Monday, May 07, 2007

Wind Power is For the Birds

A new National Academy of Sciences report basically accuses the wind power industry of being thugs, hell-bent on bird genocide (my interpretation).

The report basically states the obvious—massive, spinning wind turbines pose a threat to migrating birds. It notes that in 2004, in the Altamont Pass alone, 1,300 birds were killed in turbine strikes.

The NAS calls bird deaths an ecological “cost” to be weighed against the economic and environmental “benefits” of wind power, but it stops short of saying whether such costs outweigh the benefits, or vice-versa.

Commercial wind-generating capacity already has quadrupled to more than 11,000 megawatts since 2000, enough to power more than 3 million average homes for a year. Yet it remains a marginal part of the nation's energy portfolio, providing about 1 percent of the nation's electricity today.

A copy of the report is available Turbines spinning power, problems [Oakland Tribune]