With both horizontal wind turbine and solar concentrator installations, it is being made clear by the powers that be – including our Federal Government – that the lives of birds are less important than the electricity these installations are generating.
It is sad to realize this is a common attitude among renewable energy advocates and is not universally accepted by everyone in the industry. There are other options both for wind and solar that do not kill birds and ETC will continue to install those technologies though they are not as profitable. The public needs to understand this issue is not a black and white decision where a vote for renewable energy is a vote to kill birds. Rather, there are renewable energy technologies where bird kills are virtually non-existent.
We will continue to lobby against these mega installations and hope others will join in the fight.
Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.
Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one “streamer” every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator’s application to build a still-bigger version.
The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) announced it was suing the Obama administration for finalizing a rule that would allow wind farms to kill eagles for up to 30 years. The bird group says that the new rule violates existing federal laws.
ABC says it supports green energy, including wind power, but the Interior Department’s eagle “take” rule finalized last December goes too far and allows wind power producers to ignore basic environmental protections and analysis.