Saturday, June 14, 2008

Birds and Wind Power

I love wind power.  It's cheap and it's clean and there is enough wind in the open oceans around this country to more than fulfill our current electricity needs.  Historically, birding groups were opposed to wind turbines.  As more information is gathered, though, people are finding that the danger to birds isn't nearly as extreme as feared.

I'm trying to put some interviews together on the subject.  For now, check out this very interesting graphic of an eider study done on an offshore wind farm in Europe:

(If you're having trouble viewing the image, click here)

See how the ducks' flight patterns shift to avoid the turbines? The early data seems to show that seabird mortality due to turbine strikes will be low with offshore wind. Other factors, such as how to site the turbines to avoid feeding grounds, still need to be looked into.


John B. said...

I think that wind has a lot of promise as long as they are sited properly and impact studies are done for each site. There seems to be a lot of distrust based on a few poorly-sited farms. Mangled hawks are understandably bad publicity. But our current methods of power production are really harmful to birds as well, so replacing coal with wind would be (at worst) a wash.

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