Adverse environmental effects from industrial wind turbines
Industrial wind turbines do not have a benign environmental foot print as has been claimed.
- Biologists are observing habitat fragmentation and habitat loss, wildlife
disturbance and life history disruption when turbines are placed in natural
- Bird and bat abundance declines at wind turbine sites and this can become
more pronounced with time.
- Disruption of ecological links results in habitat abandonment by some
- The loss of population vigor and overall density resulting from reduced
survival or reduced breeding productivity is a particular concern for
- The cumulative effects of multiple on- and off-shore wind developments
have not been considered.
- Collision mortality resulting from turbines and new transmission lines is
increased during adverse weather conditions and migratory seasons.
Especially vulnerable are raptors, passerines (songbirds), monarch
butterflies, and bats. The consequential cost to agriculture from loss of
pollination and natural insect control is a concern.
- In addition there are serious concerns that turbine noise impacts within and
between-species communications, including predator defense.
- Offshore installations have the added risk of causing waterfowl and
waterbird displacement from feeding areas and migratory corridors,
contaminant up-welling, and changes in fish communities.
- Placing turbines in close association with coastal wetlands can severely
compromise movements and foraging of migratory waterfowl. (2)
(1). Major studies include: Barrios and Rodriguez 2004; Stewart et al. 2004; Kingsley & Whittam 2005; Manville
2005; Desholm 2006; Stewart et al. 2006; Everaert and Kuijken 2007), Kunz et al. 2007 among many others.
(2). Long Point Waterfowl data clearly indicate that fields within 2 km of coastal wetlands are used readily by large populations of field feeding waterfowl (as well as many other species of migratory and non-migratory wildlife) and that these are also critical corridors for wildlife movements. For information on the importance of the lower Great Lakes for migratory and wintering waterfowl, also see: Dennis et al. 1984; Prince et al. 1992; Petrie et al. 2002; Petrie and Wilcox 2003; and Schummer 2005.