(Washington, D.C., February 2, 2011) American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation’s leading bird conservation organization, said today that the build-out of wind energy proposed by the federal government to meet a Department of Energy target of generating 20% of the nation’s electricity through wind power is expected to kill at least one million birds per year by 2030, and probably significantly more.
ABC considers the one million estimate, which is based on a 2005 paper1 and widely cited by the wind industry, as likely a significant underestimate of bird mortality. For example, a more recent 2009 estimate by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) indicated that approximately 440,000 birds were already being killed per year2. At the time, 22,000 turbines were in operation representing 25GW of installed capacity, a fraction of the 300GW of production capacity needed to meet the 20% by 2030 target. Wind farms are also expected to impact almost 20,000 square miles of terrestrial habitat, and over 4,000 square miles of marine habitat by 2030, some of this critical to threatened species.
h/t to GregO