May Bats Prevail


Back in March, I wrote a post about the grisly lawnmower effect wind turbines can have on bats. Well, there's some good news: a new study conducted by Iberdrola Renewables and independent conservation group Bat Conservation International found that bat death can be reduced by more than 70 percent if the turbines are turned off when wind speeds are low. Even better, the power lost from shutting turbines down at these speeds was only 2 percent of total output. As thrilling as this information is all on its own, I point to the study as an example of the collaboration and problem-solving that will be necessary for the renewables industry to live up to its promise of clean energy with minimal collateral damage. See Sarah Gilman's excellent and much commented-upon essay,  "For the Love of Wastelands" for a meta-discussion of the impacts of wind and solar.