8 May 2007 - 09:53
  • News Code: 104057

Wind farms in themselves might not be enough to reduce instances of smog and acid rain, but they can reduce the ever-expanding growth of emissions, according to a report by the National Academy of Sciences.

The report released on Thursday said that officials who decide about the wind turbines did not have the requisite tools to measure the impact of these turbines on air quality or on birds and animals.

The report added that there was no coordination in the rapid growth of wind farms across the country. It said that local, state and federal government needed to regulate the wind turbines and assess their impact on wildlife as well as the ecology.

The report says that the US capacity to build wind turbines had risen by over four times in the last six years even though wind power contributes to just 1 percent of the country’s electricity.

One of the major hazards of wind turbines is the birds that are killed each year. The report says over 37,000 birds die each year because of this. However the newer turbines appear to kill less number of birds, study director David Policansky noted. However he said lack of research meant they could not predict this accurately.

It is estimated that bats and raptors are the worst affected by wind turbines, but this estimation is based mainly on counting the dead birds rather than on solid evidence. “If 100 bats are killed, we don’t know whether that’s 100 out of 10 million or 100 out of 100 million,“ study chairman Paul G. Risser admitted.

“A country as large and geographically diverse as the United States and as wedded to political plurality and private enterprise is unlikely to plan for wind energy at a national scale,“ the report said in obvious reference to European countries where wind farms are supervised by state and local authorities.



News Code 104057

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