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Reply #29: Birds and windpower (some science) [View All]

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Celefin Donating Member (256 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
29. Birds and windpower (some science)
Article by Sovacool, B.K. (2009), journal source: Energy Policy

I am only posting the abstract, as it is not a freely available article and thus under copright, sorry.

This article explores the threats that wind farms pose to birds and bats before briefly surveying the recent literature on avian mortality and summarizing some of the problems with it. Based on operating performance in the United States and Europe, this study offers an approximate calculation for the number of birds killed per kWh generated for wind electricity, fossil-fuel, and nuclear power systems. 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.

It has to be said that he factors in habitat loss from climate change at 4.98 fatalities per GWh for fossil fuel plants. This is an estimate based on other scientific papers and not observed fact - still I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.

He cites survey data from the US GAO (2005) on bird mortality and on wind development in California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming (the 10 states with more than 90% of total installed wind power capacity) and concludes that sources for avian mortality can be ranked as follows:
collision with windows: 97-976 million
feral cats: 110 million
pesticides: 72 million
collision with communication towers: 4-50 million

The National Academy of Sciences (2007) put the estimate of wind farms' share in anthropogenic bird deaths at 0.003%.


So whatever valid argument you want to use against windpower (and there are quite a few, but this is the same for any energysource), avian mortality shouldn't be used. Go down that road and you'd have to prohibit fx the use of mobile phones or electricity generation in general. Or driving. Or agriculture.

As for windpower beeing just another money-spinning scheme... you're most likely right on that, sadly.

Have a nice day ;)
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  -U.S. wind report blows away records bananas  Jul-16-09 08:16 PM   #0 
  - Some great news! Thank you and rec'd! nt  babylonsister   Jul-16-09 08:21 PM   #1 
  - Great news....keeping it kicked and rec'd  AnOhioan   Jul-16-09 08:22 PM   #2 
  - Great news for the big energy corporations.  prostomulgus   Jul-16-09 08:26 PM   #3 
  - Actually, it's great news for the birds!  bananas   Jul-16-09 08:35 PM   #4 
  - Very interesting. Thanks.  DavidDvorkin   Jul-16-09 08:45 PM   #5 
  - Birds and windpower (some science)  Celefin   Jul-17-09 08:02 AM   #29 
  - Terrible news, but it makes a lot of people happy.  Laelth   Jul-16-09 08:47 PM   #6 
  - Okay, but...  kimmylavin   Jul-16-09 09:05 PM   #8 
  - No doubt. We need to do that.  Laelth   Jul-17-09 01:13 AM   #20 
  - No, we don't "burn the same amount of fossil fuels whether we have the windmills or not"  bananas   Jul-17-09 03:19 AM   #26 
  - No energy source will ever reduce our need for oil.  kentauros   Jul-18-09 12:09 PM   #36 
     - Okay, then 50% reduction.  kimmylavin   Jul-18-09 03:30 PM   #38 
  - lol there we go.  high density   Jul-16-09 09:08 PM   #9 
  - Happy to oblige.  Laelth   Jul-17-09 01:13 AM   #21 
  - If we want to continue to use electricity, sacrifices have to be made.  Zynx   Jul-16-09 09:16 PM   #10 
  - Me too. Coal has to go.  Laelth   Jul-17-09 01:16 AM   #22 
  - bullshit, again  diane in sf   Jul-16-09 09:48 PM   #11 
  - Thank you for your kind opinion.  Laelth   Jul-17-09 01:16 AM   #23 
  - Explode the lungs of bats?  Fumesucker   Jul-16-09 10:25 PM   #14 
  - Presumably, they create low pressures that bats lungs can't take.  Laelth   Jul-17-09 01:10 AM   #19 
  - What a load of bull.  truthisfreedom   Jul-16-09 11:07 PM   #16 
  - Wow! Unadulterated wind industry propaganda. A rare treat. LOL.  Laelth   Jul-17-09 01:28 AM   #24 
     - You don't understand 'spinning reserves' at all  muriel_volestrangler   Jul-17-09 07:58 AM   #28 
     - Blight? Those look like they're in the middle of nowhere  high density   Jul-17-09 01:32 PM   #32 
     - As a matter of fact, they are quite beautiful  kentauros   Jul-18-09 12:13 PM   #37 
  - Please explain where we should get our electricity from...  scheming daemons   Jul-16-09 11:34 PM   #18 
     - No. I am not a Luddite.  Laelth   Jul-17-09 01:31 AM   #25 
        - Here's what we do.  bananas   Jul-17-09 03:24 AM   #27 
  - What a pleasant surprise!  City Lights   Jul-16-09 09:02 PM   #7 
  - Or 2 ap1000 reactors.. (2)  Pavulon   Jul-16-09 09:59 PM   #12 
  - Would you please stop asking such inconvenient questions?  Psephos   Jul-16-09 10:20 PM   #13 
  - Nuclear Bombshell: $26 Billion cost $10,800 per kilowatt! killed Ontario nuclear bid  bananas   Jul-16-09 10:55 PM   #15 
     - Like 26 billion? And they work on calm days..You think china paid that?  Pavulon   Jul-17-09 02:20 PM   #33 
        - China hasn't paid yet - just like Finland  bananas   Jul-18-09 10:33 AM   #35 
  - Put some turbines near the Sotomayor hearings... lots of wind generation there  scheming daemons   Jul-16-09 11:33 PM   #17 
  - Put up some more here around Fargo. Plenty of wind around here!  Odin2005   Jul-17-09 08:06 AM   #30 
  - Unfortunately, wind is still only supplying one third of one percent of US energy consumption.  GliderGuider   Jul-17-09 08:47 AM   #31 
  - awesome!  fascisthunter   Jul-17-09 03:25 PM   #34 
  - oh i thought the thread would be about the 2 burritos i ate last night  Mari333   Jul-18-09 03:41 PM   #39 

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