Wind farms’ effect on birds lacked context

June 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

By neglecting to discuss the main threat to the biodiversity on this planet — climate change — the recent article by Associated Press reporter Dina Cappiello (“Wind farms get pass”) offered an incomplete analysis of the interaction between wind power and wildlife.

As a nonpolluting electricity source, wind energy is one of the most readily available, easily scalable solutions for mitigating climate change. Having studied the interactions between avian populations and wildlife for two decades in over 20 states, I can say that the article ignored multiple sources that accurately estimate the wind industry’s impact on birds and neglected to place wind power-related avian fatalities in the context of other anthropomorphic sources of bird deaths.

No human activity is free of environmental impacts. Although wind power’s net benefit is overwhelmingly positive, the wind energy industry has set itself apart from other energy industries by working with environmental groups, as well as government, to reduce its impacts. Any wildlife effects wind turbines do have can be limited through responsible siting, habitat conservation and managing wind farms according to the best science.

Unlike other, larger sources of eagle mortality, the industry is acknowledging its impacts and is working with stakeholders on a sustainable path forward. If we are going to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, responsibly sited and operated wind power must be part of the solution.

Richard Curry

Avian wind power expert

Curry and Kerlinger, LLC

McLean Va.

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