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  (Source: CleanTechnica)
Annual death toll expected to rise

recent study in Klickitat County, Washington shows that active wind farms in Washington and Oregon kill more than 6,500 birds and 3,000 bats annually. 

Biologist Orah Zamora works for West, Inc., an ecological field study company, monitors the Windy Flats project, one of the largest wind farms in the United States. Zamora looks for dead birds and bats that have been severed by the spinning blades of the surrounding wind turbines in order to conduct survey's to observe how wind-power development is affecting birds. 

"It's like a crime scene, and you try to figure out what happened," said Zamora. "Sometimes it's really obvious because you can see a slice mark."

These surveys are financed by the wind industry and are mainly concerned with birds like eagles, hawks, and other raptors. Klickitat County is especially a concern because the area has an abundance of prey for these larger birds, hence, they tend to stay in the area. According to the study, these birds are diving for their prey and do not pay attention to the large wind turbine blades that may be in the way.

There are differing views between scientists, biologists and wind-energy developers as to whether birds are at high risk because no one knows what cumulative death toll will have a significant impact on the species. 

Wind-power advocates say "these deaths are an acceptable trade-off for development of a renewable energy source." They also note that man-made hazards and house cats account for tens of millions of bird-related deaths per year. According to Mike Sagrillo, a consultant who writes for the American Wind Energy Association, bird mortality "at wind farms, compared to other human-related causes of bird mortality, is biologically and statistically insignificant."

The surveys taken in Klickitat County showed that wind power is only a minor hazard to birds, but scientists say it's too early to really "discount the risks posed by the rush to develop Northwest wind power."

A survey in Klickitat County at the Big Horn Wind Farm indicated that more than 30 raptors were killed "during an initial year of operations - more than seven times the number forecast in a pre-construction study." Among the dead birds were short-eared owls, kestrels, red-tailed hawks and a ferruginous hawk. 

"We take questions and concerns of wildlife impacts very seriously," said Jan Johnson, a spokeswoman for Iberdrola Renewables, which owns the Big Horn Wind Farm. 

In addition to these findings, Altamount Pass Wind Farms in California have older wind turbines from the 1980's that have killed more raptors "per megawatt of power than anywhere else in the nation." These wind farms kill more than 1,600 raptors per year.

While developers have agreed to relocate turbines away from canyon ridges where the large birds of prey spend most of their time, the death toll is still expected to rise due to the lack of information regarding what death toll is biologically significant to these birds. 

A study by West, Inc. that was paid for by the Klickitat County Planning Department showed that the turbines would kill 516 raptors each year just in the Columbia River plateau region of Oregon and Washington if the industry doubled in size. The study determined that this was not a significant number, but ecologist K. Shawn Smallwood thinks the study underestimates the number of deaths and that it's hard to conclude whether these wind turbine-related deaths would harm an entire species.

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What are the chances
By omnicronx on 6/7/2010 12:09:55 PM , Rating: 4
That giant spinning blades are killing birds and animals passing through them?

I'm going to have to see the findings of this study as I just don't believe it to be true!..

RE: What are the chances
By omnicronx on 6/7/2010 12:11:11 PM , Rating: 3
and I would just like to know..

How many birds do you think die a year as a result of a single high rise building with reflective windows? I bet the numbers are comparable..

RE: What are the chances
By Steve1981 on 6/7/2010 12:29:24 PM , Rating: 5
How many birds do you think die a year as a result of a single high rise building with reflective windows? I bet the numbers are comparable..

I'd suspect the issue isn't with generic bird deaths, but the types of birds that are more liable to be killed. Killing a few hundred golden eagles in their environment has a lot more consequences than killing a few thousand pigeons in a city.

RE: What are the chances
By omnicronx on 6/7/2010 1:53:50 PM , Rating: 3
Anyone can play devils advocate by throwing around stats like these.

Power lines alone will kill exponentially more raptors and birds of prey each year than wind turbines ever will.

For example a french study found that over 3 years along 180 miles of power lines, they found around 700 carcases in which 30% were birds of prey, including 6 eagles.

The point is these stats are a drop in the bucket compared to other man made ways that even birds of prey can die.

AND FYI I'm not even a wind proponent (i find it a massive waste of space in areas in which other power sources are feasible, i.e it should only be used when not close to a water source), I'm just anti enviro scum. The only people holding back clean energy more than the oil giants..

RE: What are the chances
By Steve1981 on 6/7/2010 2:11:17 PM , Rating: 3
The point is these stats are a drop in the bucket compared to other man made ways that even birds of prey can die.

Perhaps; however, I wasn't trying to make some big environmental statement so much as point out the fallacy of comparing bird deaths in a city due to high rise buildings versus raptor deaths in the wild.

RE: What are the chances
By omnicronx on 6/7/2010 4:20:12 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, was not meant to be a personal attack, was more or less responding to the article not your comments ;)

I'm not one to shoot the messenger ;) You were just reiterating what they were trying to get across, I was merely attempting to play devils advocate against those statements.

RE: What are the chances
By Steve1981 on 6/7/2010 5:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
Not to worry. I'm no hardcore enviro-nut, although I do like a good discussion.

Although if we're playing devils advocate, I would opine that your argument is an example of the two wrongs make a right fallacy, ie since power lines and predators kill raptors, it's ok for wind turbines to do the same.

There is the matter of scale; however: suppose you have a million and one dollars. Say some dastardly person steals your million in the middle of the night. Later that night, in spite of the fact that I can clearly see you've been robbed, I take your last dollar. Obviously, taking that last dollar is wrong, but its arguably all the worse because I'm kicking you when you're down.

RE: What are the chances
By omnicronx on 6/7/2010 6:38:36 PM , Rating: 1
While I would tend to agree with your analogy, I'm not sure if it applies here. The possibility of a global tipping point occurring all at the same time due to wind turbines is very very small.

That being said, I'm really not advocating for either side here, I just find it funny that these people are taking the time to protest something that is pretty much insignificant compared to other man made sources when it comes to killing birds.

RE: What are the chances
By Steve1981 on 6/7/2010 7:15:23 PM , Rating: 1
Honestly I don't foresee the destruction of any species as a result of putting up some wind farms either. Ideally we could get power from fairy dust; but since that isn't going to happen, we've got a choice to make. While wind isn't an ideal power source IMO for various reasons, the death of a few hundred birds a year is downright benign in comparison to what other methods of generation can do. That said, I'm unopposed to folks monitoring the impact of wind turbines upon local fauna to ensure they aren't having undue impact.

I just find it funny that these people are taking the time to protest something that is pretty much insignificant

I find it depressing that the same people can hold up progress for so long over so little...not over this necessarily, but over next generation nuclear plants and the like.

RE: What are the chances
By tastyratz on 6/8/2010 11:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Its a collaborative problem.
[sarcasm]If they want to complain about a few bird deaths from wind power then I guess going back to fossil fuels is the more environmentally sound answer? [/sarcasm]
I think a few birds that are not pro BP might have an opposing opinion.

RE: What are the chances
By mcnabney on 6/7/10, Rating: 0
RE: What are the chances
By Reclaimer77 on 6/7/2010 9:36:38 PM , Rating: 4
You just revealed that you know absolutely nothing about wind power. Turbines take up zero real estate since they are either offshore or scattered around fields of crops or grazing cows.

In their current super-limited implementation, sure. But the only way for wind power to provide enough energy for a significant number of people, is to take up MASSIVE amounts of land or oceanfront.

RE: What are the chances
By Jeffk464 on 6/8/2010 11:43:38 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't have to be a waste of space. In Texas the windfarms are located on Farms. The wind turbines have a very small footprint so they really don't take away very much of the farmland.

RE: What are the chances
By Iaiken on 6/7/2010 12:33:58 PM , Rating: 3
Just one pair of buildings is responsible for over 7000 bird deaths over the course of a 10 year study here in Toronto:

There are numerous buildings along various flight paths and the last gross estate I heard was somewhere in the 90,000 birds a year range in the greater Toronto area.

It is an especially large problem here, because The Great Lakes are a barrier to most small birds. Many of them follow the coasts until they reach the Niagara peninsula and Windsor regions. Because the coast is built up from Scarborough, Toronto and Mississauga all the way around to Hamilton, you're looking at a 100km long gauntlet of often reflective skyscrapers and tall buildings.

RE: What are the chances
By FaceMaster on 6/7/2010 1:10:05 PM , Rating: 2
Just one pair of buildings is responsible for over 7000 bird deaths over the course of a 10 year study here in Toronto:

Natural selection in action.

RE: What are the chances
By MrBlastman on 6/7/2010 12:53:29 PM , Rating: 5
I think this is great.

Just the other day I noticed one of the screens on our screened-in porch was dented in at the top and now I have to fix it. It is obvious a bird caused it, and I'm sure they cause this all across America in many homes.

These Wind Farms are not a problem at all, the environmentalists just aren't looking at it properly. With all the talk of unemployment in America, lack of proper healthcare and lackluster jobs growth, these people need to re-assess their studies. Wind Farms are providing many benefits that clearly can be seen if you look a little further into it:

1. America eats birds program: People near these farms are STARVING! Not only do they need affordable power, they also need food! Dead birds=food... for cheap! They already have paid their power bills, now they get discounted birds in their supermarkets (or, they could drive up and participate in an "America eats birds" program.

2. Scrounging hour: This will also help the wind farms cut costs by allowing the people to come onto the lots on "scrounging hour" to pick the best of the bunch to fill their bellies.

3. Cash-For-Feathers program: Look, shelter capacity is at an all time demand lately and we just can't afford to open any more of them. These birds have a lucrative byproduct other than their organ meat. They have feathers! If you allow Americans to trade-in their feathers (after they eat the rest of the bird) in the "Cash-For-Feathers" program, our Government can then use these feathers to fill pillows and mattresses in shelters across the country.

I feel horrible for all those that are impoverished these days and this is the least our government can do to capitalize on this untapped resource.

4. Stylin' for America: In this program, citizens can turn in the beaks of the birds they eat in to our Government so it can subsidize Shampoo and Skin-Care products for everyone! Keratin is vital for revitalizing our beauty. Now there will be no excuse at all for Americans not looking their best.

And most importantly,

5. Hot Dogs n' Ballparks for kids: When our economy is down, more Americans should be watching Baseball, our national pasttime (who knew?!). With the advent of inflated ticket prices due to athletes being paid absurd amounts of money (they work really hard!), it has become grossly harder for the average family to afford the essentials of a good game: peanuts and hot dogs.

Well, we can fix that, America! With the Hot Dogs n' Ballparks program, all Americans who consume birds from these Windfarms can use a Government™ Nitrate Rectal Extration Kit™ to pull valuable nitrates straight from the dead birds and send it in to dramatically reduce Hot Dog processing costs! This will lower expenses at ballparks around our great country and help fill the stands, letting us forget about the hard times that are upon us. People from afar can come 'sportin their new do's and bring their Government™ stuffed cushions to sit on.

So, what did we learn here, kids? Think! That's right environmentalists, this is an opportunity! Help America be strong, help their problems... fly away.

RE: What are the chances
By FrankJBones on 6/9/2010 9:41:52 AM , Rating: 2
You tried WAY too hard and made it pathetic instead of funny.

I would only recommend watching baseball to those in the population who need non-invasive lobotomies. Looks like you already got yours. One down, a few million neocons and born-again christians to go.

RE: What are the chances
By Clenathan on 6/7/2010 3:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
So because wind farm-related deaths may be lower than high rise building deaths it's ok? Let's keep doing harmful things as long as they aren't as bad as the existing ones. Just another reason for nuclear.

RE: What are the chances
By kd9280 on 6/8/2010 7:44:02 AM , Rating: 2
It's not that they're lower. It's that they're insignificant.

Using the low end of the bird deaths from hi-rises (according to the American Bird Conservancy) we have just about 100 million deaths annually. The low end of bird deaths from Wind Farms is 10,000 deaths annually. That's 1 death from a wind farm for every 1000 deaths from hi-rises.

Using the high end, it's even more ridiculous, almost 25000 deaths from hi-rises to every 1 death from a wind farm.

All it is is scare tactics and attempting to influence from fear.

RE: What are the chances
By kd9280 on 6/8/2010 7:44:47 AM , Rating: 2
Whoops, math fail - 1 death from wind farms for every 10000 deaths from hi-rises.

RE: What are the chances
By muIIet on 6/8/2010 11:07:13 AM , Rating: 3
I fault Windex not the building.

RE: What are the chances
By Kurz on 6/7/2010 12:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
Is this a case of extrapolation?

RE: What are the chances
By AlexWade on 6/7/10, Rating: 0
RE: What are the chances
By Aloonatic on 6/7/2010 5:16:42 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently, bats are being killed by these things too. Not by colliding with them however, but because of the changes in air pressure around the blades. Not sure if the same problems affect birds as well.

Still, there has not one been one report of a polar bear being killed by one yet, so it's all going according to plan.

RE: What are the chances
By mgilbert on 6/8/2010 8:45:52 AM , Rating: 2
Those blades are far, far larger than they look, and the tip speed is far faster than it looks. I have no trouble whatsoever believing that birds are getting killed. Regardless how many are being killed in other ways, one is too many.

RE: What are the chances
By kd9280 on 6/8/2010 10:27:35 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure you've seen my posts on this topic. The number of birds being killed by wind farms (regardless of whether they're raptors or not) is insignificant compared to the numbers of birds killed by hi-rises. Even assuming a conservative numbers.

If your concern is over larger birds of prey, then you might want to think about calling out power companies for power lines. The American Bird Conservancy tracked that tens of thousands of birds are killed from power lines, and the birds most easily killed from power lines are those that can straddle two wires at the same time. More birds of prey are killed by power lines than wind farms yearly.

Having birds killed by man-made structures is sad. Unfortunately, it's going to happen regardless of whether wind farms are plopped down or not.

It's important to do the numbers
By tbhuang2 on 6/7/2010 12:11:52 PM , Rating: 5
From David MacKay's highly acclaimed book, "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air":

"’s important to do the numbers. It’s been estimated that 30 000 birds per year are killed by wind turbines in Denmark, where windmills generate 9% of the electricity. Horror! Ban windmills! We also learn, moreover, that traffic kills one million birds per year in Denmark. Thirty-times-greater horror! Thirty-times-greater incentive to ban cars! And in Britain, 55 million birds per year are killed by cats (figure 10.6)."

RE: It's important to do the numbers
By Kurz on 6/7/2010 12:33:39 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking along those lines.
Cars must kill many more birds than a few windmills.

RE: It's important to do the numbers
By jdietz on 6/7/2010 12:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's the type of birds that are killed combined with the numbers.

They did not find any of the very largest birds (Golden Eagle, American Eagle) killed in their study. Only smaller birds of prey. I wonder what it is about these that helps them avoid being killed by turbines. Their low population could be the reason.

By Iaiken on 6/7/2010 12:50:31 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps it because raptors spend so little time close enough to the ground to get clocked by a turbine blade that it rarely happens?

The majority of small birds rarely fly above 90 meters, though there are some pretty remarkable exceptions.

Falcons and other raptors routinely break the 1 kilometer mark when they are cruising and some have been visually identified by pilots as high as 9 kilometers (30,000 feet).

By The0ne on 6/7/2010 12:49:33 PM , Rating: 2
All discussions I'm listened, read and participated on really dismisses this is a "big" issue. As many of you obviously noted, deaths of birds are much much more from other activities compared to wind turbines. There are some special cases where certain birds might need protection but other than that the data is really unjustified.

The problem I have is that money is being spent more and more to discredit wind turbine use for environmental reasons. And the problem with this is that environmentalist fanatics will make a big stink about it and confused people.

By MrBlastman on 6/7/2010 1:04:19 PM , Rating: 3
And in Britain, 55 million birds per year are killed by cats (figure 10.6)."

What a cat-astrophe! The horror!

Mortality Threats
By kd9280 on 6/7/2010 12:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
According to the American Bird Conservancy:

Buildings: 97.5-975 million annually
Cats: 200+ million annually
Pesticides: 67 million annually
Communication Towers: 5-50 million annually
Wind Turbines: 10,000-40,000 annually
Power Lines: 20,000+ annually
Gill Nets: 20,000+ annually

Oh my god wind turbines are so deadly!

RE: Mortality Threats
By AssBall on 6/7/2010 3:18:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'll take 200k birds killed by kitties over 1 airliner crashing into the Hudson (from birds). Unfortunately enviro-nuts disagree with me.

RE: Mortality Threats
By omnicronx on 6/7/2010 4:35:55 PM , Rating: 1
I'd prefer a captain that just plain old.. didnt hit a bird.. but thats just me..

Alas we don't give out prizes for not doing something really cool. Forget the fact that the captain may have been the reason they hit the bird in the first place ;)

RE: Mortality Threats
By IcePickFreak on 6/7/2010 7:09:53 PM , Rating: 5
Right, because spotting an intercept course with a bird no larger than 3 feet long (think goose) while controlling a 400 ton airplane at a couple hundred miles per hour is simple.

Have you presented this to the FAA?

RE: Mortality Threats
By AssBall on 6/8/2010 3:26:19 AM , Rating: 3
That particular captain did an amazing job. Next time a jet with hundreds of passengers becomes inoperable, we should hope to be as lucky (zero deaths from a crashing passenger airplane, now that is prize worthy).

RE: Mortality Threats
By kd9280 on 6/8/2010 12:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
Zero deaths from a crashing passenger airplane into water. THAT is prize worthy indeed.

Solution: Paint Blades Black
By Blood1 on 6/7/2010 1:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone thing in the Energy Dept? Paint the blades black so during the day the birds can see this giant thing spinning and fly into it.
For Bats, the spinning blades or the tower itself should emmit a sonar wave back so bats know to stay the f away from it.

Or if this still fails open a Bird & Bat Burger join under each tower....

RE: Solution: Paint Blades Black
By Kibbles on 6/7/2010 4:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
I vote for neon orange or pimping purple.

RE: Solution: Paint Blades Black
By ralith on 6/8/2010 5:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
Or put a grate around where the turbine blades spin like what they do with fan blades.

Oh but come on..
By fiskov on 6/7/2010 1:52:49 PM , Rating: 2
A few birds might get killed, but the 13 square miles of wind farms required to equal the same amount of of energy output as a medium sized nuclear power plant is Sooo worth it.

YEAH Wind farms.. Lulz

RE: Oh but come on..
By AssBall on 6/7/2010 3:22:37 PM , Rating: 2
Oh it's not windy enough today? Snap, I guess we'll have to use the hand crank to watch MSNBC.

RE: Oh but come on..
By monkeyman1140 on 6/7/2010 11:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
Because we all know when its not windy in one area, its not windy in other places too.

The Luddite mentality here is indicative of the failure of our public schools system.

So what are the alternatives?
By goodsyntax on 6/7/2010 12:56:39 PM , Rating: 3
Environmentalists always find doom and gloom in all industrial and energy generating technologies; yet I never hear them coming up with an alternative.

So, if wind farms are killing birds, coal plants increase greenhouse gases, nuclear reactors create hazardous waste, solar farms create heat pollution, hydro-electric sites destroy coastlines and damage coastal ecology, then what is the environmentally sensitive alternative?

Not for nothing, but our society needs energy. I don't think we will be giving up cars, electricity or most other modern conveniences unless there is a real, cost-effective alternative.

As usual, context and scope are left out of these "environmental" studies. Yes, there are birds being killed by these projects, but when compared to other man-made events, they are a minuscule fraction of the total. How many birds are a casualty of natural selection (disease, cats and other predators)

Show solutions to the problems you identify, otherwise, you run the risk of being tagged as a troll.

The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as zero impact.

By Armassault on 6/8/2010 7:35:08 AM , Rating: 2
I think you'd find that the overwhelming majority of environmentalists are very much in support of wind energy.
The people I know who are sceptical, are only so because they think we need to be smarter about the location for the bigger wind farms.
I can only think of one group that is consistently against wind mills, right wing conservatives, who are using the "birdkiller" argument against them, as a means to support their "Drill Baby, Drill" policy.

You can even find right wingers right here on DT who use that argument. Not once have I come across a lefty using bird killing against wind mills.

3 letters
By Murloc on 6/7/2010 12:21:29 PM , Rating: 2

the biggest enemies of birds.
Add tall buildings with glass and light pollution.

We should decrease light pollution to avoid redirecting birds the wrong way during the migrations, and to lower electric consumption.

By roostitup on 6/7/2010 12:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
These wind farms have been being blamed for killing birds since they started using them 10-20 years ago, this is NOT news. At least bring something interesting to the table, not old news.

some perspective please
By hubbabubbagum on 6/7/2010 1:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
Did they compare the death-toll to that of a coal-plant producing the same energy?

How about land-creature deaths?


How about radiation output? (burning coal releases radioactive materials)

Why This is Important
By clovell on 6/7/2010 3:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
This just shows that there are other things to think about before we roll out Wind Turbines on a massive scale in a move to harness renewable energy sources.

I'm not sure what article a lot of other folks read, but I didn't take it to be another enviro-nazi b!tch-fest. There are real concerns here. Like - birds aren't made of Jell-O. This has an effect on the mechanical reliability and economic feasibility of the turbine itself. Also, killing a bunch of birds could become a problem if this is adopted on a wide-scale. Predator patterns, soil runoff, downwind stench affecting property values - just off the top of my head.

Now maybe, those are no big deal. But, it's a good idea to think about them before we get on a wind power kick. The point I think the study makes is that wind power isn't exactly a silver bullet.

Here is what we should do!
By uibo on 6/7/2010 4:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
We should find out how many birds does a wind turbine and a cat kill in the life it has left. After we find out the numbers, we compensate by "decreasing" the number of cats ;)

By Chiisuchianu on 6/7/2010 6:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, this is a liberals worse nightmare! Now what are they going to suggest? The only thing I can think of is artificial selection of humans. Of course when it comes to liberals, you know they're going to want to keep around idiots and the weak because they're just the victims of those who succeeded! Get rid of the scientists and engineers! Lmao.

By LoweredExpectations on 6/7/2010 11:51:27 PM , Rating: 2
Just to put things in perspective, it is estimated that nationwide, domestic cats kill tens of millions of songbirds each year.

Screw them
By piroroadkill on 6/8/2010 4:12:52 AM , Rating: 2
If they're so dumb they run into huge spinning blades, they need to adapt

Day Time Running Lamps?
By HotPlasma on 6/8/2010 8:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
This might be rediculous or it might work. What about putting LEDs in the leading edge of the blades? Birds have excellent eyesight. Perhaps the light would be enough to grab their attention. Although, you'd think that they'd see a 75ft. blade coming at them at 100mph. On the other hand, you'd think a person would see a car coming at them...

Failed Natural Radar
By Calabros on 6/9/2010 12:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
maybe you laugh at me but an eagle cant detect such large construction in front of itself? heard before they see a mouse from very long distance ... despite the Scale, these generators, generate Heat too that can be recognized by IR sensitive eyes of some birds, especially those that fly at night

By monkeyman1140 on 6/7/2010 11:49:25 PM , Rating: 1
While I'm sure Rush Limbaugh will pounce on this one, the rest of the logical world will not be concerned about this because they rely on facts, not alarmist thinking.

dont forget
By shin0bi272 on 6/7/10, Rating: -1
RE: dont forget
By Spivonious on 6/7/2010 12:37:03 PM , Rating: 1
Completely agree. This entire "green" movement has always been about improving public image. Wind/solar are just not cost effective for the amount of space they use. One nuclear plant would make a lot more sense.

And before everyone chimes in with the waste disposal "problem", in the 50 years since the U.S. has had nuclear plants, the total amount of waste generated could fit inside a football field. With newer designs, the waste amount is lowered even further. It is simply not a problem. By the time we have enough nuclear waste to worry about, we will have perfected the "next" energy source (hopefully something involving the burning of trash, since we generate so much of it).

RE: dont forget
By danobrega on 6/7/2010 12:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the "going green" that you should worry about. It's the going "sustainable". The reason is simple, you can't sustain something that is not sustainable. :)

My electric bill, from where I come from, has the following information about the sources of the energy:

Eolic: 33,0%
Hydro: 24,8%
Co-generation and Micro-production 14,0% (home solar panels)
Natural Gas: 9,3%
Nuclear: 7%
Hydro PRE: 8,2% (can't translate)
Other: 4,1%
Coal: 1,9%

I would say 33% eolic is pretty impressive.

The main problem with eolic power isn't even its cost. The problem is that it does not reduce the peek output required from other sources because there are moments where there is no wind. You can build all the wind farms you want, you'll still need the backing nuclear, coal or whatever plants.

Discussing about how many birds does a wind turbine kill is just stupid. You need to back up and look at the big picture. No matter what we decide to do to get power it's going to leave a footprint, it's more a question of how big do you want the footprint to be.

RE: dont forget
By clovell on 6/7/2010 3:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, and to understand that, sometimes you need to consider how many birds is this gonna kill if I raise the number of wind turbines ten-fold.

RE: dont forget
By omnicronx on 6/7/2010 4:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
By the same account, how many birds could this save by getting away from a traditional energy sources? Figuring out how many more birds will die is completely irrelevant if it is not weighed it against how we currently get our energy.

For example, even right now it is estimated that 10-40K birds die from wind turbines. Now lets for a minute assume that number is on the low and give it say 50k per year.

Now lets compare that against say, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 which killed an estimated 250K birds in a few days. Even if you were to increase capacity by five, it would only equal the impact of 1 large oil spill.

And as noted in my other post, regardless of energy source, power lines remain one of the leading causes for bird deaths worldwide.(including birds of prey like those being mentioned in the article) We are talking exponentially larger, as in 3000x+ more than current Wind Turbine deaths per year.

RE: dont forget
By MozeeToby on 6/7/2010 1:09:14 PM , Rating: 2
I've never understood people that think they're ugly. Personally, I find them to be elegant and attractive. And at the very least a lot more attractive than any other power plant would be.

It's true that today, at the moment, solar and wind don't account for much of our energy budget but then it is only just barely becoming economical to build solar and wind power plants. Your argument is equivalent to saying, in 1905, that cars are outnumbered by horse and buggy 1000 to 1 and are therefor worthless.

And WTF does power companies building wind turbines have to do with environmentalists telling you how to live? About the only argument that could be made is government subsidies to support solar and wind, but guess what, there's subsidies for nuclear, hydro, natural gas, and even coal power plants too.

RE: dont forget
By shin0bi272 on 6/7/2010 3:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
When did I say I was for any subsidies to any company? Fact is solar and wind are much less energy dense than coal or oil or even natural gas. It takes more money to produce less power with them and that is just a dumb thing to subsidize because it presents a veil of concern about the environment.

The environmental lobby and the consensus that we have all been pounded over the head with that global warming is our fault (even though its not)has lead congress to ban the sale of 3 gallon per flush toilets and soon the sale of incandescent light bulbs. Then there's the CAFE standards for cars ...

government bureaucrats being told by psychopaths who think that if we all went back to living in mud huts or caves that the world would be better off, are forcing us to do what they want through legislation. When that fails they start up some subsidy or some tax credit for rubes like you and me to buy products that they want us to buy... you ever see a tax credit for buying an SUV? No the credits are for buying hybrids. Any tax credit for buying an oil furnace? No the credit is for buying solar panels. You see? Its social steering to environmentalist thinking.

RE: dont forget
By shin0bi272 on 6/7/2010 3:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and if you think theyre elegant try living near one... 60db constantly drove people from their homes in england a few months ago... they cant sell the homes to anyone now because no one can tolerate the sound of a train that never comes.

There's a big difference between inventing something and forcing people to use that invention through legislation. It would be like calling everyone who rode a horse in 1905 an animal abuser and outlawed the riding of horses and gave money to people to buy a car.

The free market should decide what products are a good idea and what ones arent not some government bureaucrat or environmental lobbyist paying off a few dozen senators.

RE: dont forget
By monkeyman1140 on 6/9/2010 11:45:15 AM , Rating: 2
Its more like the free market is busy paying off a few dozen senators.

Now you know how the free market is not so free, it can buy government. To claim the environmental movement has nearly as much cash for its "take a senator out to lunch" war chest is ludicrous.

RE: dont forget
By Jeffk464 on 6/8/2010 11:47:00 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think wind power is on the same level as solar, wind power is far cheaper.

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