Going Green

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Caution: Spinning Blades Ahead

There will always be naysayers...

Bird deaths stir oversight for U.S. wind power

Fri Oct 5, 2007 5:41pm BST

By Leonard Anderson

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The growing U.S. wind power industry is drawing increased scrutiny from states and the federal government over the problem of spinning wind turbines killing birds.

The California Energy Commission last week adopted voluntary guidelines to reduce wind energy effects on wildlife, and Washington state, Montana and Texas among other states are reviewing measures.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, part of the Department of the Interior, also is developing voluntary procedures for wind projects, a spokeswoman said.

Wind power, which is expected to increase by 26 percent in power generating capacity this year, is mostly unregulated in the United States except by county boards, city councils and local planning commissions.

Wind energy accounts for less than 1 percent of the nation's electricity supply -- enough power to serve 3 million households.

A study issued by the National Academy of Sciences in May said...(complete article here).

I wonder how this compares to wildlife killed by petroleum products, by hydroelectric dams, by coal-fired electric plants, and all of the other sources of energy. The article does point out that more birds are killed by automobiles than by turbines. Maybe we should post signs around all wind turbine fields -- Caution: Spinning Blades Ahead!

4 comments:

KM said...

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Panhandle Poet said...

Give me a hint KM. I don't track your application of that well-worn phrase. Maybe I'm a little slow.

KM said...

Sorry -- I'm just noting that pointing out that other sources of energy production and use kill birds doesn't justify adding to that toll with wind.

There is, of course, an unspoken assumption that using wind diminishes the use of other sources, but there is no evidence anywhere of wind doing so.

Panhandle Poet said...

KM: Thanks for the clarification. That is what I suspected, but had to ask. My thoughts were that wind energy is probably much less harmful to the environment than other forms of energy production. Hopefully it will replace some of the more harmful ones.