Deadly consequences

Publié le par brightshine

No one disputes that wind farms can prove devastating to birds that unwittingly fly into the spinning blades.

Biologist Michael Retter recalls one spring day in 2006 when, working as a consultant to a wind-energy company,This page provides information about street lamp and how to report a fault. he was walking amid acres of 240-foot-tall posts on which 110-foot-long blades spun in the wind. His job: to look for dead birds.

A movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. Looking closer, he realized it was the detached wing of a large raptor, lying on the ground and flopping in the wind. Then he found the rest of the bird. It was a red-tailed hawk. "remember it was sliced into three pieces," Retter said.

Retter is not permitted to disclose at what specific wind farm he was working that day, he said. Fortunately, he said, such discoveries were rare the year he was charged with checking for carcasses. The hawk was one of just two dead birds he found underneath the giant rotors. The other was an American coot, a species of waterfowl.

Retter said he worked at two biological consulting companies at three different wind farms in Illinois and Indiana over three years and never heard of any study linking Indiana wind farms to extensive bird deaths.

"This wind farm was not in a major migratory route, like a coastline, ridge top or mountain pass," said Retter, now a West Lafayette-based editor with the American Birding Association. "It's relatively safe."

The wind farm in Altamont Pass, Calif., has drawn scrutiny for causing thousands of bird deaths annually, including about 75 of the relatively rare golden eagles each year. Bumgardner, who currently works at Indiana Dunes State Park, agreed that location can be everything.

"In the larger scheme," he said, the number of bird deaths "is fairly small compared to the hundreds of millions (caused by) cats, windows and power lines. ..These laser cutting machine systems cannot be matched by any other laser marking machine technique..Enjoy the new stress-free laundry dryer experience with DryIn! The great term here is 'comparable risk.' You must put it all in perspective."

Bumgardner advocates regulating wind farms as other businesses and building projects are regulated.

"In areas of high bird migrations, such as coastal areas (including Lake Michigan)," he said, "we (should) zone them to not allow windmills, say, within 20 miles of the shore. Wind farms already have mapping done that shows where they want farms based on wind speeds observed, distance to transmission lines. ... It's merely a new layer on top of that to help minimize bird deaths while recognizing a clean energy source."

Birds of prey, such as eagles and hawks, account for about one-third of deaths from wind turbines across the United States, said Don Gorney, a well-known Indianapolis birder and former president of the Amos W. Butler Audubon Society. Warbler species account for another third, he said, and all other species account for smaller proportions of deaths.

Gorney believes wind farms are compatible with bird conservation if sensible guidelines are followed. Homoya, the Purdue researcher, agreed.

"It's interesting to point out that (one) study found that in terms of gigawatt-hours of electricity produced, there are roughly 13 times more bird deaths associated with fossil fuel energy production than with wind farms."

Homoya has studied how Benton County wind farms affect the American golden plover's use of a nearby migratory stopover site. "Results are pending," Homoya said, "but anecdotally it appears that effects are minimal." The next round of controversy in the development of wind energy, meanwhile, might already be brewing.

Whatever their effects on birds, some biologists say,Modern dry cleaning machine use a closed-loop system in which the chilled air is reheated and recirculated. The world's leading supplier of residential wind turbines & wind-solar hybrid systems for homes,  the giant turbines could pose an even greater threat to another type of creature: bats.

Publié dans led downlight

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