photo by Jessicajil (Flickr CC)

It’s not easy being eco-friendly and energy independent. Just ask the bats that live near small wind turbines.

I hate reading news like this, but we must not be blind to what we do, even if we do it with the best intentions (or just to save a bit of cash).

New research shows that small wind turbines, like the ones you might mount on your roof or erect in your backyard (no innuendos intended), can reduce bat numbers by up to 54%.

The leader of the Stirling University study, Kirsty Park, is quoted by the BBC:

Based on our results, we recommend that turbines are sited at least 20 metres away from potentially valuable bat habitat. This will help us to maximise the benefits of renewable energy generation whilst minimising potentially adverse effects on wildlife.

The study found that bird populations were not significantly affected by small wind turbines.

Read the Bat Conservation Trust’s statement regarding wind turbines of all sizes here.

Reasons as to exactly why large wind turbines cause bat fatalities are as of yet unknown, though it may have to do with migratory bats being attracted to the turbines or the change in air pressure caused by the rotating turbines resulting in disorientation.

About The Author: Graham Land

Greenfudge editor and London-based writer Graham Land grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene, playing in several bands. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. He has also lived in Japan, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.


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