by wind, fossil fuel, and nuclear power systems.

It concluded:
wind farms and nuclear power stations are responsible each for between 0.3 and 0.4 fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity while fossil-fuelled power stations are responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh.
That’s nearly 15 times more.  From this, the author estimated:
wind farms killed approximately seven thousand birds in the United States in 2006 but nuclear plants killed about 327,000 and fossil-fuelled power plants 14.5 million.
In other words, for every one bird killed by a wind turbine, nuclear, and fossil fuel powered plants killed 2,118 birds.

Read more at Wind Farms Are Hardly the Bird Slayers They’re Made Out to Be.  Here’s Why.

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