Leo Hickman, writing recently in The Guardian, aims to dispel the myths about avian mortality due to collisions with wind turbines.
He cites the Centre of Sustainable Energy who state “Wind turbines represent an insignificant fraction of the total number of bird deaths caused by manmade objects or activities” and notes that the CSE estimate that for every bird killed by a turbine, 5,820 on average are killed colliding with buildings, typically glass windows.
Perhaps a more emphatic rebuttal of the risk caused to birds is the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ position on wind energy. They “Strongly support renewable energy as well as other low carbon means of generating energy” and say that currently “We have had to place sustained objections on only 5.9% of wind farm proposals”.
Furthermore, the risk to birds decreases in the case of ‘distributed wind’, as installed by companies like Fine Energy, where one or two turbines per project are erected in contrast to the banks of turbines installed on wind farms.
UK planning laws now mean that bird assessments must be carried out as part of the application process. Adhering respectfully to these requirements in affected areas, wind energy can contribute more safely to the UK’s legal duty to meet its annual carbon budget.