Unintended Consequences of Wind Farms

November 15, 2013 / 1 Comment

Using wind as an alternative energy source is a great idea. Many communities in the United States use wind farms a one of their sources for their electricity. Even electric companies that may use coal, natural gas and hydroelectric sources for their production have been expanding into harnessing the wind.

Golden Eagle Unintended Consequences of Wind Farms

The wind does not have to be mined or drilled for. The only thing you need is a location that has wind a good portion of the time and some wind turbines to produce clean, green electricity.  After all, wind farms do not produce pollution or even carbon dioxide. When wind farms started popping up all over the country, the green movement embraced them and so did the environmentalists who wish to work to becoming energy independent from non-green energy.

Now, wind farms are under attack. Several groups are complaining about the number of birds and mammals killed by the wind farms every year.  A recent study by the University of Colorado showed that 600,000 bats are killed each year by the wind farms. It is not that bats are cute and cuddly – quite the opposite – but they do eat uncountable numbers of bugs each year which makes our living environment much better. The BWEC (Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative) is working to come up with a solution to reduce the number of bate that are killed by the wind farms.

Eagles, particularly golden eagles, are also victims of the rapidly spinning turbine blades. Since they are a protected species, killing them is illegal. This problem of having eagles killed has one green energy producer asking for a permit to kill five golden eagles over the next five years.

The Shiloh IV Wind Project in Solano County will be able to operate without the worries of breaking the law, even though the eagles are the ones that fly into the propellers. Do you think they will receive that permit?