On April 25th, a website called phys.org posted an article titled, “Analyzing bird population declines due to renewable power sources in California.”
The article notes:
A team of researchers affiliated with a large number of institutions in the U.S. has attempted to determine the vulnerability of bird populations to alternative energy production. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes studying the impact on bird populations in California.
While touted as green technology, alternative energy sources are not always Earth friendly. Production of solar panels, for example, results in pollution emitted into the environment. More widely known are the adverse impacts of wind and solar farms on animals, particularly birds. Birds can be killed when they try to fly through the rotating blades of wind turbines and they can die from overheating when they fly over large solar farms. They can also die due to displacement from their natural environment. In this new effort, the researchers veered from simply counting the number of birds that are killed by alternative power sources and looked instead to gauge the impact of the combined toll that alternative power plants are taking on populations of vulnerable bird species in California.
The article concludes:
The researchers found that of the 23 species they studied, 11 experienced population declines of at least 20% due to exposure to alternative energy plants. They also found evidence of dangers to several populations due to harm done to migration networks, threats that go far beyond the location of plants.
As I have said many times before, more research is needed before we totally buy into the concept of green energy. It would also be helpful if the government got uninvolved in the quest for green energy and let the free market run free. In a sense, we are in a search for the perpetual motion machine. It may actually exist if fueled by wind or sunlight, but we haven’t found it yet, and the government should not push us into unproven technology.