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The Appalling Environmental Cost Of Wind Power

July 8, 2019

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.

 

The Impact of Wind Energy on Wildlife and the Environment (pdf)

26 Comments
  1. Mike Jackson permalink
    July 8, 2019 7:55 pm

    “We had to destroy the planet in order to save it!” One day the message may get through!

    (Does anyone know how to get WordPress off my back?! Every time I try to use my “normal” email address it jumps in to tell me it belongs to an account I’m not signed into!)

    • Sheri permalink
      July 8, 2019 9:15 pm

      I gave up on using the same address as I use for WordPress. If you have a different email, I’d use that. That was what I did.

      • Dave Ward permalink
        July 9, 2019 10:04 am

        I had to do the same.

  2. July 8, 2019 8:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 8, 2019 9:10 pm

    Windmills may well be judged by history as the greatest eco-crime of them all.

    • July 9, 2019 11:45 am

      Solar panels, aka bird fryers, might come in a close second.

  4. Sheri permalink
    July 8, 2019 9:21 pm

    New turbines are going up on the other road (which WAS turbine free) to my cabin. I am, to say the least, enraged at the greed and evilness of the industry. There is NOTHING whatsoever good about turbines. They are a crime pure and simple. I agree with MrGrimNasty. My blog yesterday was a rant complete with pictures of the destruction. I USED to photograph badgers, flowers, etc but now I don’t really even care. At this point, Wyoming has destroyed everything that made this place good. I’m ready to move away and never look back.

    There seems to be no stopping this. It’s like the gold rush—massive destruction based 100% on GREED. Government-subsidized and encouraged greed.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 8, 2019 10:02 pm

      I can only imagine what it is like for you, I’ve only seen the seascape ruined, on a ‘good’ day the weather renders the monstrosities invisible.

      A lot of people don’t realise that a lot of UK bats migrate to and from Europe, so it’s not only the migratory and sea-birds that suffer with off-shore shredders.

      We used to have planning laws to protect the countryside/environment and cities from ruination/eyesores – but now, as long as it’s ‘green’, anything goes – industrialized country/seaside, or streets littered with 7 multicolored wheelie bins outside every house!

  5. July 8, 2019 9:59 pm

    Just a few hours of watching the global winds on Earth.nullschool (they also have a very worthwhile mobile app) reveals how insignificant wind power will always be to global energy demand, especially onshore wind. For example, Denmark (one of the few places where wind power makes sense) is always windy, much more so than the UK, history will tell how many countries were conned into “investing” other peoples money in a boondoggle:

    https://earth.nullschool.net/

    • July 9, 2019 11:52 am

      Screenshot this morning, no wind in UK and Ireland, still some in Denmark:

  6. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 8, 2019 10:11 pm

    Off thread but as of right now, UK wind is producing 2% of quite low demand. I want my money back.

  7. July 8, 2019 10:37 pm

    There is an accountant here in Canada that has got it figured that 90% of the revenue received for renewable’s comes from subsidies and 10% from actual power

  8. July 8, 2019 11:06 pm

    ITV Calendar local news :
    “hey wow there is the new interconnector to Norway ..here I am in Norway at the dam with pumped water storage”
    .. ‘blah, blah balances the windfarms, electricity will get cheaper’

    I waited for the actual local connection but there isn’t one.

    It was obviously a PR freeby for the reporter who was flown to Norway by the company
    then I find the actual ITV web story
    … it was 3 weeks ago
    – The actual size is 1.4GW capaciy
    that is just a touch bigger than the normal 1.2GW gas power station
    – the Actual landpoint is Blyth Northumberland
    .. well north of our area
    – The article quotes WWF …FFS
    https://www.itv.com/news/2019-06-20/how-norways-rain-and-snow-will-soon-be-powering-british-homes-with-green-energy

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      July 9, 2019 10:23 am

      What they should have pointed out is that CFDs guarantee a high price to wind farms, while the interconnector may guarantee that they can continue to benefit even when otherwise surplus output would be curtailed and thus worth zero, which is close to what Norway will pay for it, with the difference being added to consumer bills. The instantaneous limit on this process is the level of Norwegian demand relative to the total inflow on their connectors including to the Continent.

      When the wind isn’t blowing we get to bid against the Continent for the available surplus with total export limited by Norwegian generating capacity less local demand.

      The whole process gives good trading profits to Norway while boosting UK bills.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      July 9, 2019 10:36 am

      Details available here

      http://euanmearns.com/how-much-wind-and-solar-can-norways-reservoirs-balance/

    • July 9, 2019 10:52 am

      Hydro is cheaper than gas? That seems unlikely. I’m sure it’s not if you have to build a bloody big dam. How much will this interconnector cost? Why would Norway want to buy our energy? At least the article was local for me here in Blyth!!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      July 9, 2019 11:29 am

      In a bit of a waking daze the other morning, listening to R4 Today, they were interviewing someone about energy, specifically, it seemed, about nuclear falling out of favour. They (BBC interviewer) put it to the guest (who seemed pro-nuclear) that even Germany had dropped its nuclear power in favour of green energy. ‘They lie!’, said guest, “they import their nuclear from France via the interconector”. End of interview.

  9. July 8, 2019 11:15 pm

    I looked at Gridwatch earlier
    twee image
    How are they getting Renewables to add up to 10MW when biomass is only 2.5MW
    ..are they including pumped storage as renewable ?

  10. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 9, 2019 7:45 am

    8.00am now and UKwind is still at 2%. Overnight solar was 0%. And we have had an annoying power cut. Is this THE END? BBC did a piece on zero coal recently. How about zero wind?

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      July 9, 2019 9:07 am

      2% of a low demand too. Repeats this in winter, in a few years when all the coal-powered generation has been eliminated & we’re in big trouble.

    • Stuart Brown permalink
      July 9, 2019 12:02 pm

      And further off topic, all the UK Magnox reactors are closed – so long faithful servants. The first of the UKs AGR reactors is due to close in 2023, assuming they even last that long. This is the contemporary engineering of the time they were built:

      Just think of all the bats, birds and virtual PM2.5 particulate poisoned people that might have died but for UK nuclear… (dragging the thread back a bit). Over 59GWh of power when we needed it last year, not just when it felt like showing up, and not a bat shredded. And no CO2 if anyone needed to care.

      But France has taken 12 years so far building Flamanville 3, the EPR similar to Hinkley C, so that’s 2031 then for our EPR? By then we will have just one working nuclear reactor in the country, at Sizewell.

      So on that still, dark, cold winter’s night in 2030 when the last AGR at Torness has closed we’ll be thankful we fracked for gas. Oh, what was that Lord Deben?…

      • Gerry, England permalink
        July 9, 2019 1:54 pm

        There is the same design reactor being built in Finland that is also late, over budget and doesn’t yet work.

      • July 9, 2019 4:36 pm

        Fighter jets are expensive because the makers are allowed to build new models from scratch each time. We don’t need better nuclear power stations, the early ones worked fine, but of course the makers make more money from new models, and the govt is useless at procurement.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        July 9, 2019 9:16 pm

        Reactor designs are limited by what the regulators allow. The level of regulation is over toughened when the anti nuclear lobby control the process. It’s been that way ever since David Miliband imposed a moratorium on new nuclear.

  11. July 12, 2019 2:43 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

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