Friday, September 17, 2004

Question and Answer on Wind Turbines

Grist magizine presents this informative question and answer on wind turbine issues with Luisa Colasimone, communications director for the European Wind Energy Association. Ms. Colasimone makes several interesting points, including this one, in response to questions about the impacts of turbines on birds:
Researchers show that the risk of bird deaths through collision with wind turbines is low. For example, it is estimated that 33,000 birds are killed annually by wind turbines operating in the U.S., an average of 2.2 fatalities for each of the 15,000 turbines. In Spain, a study showed 0.13 dead birds per year per turbine. By comparison, in the U.S., between 100 million and 1 billion birds are estimated to die each year from colliding with vehicles, buildings, power lines, and other structures, with wind power responsible for one out of every 5,000 to 10,000 avian fatalities.
She also takes a moment to address questions on the net energy benefit of a wind turbines over their lifecycle, noting that "a 1997 vintage turbine will supply between 80 and 120 times more energy over its 20-year lifetime than the energy used to manufacture, install, operate, maintain, and scrap it." For more, check out the full article

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