Library filed under Impact on Birds from Germany
"The judgment does not help us as an industry," said Wolfram Axthelm managing director of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) to the Handelsblatt. The challenge remains of balancing the protection of the individual birds and the protection of the population. The ball is now with the legislature in Germany. "The Environment Ministers' Conference has taken up the topic and must now come to results as quickly as possible," said Axthelm.
The verdict of the highest Hessian administrative court represents a setback for the Green Ministers Tarek Al-Wazir (economy) and Priska Hinz (environment), who urged the faster expansion of wind energy. They tried to lower the species protections in order to allow for the expansion of wind power under a decree that came into force two weeks ago.
The generation of energy has priority over species protection, according to an administrative regulation that Economy Minister Tarek Al-Wazir and Environment Minister Priska Hinz jointly launched at the beginning of the year. The Hessian Administrative Court has now soberly ruled that the decree has "no binding effect on the courts".
"The effects of an industrial wind power plant on this valuable biotope are immense," says Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, sole director of the German Wildlife Foundation. "The negative impact on birds are substantial and proven in similar habitats."
This horrible, upsetting picture shows a white stork whose beak was chopped off by a wind turbine in Germany. It subsequently had to be “euthanised” by a vet. Though I’ve given him a name – Stefan – I think we can safely predict that his ugly and entirely unnecessary demise won’t generate nearly the same level of public outrage as did Cecil the Lion‘s. Or even Finsly the Tiger Shark’s.
Warning: This video is disturbing. This video shows a flock (dozen) of partridges which were pressed on the base of a wind turbine. The partridges flew with a tailwind over an elevated plain. It was impossible for the birds to dodge the wind turbine.
Heinz Schwarze, the head of the newly formed committee, suspects that Germany’s booming wind power industry may have been involved. Wind farms are prohibited in areas where protected species nest.
It may be the time to consider how wind farms fit in with the values which the Wilderness Society represents. If the Society is prepared to go through such a prolonged and worthy fight to save the forests, with all the financial and emotional costs involved, it would be consistent to regard wind farm development with the same scepticism with which it regards the wood chip industry. Both are potent adversaries to the values which I hope we share.
This report published by the British Ornithologists’ Union provides an important look at bird migration behavior over water and the potential for collision with offshore wind energy turbines. The authors recommend "abandonment of wind farms in zones with dense migration, turning off turbines on nights predicted to have adverse weather and high migration intensity, and actions to make wind turbines more recognizable to birds, including modification of the illumination to intermittent rather than continuous light, as the most appropriate mitigation measures." An excerpt of the Executive Summary appears below. The full report can be downloaded from this webpage.
They introduced the world to "environmentally friendly" energy, but now some of Europe's "greenest" countries are under pressure to backtrack on wind farms as public anger grows over their impact on the countryside.