Lately, the state of California decided to increase it’s wind power. With the increase in wind power, there is also an increased rate of bird deaths in the Altamont Pass area. In order to mediate the controversy between the wind power companies and the wildlife conservationists, the state is working on newer laws to protect the birds.
Last week, the California Energy Commission(CEC) decided on several guidelines that would protect the birds as well as allow the wind power companies to develop more turbines. Currently, wind energy supplies power to 3 million households in the state of California. Unfortunately in the process of generating this power, the windmills do kill plenty of birds in the area.
According to a National Academy of Sciences study, the percentage of birds and bats killed by the spinning turbine blades are relatively small when compared to the birds being run over by vehicles or killed by power lines. But, something needs to be done to stop this unnecessary deaths of these awesome creatures. Apparently, the Altamont pass area has the highest mortality rates when it comes to wind power killing birds.
Hundreds of raptors are killed in this area of California after they get stuck in the blades of the wind turbines. About 4000 windmills slice up tens and thousands of birds in the area. I hope the new laws will prevent the bird deaths in the area. According to the new conventions, the windmills are to be constructed out of the flight paths of these birds and at a greater height.The mills will also be shut down in winter. Hopefully, this will do the trick.
Image Credit: Reuters