Researchers were able to find a simple way on how to reduce bird deaths caused by wind turbines massively. The study was conducted at Norway's Smola wind farm for about nine years.
Theres a cost to *not* intervening quickly if there's a positive result to intevention. Bird deaths down 70 percent after painting wind turbine blades: https://t.co/wKJ5ERJIbu pic.twitter.com/f7n8lbIOL9 — Sally Livingston (@sf_livingston) August 26, 2020
They claimed that the number of birds killed each year by wind turbines could be dramatically reduced using simple black paint. The research explained that painting one of the blades on a turbine could lead to a 70% drop in bird deaths.
In 2019, more than 60GW of new generating capacity were added, leading to a wind power surge. The innovation can reduce burning fossil fuels since it relies on wind, a cheaper power source, as long as it is positioned in the right spot.
Since these wind farms are safe compared to solar farms and other power plants, people prefer to live next to them. However, not everyone approves the use of wind turbines since they have a massive impact on the local populations of flying fauna, such as bats and birds.
The United States President Donal Trump even called the wind turbines "bird graveyard." Meanwhile, other politicians suggested that coal mining and oil extracting should still continue to prevent the current avian death toll.
US Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that wind turbines killed approximately 300,000 in 2015. But, as the industry replaces the older versions of wind turbines with larger ones, the bird deaths are trending down.
How black paint can save birds' lives
Experts claimed that adding visual cues, such as different colored fan blades, might save the birds from colliding to the enormous propellers since the animals are not very good at seeing obstructions while they're in the air.
Researchers find black and white solution to wind turbine bird deaths https://t.co/VMfUr8La8q pic.twitter.com/M4a0P4RdfB — Lynn Bannerman (@lynnbannerman1) August 24, 2020
Back in 2013, an experiment was conducted at the Smola farm, which includes painting a single blade of each of the four turbines in the test group with black paint. The research showed positive results since only six birds were found dead after three years. The study showed that only 18 bird deaths were recorded by the four control wind turbines, a 71.9% drop in the annual fatality rate.
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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.