To Protect Birds From Wind Turbines, Look To Hawai‘i’s Approach

red-kite_1596489aAmerican Bird Conservancy, Michael Hutchins
The state of Hawai‘i has an ambitious goal of achieving 100 percent renewable electrical energy by 2045. As some of the most isolated islands in the world, Hawai‘i’s costs for importing oil are very high. A move towards generating renewable electrical energy thus makes a lot of economic and environmental sense.

Unfortunately, this plan is not without its own environmental hazards. It means vastly more wind turbines and solar farms on or around the islands, and one of the biggest challenges is their potential impact on Hawai‘i’s endemic birds and bats.

As result of its long isolation, Hawai‘i is home to many bird species that are found nowhere else in the world. These include threatened and endangered species and subspecies, such as the ‘Alala (Hawaiian Crow), Nene (Hawaiian Goose), Hawaiian Common Gallinule, Hawaiian Black-necked Stilt, Pueo (Hawaiian Short-eared Owl), ‘AkohekoheHawaiian Petrel and many others. At least 95 of Hawai‘i’s unique birds have already gone extinct, making conservation of the remaining endemic species and subspecies a very high priority.

Poorly sited wind energy projects on the mainland are killing hundreds of thousands of birds and bats annually, including threatened and endangered species. In the case of birds, that number goes into the many millions when wind projects’ associated power lines and towers are also taken into consideration. As the number of turbines and power lines increases, these fatalities are mounting every year. The presence of turbines and power lines also drives away many species, including grassland birds and Greater Sage-Grouse, often resulting in brood failure. Read article

11 thoughts on “To Protect Birds From Wind Turbines, Look To Hawai‘i’s Approach

  1. “In Hawai‘i, however, this work is done by independent, third-party experts. Wind developers in Hawai‘i are also subject to greater scrutiny, including expensive fines or even prosecution, for killing federally protected birds. Having trusted third-party consultants do this work and report directly to regulators avoids an obvious conflict of interest.”

    Why did we not do this Ontario? A situation was set up here that would allow dishonesty and conflict of interest!

  2. NextGen Climate Action, San Francisco, CA

    2013 U.S. IRS Form 990 > Download 2013 Form 990

    Part III: Statement of Program Service Accomplishments
    Line 4a
    “Keystone XL Pipeline Campaign – Provide Information On the Keystone XL Pipeline And Educate The Public On The Potential Environmental Risks That Accompany The Keystone XL Pipeline”

    Thomas F. Steyer, President/Director listed on this Form 990.

    U.S. only or would have been reported as foreign country/Canada activity.

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