Friday, January 12, 2024

Birds and wind energy

Utility scale solar farms contribute to bird diversity

New research has shown that solar parks can play a positive role in promoting bird diversity in the agricultural landscape of Central Europe. The scientists said solar farms offer food availability and nesting sites.



This is a lot of birds, but it is only 0.016% of the estimated 7.2 billion birds that live in the US. It is also significantly less than the 5–6.8 million killed each year by communication towers, the 60–80 million killed by automobiles, the 67–90 million killed by pesticides, or the 365 million to one billion killed by cats each year in the US, according to a study published in Nature.

Even if we adapt Merriman’s model to reflect the predicted increase in wind power across the US, as modelled by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its outlook for 2021, turbine deaths come nowhere close to these figures. The 90% increase in wind power from 2021–50 envisaged by the EIA would see 2.22 million birds killed annually by mid-century. 

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