Wind power would sow avian megadeath

Financial Post

Diane Katz is to be congratulated for raising a flag with respect to bird mortality from wind turbines, but she only tells half of the story. If one is serious about replacing hydrocarbons with wind-generated electricity, then it is also important to know just how many turbines it would take, say, to replace one oil sands plant.

Given 250,000 barrels of oil per day, if that was used that to fire a (large) power plant, at least 6000 MW could be generated, continuously and reliably. The Wolfe Island wind facility, which has been killing birds in greater numbers than the Syncrude tailings pond, is rated at just under 200 MW, or 1/30th of 6000. So, assuming a generous availability factor of 20% in terms of reliable electricity versus installed wind capacity, it would in fact take at least 150 Wolfe Islands, totaling almost 13,000 individual turbines to replace the output of a single large oil sands plant. In addition to killing birds in flight, these would make a rather larger hole in the boreal forest, than the mine they replaced.

We should recall the original objective was not to manage CO2 or temperature per se, but rather to preserve habitats for diverse life.

Neil Edmunds, Calgary

3 thoughts on “Wind power would sow avian megadeath

  1. Yep! Tell it to the people that need to LEARN THIS. Print it out, hand it out. Pay to have it published in the small town papers. EVENTUALLY the BIG papers will pick it up and publish it as a editorial. I believe we are in an explosive, exponential growth “cannon” of info output. It is very import at this crucial time for EVERYONE to not let off the pedal. Instead put the pedal to the metal and keep the information pouring , bombarding , saturating and in the PUBLIC’s face. Have you noticed that the papers are not full of opposition opinions from the public or wind companies. Why is that? Because the doubt has been planted. The wind companies can not defend the misleading info THEY put out!!! The “Fruit is on the tree” They were hoping Canadians or Ontarians would be complacent, shy, reserved, too tired to get involved etc. We surprised them! They will try powerful commercials on TV…. but we can spoil that for them by making people aware and savvy. Truth and common sense will prevail IF we can teach the truth with very obvious and available facts.


    I am finding that there are more and more people coming on-line wanting to know more and more about Wind Turbines.

    What people are fast becoming aware of is how devastating these turbines are against Ontario’s wildlife. We continue to use Wolfe Island as an example but what about, Melancthon EcoPower Centre’s 199 turbines, Erie shores Wind Farm 99 turbines, Enbridge Ontario Wind Farm 181 turbines, Port Alma Wind Farm 101 and Prince Township Wind Farm 189 turbines. Why aren’t these wind farm mortality rates being published or made available to the public? Where is the transparency?

    In any event I think all who read this post understands my point. At best we can do the math with what we do know, however, there’s one thing that bothers me anytime there is talk about mortality rates and the numbers given and or conveyed. What about the numbers that are not given or conveyed? These numbers that are not given would include the amount of mortality rates of the offspring that are left to die. In some bird species only one parent looks after the feeding or there is only one parent rearing and there are species that mate for life. If this parent succumbs to the perils of turbines or some other cause that was perpetrated by man you can easily see what the effect of this would be to the growth of the species. Wildlife species pick a particular habitat to live in. I would like to see these stats taken into consideration as well. We need to see what the projected stats are for each specified species being killed presently in Ontario which relate to future projected losses. Do you not find it strange how the wind industry uses projections to suit their purposes in theory and or assumptions rather than anything that is factual? For example we have x amount of turbines that can produce x amount of power on a 24/7 basis which will provide power for x amount of homes. The reality is WIND TURBINE COMPANIES either don’t have the statistics for their facilities or they do not want us to know, if so why all are/were required to conduct post-construction monitoring.

    These wind companies don’t want you to know that their facility it not working to capacity, for which I am glad to see, because if they were wildlife mortality rates would increase.

    As Ontarian’s we need to know what the future will bring us based on present day evidence however our provincial government does not want us to know this, why?

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