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Wind turbines take steep toll on birds and bats (article and video)

Zulima Palacio — Voice of America / Science and Technology — October 10, 2012

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Wind power is key to efforts to produce clean, limitless energy and to slow global warming. It’s one of the world’s fastest-growing energy industries. But there is mounting evidence that expanding “wind farms” are taking a toll on airborne wildlife. Thousands of birds and bats are killed every year by collisions with the the wind towers and their giant blades. Environmental activists are taking the wind energy industry to court to find a solution.


Estimates by the Department of Energy indicate that in the United States alone, there will be more than 100,000 wind turbines by 2030.


John Anderson is policy director at the American Wind Energy Association. “As time goes on, I think you will see wind replacing older plants that are being taken offline, but we are really capturing the new installation market,” he said.


But wind energy developers, in California and West Virginia, are being sued by environmental groups. A growing number of groups contend that hundreds of thousands of birds and bats are being killed every year by wind turbines, mostly at night when bats and migratory birds fly around mountain ridges where many wind farms are located.


Kelly Fuller, with the American Bird Conservancy, said, “In 2009, an expert at the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated 440,000 birds were being killed by wind turbines a year. That was before we had more growth of the industry.”


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One Comment on “Wind turbines take steep toll on birds and bats (article and video)”

  1. sandcanyongal October 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    10-20 hawks are colliding with turbine propellers in a single location in Mojave, CA. This amounts to 3650 – 7300 annually. The numbers will drop significantly when the population is completely killed off in that location. Until the people unite to stop this, it won’t stop. Hate to say this but most people don’t care…electricity seems to be all that matters.

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