While wind energy is helping to mitigate the environmental concerns related to fossil fuels, wind farms as such present problems of wildlife conservation, such as habitat loss or increased mortality of birds and bats.
However, according to a study published in the online edition of “PLoS ONE” on 26 October, it is said that with better regional planning and an improved fit, the wind power could meet environmental concerns while reaching the development goals of the wind.
The work “The Nature Conservancy” is an analysis of impacts on wildlife of Kansas, describing how wind development could be extended while respecting the objectives of wildlife conservation.
Researchers have identified areas that should be “sanctified” to protect certain wildlife populations and habitats (ex. grasslands housing poultry and whooping cranes). They also quantified the level of “offset projects” that would be required to accept the ecological effects on the remaining spaces. The proposal suggests that an area of about 10 million hectares (about 50% of the State of Texas) could be devoted to the development of wind energy, which would lead to an installed capacity of up to 478 gigawatts of energy, while respecting the objectives of environmental conservation.
The authors suggest that “wind power can be developed in a way that is compatible with wildlife. Even after saving the critical natural habitats, there are tens of millions of acres in Texas suitable for energy production wind “. Development of “friendly” wind energy could produce enough energy to far exceed the objectives of 20% of the project “Energy from wind by 2030” in the United States.