How Green is Our Green Energy?

by Prasenjeet Yadav
Prasenjeet Yadav

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Wind farms kill birds through collisions with turbines and associated structures, and also harm them through the loss of habitat that birds need for survival.

Undoubtedly, power from the wind is one of the cleanest and most sustainable ways to generate electricity, as it produces no toxic pollution or global warming emissions. However, it has a variety of environmental, social and economic impacts. It has both temporary as well as permanent impacts on land use. Along with this, the impact of wind turbines on wildlife, most notably birds and bats, has been widely studied and documented in other countries. Surveys in the U.S. have shown ‘unacceptable’ levels of bird mortalities from poorly sited wind farms, including endangered eagles. Although the blades may seem to be moving lazily from a distance, they can reach speeds of over 200 km/ph at their tips!

In this image a Green Bee-eater lies dead, most likely a victim of the windmills situated nearby. Because very few studies have been undertaken in India, we do not know the real extent of the impact of windmills on bird and bat populations.

The image was taken in 2013 by our team (Amod Zambre, Bhanu Sridharan, Harshal Bhonsale & myself) on assignment (Funded by Saevus Nature Capital Awards) to document the biodiversity of the plateaus of Northern Western Ghats in Maharashtra.

Related reading:

  1. Wind Turbines Still Killing Hundreds of Thousands of Birds
  2. Wind myths: Turbines kill birds and bats
  3. How Many Birds Do Wind Turbines Really Kill?
  4. Green Monsters

About the author

Prasenjeet Yadav
Prasenjeet is a nature and environmental photographer and a National Geographic Young Explorer.


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