For wind energy boosters and construction enthusiasts alike, this time-lapse video of a 100-meter high wind turbine being installed at the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a fascinating look at one of the marvels of modern engineering.
The wind turbine, which was financed and installed by Ecotricity, a leading British low-carbon energy supplier, is expected to generate enough clean electricity (2 million kWh) to cover about half of the electricity that the RSPB uses across all of its 127 locations in the UK. This will allow the charity to reduce its carbon emissions by almost 600 tonnes each year, and enable the RSPB to continue to move forward with its ambition of meeting the call of the 2008 Climate Change Act, which aims for an 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050. In addition to reducing the charity’s carbon emissions, the turbine will also allow the organization to access clean electricity at a discounted cost.
While some nature organizations and advocates, most notably bird conservation groups, have expressed reluctance to the wider adoption of wind energy as a clean and green technology for a more sustainable energy future, due to the claims that wind turbines kill birds and bats, the RSPB wind turbine installation employed a number of wildlife mitigation methods. These methods are expected to reduce the negative impacts on birds, bats, and other wildlife. Two of the methods used at this location are the inclusion of a ‘bat detection monitor’ and the ability to switch the turbine off during summer months when low wind speeds are experienced.
According to Ecotricity, this is the first time these approaches have been used to help protect bat populations in Britain, and the following short documentary touches on this point, with the RSPB’s director of conservation, Martin Harper, and a senior ecologist at Ecotricity, Simon Pickering, weighing in on the project and its potential impacts.
More on the Ecotricity project at RSPB:
- Bird and Wildlife Charity to Erect Massive Wind Turbine (The Message: Wind Turbines Better for Birds than Fossil Fuels)
- Royal Society For Protection Of Birds Installs Wind Turbine To Cut Emissions
More on wind turbines and wildlife:
- Wind Farms Not Bane of Birds Existence
- Wind Turbines Don’t Kill Birds; Coal Plants Do
- 99% Of Seabirds Avoid Collision With Offshore Wind Farms
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