A new publication from the Global Warming Policy Foundation reviews the impact of wind energy on the environment and finds that it is already doing great harm to wildlife.
“The Impact of Wind Energy on Wildlife and the Environment” contains contributions from both researchers and campaigners, with a focus on birdlife.
Professor Oliver Krüger describes his cutting-edge research, which has shown how birds of prey and ducks are being killed in their thousands in Germany. The risk to these species is so great that there is a possibility of whole populations being wiped out.
Klaus Richarz, the former head of a major bird reserve in Germany, describes how windfarm operators are evading strict compliance with the rules, to the detriment of both birds and bats.
Dr Peter Henderson, of the University of Oxford, reviews the effects of wind turbines on a wide variety of animals. He suggests that death toll on bats may already be ecologically significant:
“About 200,000 bats are annually killed at onshore wind turbines in Germany alone. These numbers are sufficient to produce concern for future populations, as bats are long-lived and reproduce slowly, so cannot quickly replace such losses.”
Lastly, Paula Byrne of WindAware Ireland describes how windfarms in her native country have desecrated landscapes, and have even threatened the endangered Nore Freshwater Pearl Mussel.
With an extraordinary expansion of renewable energy planned, there is potential for these serious environmental impacts to become catastrophic.