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Can Wind Turbines be Animal-Friendly?

The RSPB have voiced their concern over certain wind farms in the United Kingdom due to the threat they pose to wildlife. Is it possible for animals and wind turbines to co-exist?

The main argument which the RSPB have put forward against wind farms is that they can cause damage to animal populations, mainly birds and bats. However, there is the potential for a variety of wildlife to be affected due to the habitat which is destroyed during wind farm construction. The main problems facing birds are disruption to migration paths, as well as the general positioning of wind turbines. Raptors use wind currents to glide on, so if a wind turbine is obstructing their way they could come into contact with it, resulting in injury or even death.

However, it’s important to bear in mind that the RSPB do not oppose wind farms as a whole. What the object to is the positioning of certain wind turbines, asking the government to carefully consider this factor in order to cause minimal damage to wildlife populations. They have only raised objections to 49 of the 1,031 wind turbine applications which they’ve been involved in.

The RSPB have now set a good example of how it should be done by installing a wind turbine at the organisation’s headquarters in Sandy, Bedfordshire. They’ve positioned it carefully, and will switch it off for a total of one hour a day around sunrise and sunset during certain wind conditions. This will ensure that it doesn’t cause disruption to the site’s population of noctule and pipistrelle bats.

The turbine will generate enough energy to supply more than half of the RSPB’s 127 UK sites.

 

42% of Electricity Produced by Wind in Denmark

It has been announced that in 2015, Denmark managed to produce 42% of its electricity using wind turbines. 55% of electricity in the west of the country and 23% in the east came from wind turbines in what has been a record year for this type of energy production. This was despite the fact that two large onshore windfarms were actually offline, and had they been in action as well, the country would have been looking at a total of 43.5%.

The figures are a 3% rise on those of 2014, which had held the previous wind energy production record for Denmark. It’s down to the fact that the year was particularly windy, allowing full advantage to be taken of the energy which can be harnessed from these weather conditions. The country is now generating surplus power 16% of the time, which is sold off to Norway, Sweden and Germany. On one particular day when the weather conditions were just right, Denmark exported 40% of its power. The country is fully involved in the import and export of renewable energy, buying in hydroelectric power from Norway and solar energy from Germany.

These successes in 2015 set a positive example to the rest of the world and are very encouraging in terms of showing how to build a renewable future. Denmark is coming ever-closer to achieving its aim of producing 50% of all its electricity by means of wind power by the year 2050.

Sourcing Your Energy From a Renewable Supplier

If you’re not able to produce your own renewable energy, you can still make a big difference to the environment by sourcing your energy from a renewable supplier. You won’t see any noticeable differences, but you’ll be helping to pay for clean ways of generating energy in order to shape production processes going forward.

Renewable energy companies will usually own wind farms and solar farms in order to produce their energy. By choosing to buy through them, you will be contributing clean energy to the national grid to help in making energy production a more renewable process. As more people choose eco-friendly options, companies can invest in more facilities to produce more renewable energy.

The process of switching over to a green supplier is much the same as switching to any other company. You can research the tariffs which are available beforehand to check whether there are any which will suit you. Customer service teams will be available to offer your further advice and will be able to complete the process of switching over for you. They tend to be very well educated in renewable energy as a whole, so they’ll be able to explain the process to you in as much detail as you require.

Following the Example Set By Eco-Friendly Businesses

An increasing number of businesses are now working to become as energy-efficient as possible, and some are even close to being able to provide all of the energy which they need by way of renewable sources. It can be a labour-intensive process, but it’s also something which is incredibly rewarding and can do a lot of good. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider using more renewable energy sources within your business:

  • It will help the environment enormously. Businesses tend to be larger than households and will therefore need to use more energy to function. Reducing fossil fuel usage down as far as possible will make a big difference to your carbon footprint.
  • You can create positive PR from your schemes. People will be interested in what you’re doing and you might well find yourself with a whole host of new customers.
  • Other companies will be more keen to work with you. Well-known businesses with a strong PR campaign and ethical company values will attract other businesses.
  • It’s an interesting, moral way to keep your regular customers and clients engaged. Write newsletters and blogs, and talk about your renewable energy schemes on social media to catch the attention of your regulars.

Carbon Dioxide Capture and Utilisation

Carbon dioxide is the waste product of energy production processes, and it’s this gas which is proving detrimental to our planet. A process known as carbon dioxide capture and utilisation could help to make a large dent in the amount of this gas being released into the atmosphere, which could in turn help to reduce global warming. How beneficial might this be, and what are the challenges involved?

Carbon dioxide utilisation is a challenging process. It involves a number of complex chemical reactions, and it’s by no means simple to develop. Investment in the process would require a great deal of time and money. A less labour-intensive option is to capture the waste products from the process, but then to store them in places such as oil fields and gas fields as opposed to reusing them. This is beneficial in that it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, but it doesn’t solve the problem of finite fossil fuel supplies.

Developing the process of capture and utilisation has its advantages, and could be worth pursuing despite engineering and financial challenges. However, it could never stand alone as a complete renewable solution. Renewable energy would still be needed to power the plants, so there needs to be a focus on other methods of energy production alongside carbon utilisation research. No one green solution will be appropriate for all situations, so by having a range of technologies available, we have plenty of choices and options for the future.