Obvious to some, but here is a great essay.
“As for house cats, they don’t kill big, rare, threatened birds. “
“In fact, wind turbines are the most serious new threat to important bird species to emerge in decades. The rapidly spinning turbines act like an apex predator which big birds never evolved to deal with.
Solar farms have similarly large ecological impacts. Building a solar farm is a lot like building any other kind of farm. You have to clear the whole area of wildlife.
In order to build one of the biggest solar farms in California the developers hired biologists to pull threatened desert tortoises from their burrows, put them on the back of pickup trucks, transport them, and cage them in pens where many ended up dying.”
As we were learning of these impacts, it gradually dawned on me that there was no amount of technological innovation that could solve the fundamental problem with renewables.
You can make solar panels cheaper and wind turbines bigger, but you can’t make the sun shine more regularly or the wind blow more reliably. I came to understand the environmental implications of the physics of energy. In order to produce significant amounts of electricity from weak energy flows, you just have to spread them over enormous areas. In other words, the trouble with renewables isn’t fundamentally technical—it’s natural.
Read it all at Quillette.
The wisps of smoke are birds/insects being immolated by the Ivanpah solar farm.
A macabre fireworks show unfolds each day along I-15 west of Las Vegas, as birds fly into concentrated beams of sunlight and are instantly incinerated, leaving wisps of white smoke against the blue desert sky.
Workers at the Ivanpah Solar Plant have a name for the spectacle: “Streamers.”
Federal biologists say about 6,000 birds die from collisions or immolation annually while chasing flying insects around the facility’s three 40-story towers, which catch sunlight from five square miles of garage-door-size mirrors to drive the plant’s power-producing turbines.
Coyotes are getting fat on Roadrunners.
In addition, coyotes eat dozens of road runners trapped along the outside of a perimeter fence that was designed to prevent federally threatened desert tortoises from wandering onto the property.
They want the body count kept secret.
“A company that operates at least 13 wind-energy facilities across three states is suing in federal court to block the US government from releasing information to the Associated Press about how many birds are found dead at its facilities.
Pacificorp of Portland, Oregon, is seeking an injunction in US district court in Utah to prevent the Interior Department from releasing information it considers confidential. The Obama administration has said it planned to turn over the material to the Associated Press, which sought it from the Interior Department in March 2013 under the US Freedom of Information Act. The government concluded that the industry’s concerns were “insufficiently convincing” to keep the files secret.
The information the AP sought was part of its larger investigation into bird and eagle deaths at windfarms and the administration’s reluctance to prosecute the cases as it advocated the pollution-free energy source. The AP asked the US Fish and Wildlife Service for data collected under federal permits given to companies to collect the carcasses of protected bird species, including eagles and migratory birds, found dead at their facilities.
Using documents, emails and interviews with former wildlife officials, the AP in articles published last year documented more than four dozen eagle deaths in Wyoming since 2009, and dozens more in California, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. Corporate surveys submitted to the federal government and obtained by AP showed at least 20 eagles found dead in recent years on Pacificorp windfarms in Wyoming.”
Read more here.
Environmentalism = Cold Blooded Eagle Slaughterers
Don’t get in the way of crony capitalists making huge subsidies.
The Obama administration is revising a federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years, even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.
Under the plan announced Wednesday, companies could kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles a year without penalty — nearly four times the current limit. Golden eagles could only be killed if companies take steps to minimize the losses, for instance, by retrofitting power poles to reduce the risk of electrocution.
A 10GW fleet of wind farms across the UK can guarantee to provide less than two per cent of its maximum output
Wind farms can never be relied upon to keep the lights on in Britain because there are long periods each winter in which they produce barely any power, according to a new report by the Adam Smith Institute.
The huge variation in wind farms’ power output means they cannot be counted on to produce energy when needed, and an equivalent amount of generation from traditional fossil fuel plants will be needed as back-up, the study finds.
What a shame.
The Shiloh IV Wind Project LLC, 60 miles east of San Francisco, will receive a special permit allowing up to five golden eagles to be accidentally killed over five years. Previously, such a violation could potentially draw criminal charges and discourage private investment in wind farms known for catching birds in their rotors.
It’s not an accident.
“Michael Hutchins of the American Bird Conservancy said he believes the five-year permit for the California wind farm is reasonable … ”
He should resign in shame.
“An Associated Press investigation in 2013 found that the Obama administration has charged oil companies for drowning birds in their waste pits, and power companies for electrocuting birds on power lines, but it has taken little if any action against wind-energy companies, shielding them from liability.”