Renewable Energy Harms Wildlife

Renewable Energy Harms Wildlife

May 23, 2023

Energy sources like wind, solar and hydropower are often called clean energy. However, the fact is that they are not so clean, and there is blood on their hands from wildlife being harmed. Animals such as whales, eagles, salmon, and many more are injured each year thanks to the construction and upkeep of these “clean energy” sources. Recently it has been reported in Wyoming that criminal cases for killing bald eagles are suspiciously down even though the killings of eagles are up.

The Associated Press reports, 

“The AP’s findings — that significant numbers of eagles continue to die while fewer criminal cases are pursued — underscore a dilemma facing the Biden administration as it tries to confront climate change. Pursuing that goal through clean power development is requiring trade offs such as more dead birds from collisions with wind turbines that can tower 260 feet (80 meters) with blade tips spinning in excess of 150 miles per hour (240 kilometers per hour).”

“They are rolling over backwards for wind companies,” said Mike Lockhart a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist. “I think they are killing a hell of a lot more eagles than they ever anticipated.”

Companies often know of their devices’ risk to wildlife, with most companies pledging to perform conservation work to offset the deaths. And some permits include direct payments for dead eagles, around $30,000 per bird. Unfortunately, Eagles are not the only wildlife harmed by these devices. In January, whales became the topic of discussion for offshore wind casualties.  

NC State University College of Natural Resources found the following,

  • Wind turbines, both land-based and offshore, kill millions of migratory birds and bats each year from collisions.
  • Hydroelectric dams block migration routes for fish, preventing them from breeding and causing high juvenile mortality rates.
  • Concentrating solar plants known as “power towers” produce beams of sunlight intense enough to incinerate insects and birds.

The Biden/Harris administration has long proclaimed clean energy as the future but clearly have no regard for the areas and protected wildlife around them.