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Old 09-18-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default How hazardous are wind farms for birds?

How hazardous are wind farms for birds?
15 de septiembre de 2009

http://www.evwind.es/noticias.php?id_not=1274
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The study estimates that 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-fueled power stations are responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh. While this paper should be respected as a preliminary assessment, the estimate means that wind farms killed approximately seven thousand birds in the United States in 2006 but nuclear plants killed about 327,000 and fossil-fueled power plants 14.5 million. The paper concludes that further study is needed, but also that fossil-fueled power stations appear to pose a much greater threat to avian wildlife than wind and nuclear power technologies.
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3. Problems with current research

The above studies, while useful and important, nonetheless suffer from three common problems: (1) they rarely compare their results with studies of other wind farms to contextualize their estimates; (2) most do not compare the possible avian deaths from wind electricity with other sources, and when they do, studies typically do not compare them to other energy sources; and (3) none attempted to calculate the number of avian deaths per kWh from energy sources so that more meaningful comparisons might be made between different forms of electricity supply.
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:00 PM   #2
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Default Birds versus wind turbines

Birds versus wind turbines
September 10, 10:26 AMEnvironmental Headlines Examiner
KJ Collins

Birds versus wind turbines
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As past articles often noted, domestic cats in the U.S. alone are responsible for millions of bird deaths. And, some experts theorized that the design of the wind turbines at Altamonte Pass was antiquated and updated designs, which included taller towers and longer blades, would results in many fewer dead birds.

But changing the height and design has not reduced the bird deaths. The operators of the Altamonte Pass wind turbines were sued in 2006 over the bird deaths by several environmental groups. The groups cited a 2004 California Energy Commission report that estimated that between 1766 and 4771 birds were killed by Altamonte wind turbines each year.
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Now with the government encouraging wind power through subsidies, the number of wind turbine farms in the major flyways for raptors and migratory birds are growing. With this growth, the issue of bird deaths has risen to the forefront again. A 2007 study by the National Academy of Sciences estimates that between 20,000 and 30,000 birds are killed each year by wind turbines. The American Bird Conservancy estimates a much higher number -- 220,000 bird deaths from turbines. Newsweek
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:02 PM   #3
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suggested reading from site:

Wind Power and Prairie Chickens

http://www.examiner.com/x-17018-Environmental-Headlines-Examiner~y2009m8d27-Wind-Power-and-Prairie-Chickens

Wind Farm threatens the Red Kite, the national bird of Wales
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2009/09/06/wind-farm-threat-to-wales-national-bird-91466-24616525/

US Fish and Wildlife developing new wind turbine guidelines
http://www.fws.gov/habitatconservati...As_Posted).pdf

Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (digest)
http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/migtrea.html

Video: Altamonte Pass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtgBWNKwBkE
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:25 PM   #4
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From what I've been reading lately, wind energy does not look like the future of energy in the U.S. Transporting the wind-generated electricity is another big problem, requiring the destruction of a large amount of habitat to lay wires.
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:44 AM   #5
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You know... there's another thread on these wind farms somewhere else. It hit on some of the things you mentioned about them not being the future of energy in the US.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:33 PM   #6
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I confess that I do not know which way we should go. It will be difficult to estimate and compare the respective impact on wildlife of all potential large-scale energy generating projects, won't it? Some of the objections that folks have to wind power, such as tearing up the landscape to get the energy from point A to point B, would also apply to large scale solar projects, wouldn't they?

And how do the impacts of projects such as these compare to the impacts on wildlife of achievable alternatives? Coal? Natural Gas? Biofuels? Nuclear? It seems to me that we are necessarily faced with choosing among the lesser of a list of evils. Given that, what is the optimum choice?

(And if the question mark key on my keyboard ever breaks, what will I do?)
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:32 AM   #7
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Good point HR. I recently read a cost-benefit analysis of the Cape Cod wind farm done by the Beacon Hill Institute, and by the highest plausible evaluation of environmental benefits the project still had a significant net social cost. However, it's possible that truly windy areas like the Great Plains could produce wind energy more cost-effectively.

I'm hoping that breeder reactors will make the nuclear option more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Supposedly, breeder reactors will reduce nuclear waste by 90% or more. But this is a topic I really haven't investigated for myself yet.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:29 PM   #8
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Default The American Wind Energy Association claims wind energy is our answer

FACTS ABOUT WIND ENERGY AND BIRDS
provided by the American Wind Energy Association

http://mywebsite.register.com/db5/00..._and_Birds.pdf
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It is important to understand that to the degree that the use of wind-generated electricity reduces the use of other energy sources, particularly coal and other fossil fuels, it is likely to be a net benefit to birds. This is because the small number of birds killed in collisions with wind turbines is far outweighed by windís role in preserving habitat and reducing greenhouse and air pollutant emissions.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:45 PM   #9
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Good grief. Talk about lying with numbers. Birds rarely fly into big things, that are lighted at night, like buildings, power plants, either nuclear or coal fired. However, they do tend to fly into things that are hard to see, like electric transmission lines, and the supporting towers. They also fly into tv and radio transmission towers, and, wind turbines. Whoever wrote this "study" apparently included bird deaths due to impact with electric transmission lines, along with bird deaths due to impact with electric generating stations. Since most of the electric power in the USA is generated in coal fired generating plants, most of the electricity flowing through the grid is derived from this source. That's how they came up with the conclusion that far more bird deaths are due to conventional coal fired power, compared with wind power and nuclear. The author is pretending that bird deaths due to impact with the electric grid should be attributed to the source of the power. This makes absolutely no sense, the "study" is not worth the paper its printed on.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:56 PM   #10
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They're a little biased being as how they're the American Wind Energy Association wouldn't you say. Look at their [Notes]. They must have had to search long and hard to avoid having to add "notes" from current research.
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