Here is an real video of a bird collision with a wind turbine. The video is not edited and is graphic, so please be advised.
A PLANNED wind farm could kill golden eagles in the blades of its 24 turbines, environmentalists have warned.
Black throated, great northern and red throated divers, dotterels, white-tailed eagles and hen harriers are also threatened by the scheme planned for an area between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht, one of Scotland’s last wildernesses, experts said.
Ospreys, which nest in forestry to the west and fly over the area to fish in lochs Ericht and Mheugaidh, could be killed too.
The developer Netherlands-based Eventus BV, has insisted the scheme can fit into the landscape. But Scottish Natural Heritage said the Talladh-a-Bheithe wind farm would have a damaging effect on birds and mammals, including bats and otters.
Hundreds of residents, businesses and landscape protection organisations also oppose the scheme, including the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS), the John Muir Trust and the Keep Rannoch Wild campaign.
Renewable energy sources are killers, not so much green as red. Until recently, renewable energy sources—wind, solar, hydro, etc.—have gotten a pass on the environmental harms they cause. However, as the death toll mounts, the public has begun objecting to the deadly impacts of “green” energy sources.
Hydroelectric dams, once the darlings of the green jet set, have been killing migrating salmon for decades. Despite designers’ best efforts, they have yet to solve the problem, and now dams are being dismantled to save salmon and river ecosystems.
Two decades ago, some environmentalists began referring to wind farms as “cuisinarts of the air” because birds were being mangled by the huge, fast-spinning turbines.
The problem has only gotten worse as the number of wind farms has grown rapidly under the Obama administration’s push for subsidized green energy.
Wind turbines kill bats as well as birds. Most recently, a 7,600-acre wind farm in Nevada was found to have killed 566 bats, more than triple the number it is allowed to take each year. Conservationists believe many more bats die each year but their carcasses are not found.
The finding of an independent report for Macarthur Wind Farm operator AGL follows 12 monthly searches of 48 turbines at the 140-turbine operation in Victoria that found 576 bird carcasses.
After adjusting for birds eaten by scavengers between searches and the total 140 turbines, Australian Ecological Research Services estimated each turbine killed about 10 birds a year.
The analysis said this would include 500 raptors a year.
AGL has confirmed that 64 bird fatalities were found during the official searches and an additional 10 carcasses were found near turbines by maintenance personnel, landowners or ecologists when not undertaking scheduled carcass searches.
The total included eight brown falcons, seven nankeen kestrels, six wedge-tailed eagles, one black falcon, two black-shouldered kites and one spotted harrier.
But an AGL spokesman said the report had “shown no significant impact on threatened species”. The company said overall estimates of bird and bat mortality “are subject to several sources of bias which may result in inaccurate estimates”.
The report recommended more frequent searches of a smaller number of turbines to get a more accurate assessment.
The US’ first wind energy legislation to protect birds against wind energy and other renewable energy has been passed. The Bird Protection Act will come into force in January 2015, requiring energy producers to ensure that their facilities protect birds and other wildlife.
The bill – drafted by State Senator David Balmer – referenced a recent study, which stated that in 2012, 573,000 birds were killed by the wind industry. Another study also referenced by the bill estimated that around 1.4 million birds will be killed annually by 2030, based on current unregulated wind industry expansion.
As of early next year, wind energy producers will be required to follow ‘Bird Smart wind energy standards’, which will include the following:
· An independent pre-construction environmental assessment to be completed that demonstrates that the wind facility is not located in an area of high risk to birds, such as a known migratory flight path, nesting area, or wetlands;
· Use of construction practices and technology that follow best practices for preventing birds from colliding with the wind energy facility;
· Appropriate post-construction assessments to monitor bird impacts;
The Energy Department is spending millions of dollars to figure out how to protect wildlife from renewable energy technology, following reports of birds and bats injured or killed at solar and wind sites.
Last week, the department announced it would give $1.1 million to the Biodiversity Research Institute of Gorham in Maine and First Wind to refine a three dimensional camera system to evaluate eagle and bat flight behavior around wind turbines.
There is more to be learned about how these species behave in the vicinity of a wind farm,” said Dave Cowan, vice president of environmental affairs at First Wind. “For example, how close do they fly, and at what point do they exhibit avoidance behavior?” he asked in a statement. “Answering such questions will help wind farms reduce risks to wildlife over the long run.”
Permits to allow wind farms to kill eagles drew ire from conservationists as well as Republican lawmakers like House Natural Resources Chairman Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who held a hearing on the subject and issued a subpoena for documents in March.
“There are legitimate concerns that the Obama administration is implementing these laws in an arbitrary fashion,” he said at the time.
Massive solar power plants and wind turbines are killing birds and bats in large numbers, but the Obama Administration is not disturbed. In Appalachia, the administration imposes strict standards on the amount of salt in streams below coal mines because it may (or may not) have an adverse effect on mayflies and other flies, but hundreds of thousands of birds and bats are killed every year by solar and wind facilities and the Obama administration shrugs it off. In fact, they give permits to companies to do so.
A wind facility in Nevada is killing 3 times the number of bats allowed under an agreement by Obama Administration regulators and massive solar facilities are incinerating up to an estimated 28,000 birds per year using sophisticated solar technology. The Obama “administration has made clear that they’re not going to let a few whimpering hippies stand in the way of progress.” To the Obama Administration, wind and solar power, no matter what the cost, is progress.
Two former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigators tell National Review Online that the federal government acted with a bias, giving renewable-energy companies a pass on unlawful bird deaths while rigorously prosecuting traditional energy companies for the same infractions.
“If birds were electrocuted or in oil pits, we prosecuted those companies,” says Tim Eicher, a special agent who handled cases involving migratory birds, eagles, and endangered species until his retirement three years ago. But the Fish and Wildlife Service “has drunk the Kool-Aid on global warming,” Eicher tells NRO. When it comes to wind- and solar-energy companies, “the end, to them, justifies the means: They’re saving the planet, and if eagles die in the process, so be it.”
Dominic Domenici, a former Fish and Wildlife Service investigator who worked with Eicher in Wyoming, says the bias is obvious because, when unlawful bird deaths occur, the federal government “prosecutes everything except for wind and solar — and they give [those renewable companies] permits” for bird-killing. That bias, Domenici says, is “top-down” within the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Birds singed in midair by a solar thermal power plant in the Mojave Desert — known as “streamers” for the smoke plume they emit — viscerally highlight the reality that the quest for energy almost always causes some form of environmental harm, even through technologies considered green and clean.
The same power plant that’s creating streamers was nearly derailed due to concerns about its potential impact on habitat for rare desert tortoises, for example. Wind power projects routinely kill birds and ruffle residents within their eyesight with concerns about visual blight. Geothermal energy projects have rattled nerves over elevated earthquake risks. Hydroelectric dams drove salmon runs to extinction.
“There are sacrifices that every technology has and the question is how visible those are,” Nathan Lee, a graduate student and researcher with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative who is developing a course on the ethics of energy policy with his adviser Lucas Stanczyk, told NBC News. “In the case of the birds getting singed by giant towers, it’s pretty visible and understandably it is therefore probably more upsetting than the quieter ways in which energy technologies cause a lot of harm.”