Wind farms and migratory birds
Issue of wind farms and actual or possible threats to migratory birds is of interest to me, partly as I've been asked about a very few wind farm projects in China; one - already built - is right beside a wetland reserve on the north coast of the Bohai. It lies on the coastal flyway; the developer has permission to build more turbines within the reserve (!)
Large birds that soar at least sometimes are among the migrants passing by, stopping over or even breeding in the area: some are very rare, including Siberian and red-crowned cranes, Oriental stork, white-tailed eagle...
- I've also been told of wind farms by a couple of other major wetland sites on China coast, in Hainan and Fujian. A whole lot more wind farms are being built and planned for China. What of EIAs? - I've seen some info that was far from impressive: blithely suggesting that, conveniently, birds migrate above turbine blade heights. Maybe even this much info in an EIA, or EIA of any sort, was unusual.
Intriguing issue. Are these wind farms likely to cause trouble? Hard to find info on wind farms really causing major issues for birds, but Altamont in California an infamous classic example, bashing many golden eagles to death.
Then, what of value of these wind farms?
China needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more than perhaps anywhere; yet I've heard of many turbines not even being connected to grid - the money for at least some projects stems from building them, never mind if operating. See Beyond the Numbers: A Closer Look at China’s Wind Power Success, from Worldwatch.
Plus, building wind farms might look like taking action against global warming, and never mind absurd and dangerous, and rising, levels of energy usage.
I aim to post some info on wind farms and widlife, especially related to migratory birds, here.
Conference on wildlife and wind farms
Conference on wind energy and wildlife impacts was held in Norway last month; chiefly info from Europe.
Just had a look at various ppt files, which you can download via the link.
Interesting, tho some scary uses of statistics - more like this is nuclear physics! (Maybe I'm cynical partly as a former physical chemistry lecturer of mine was fond of saying there are lies, damned lies, and statistics; but such statistics can look very impressive, yet whether of major value harder to say.) Also, there's money in this; and might wonder if this has impact on some wind farm and wildlife results [not evident in these ppts on quick read], given wind farm developers may be key research funders,