Wind Energy, Wildlife, and the Environment
Wind energy is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of electrical generation on the planet. That is because wind energy emits no air or water pollution, requires no mining or drilling for fuel, uses virtually no water, and creates no hazardous or radioactive waste.
Clean, renewable wind energy also displaces harmful emissions from fossil fuel power plants and offsets carbon emissions, making it a safer generation option for people, wildlife, and natural ecosystems.
National Wildlife Organizations Support Wind Energy
Properly sited wind energy projects protect birds and wildlife by producing no dangerous pollutants or carbon emissions. According to the Audubon Society’s website:
“Audubon strongly supports properly sited wind power as a renewable energy source that helps reduce the threat posed to birds and people by climate change. However, we also advocate that wind power facilities should be planned, sited, and operated in ways that minimize harm to birds and other wildlife...”
To ensure that our projects are responsibly sited for wildlife, Apex conducts environmental impact studies for every project. We coordinate with federal and state wildlife agencies to make sure that our projects are sited in areas where impacts to birds or bats are minimized and appropriately mitigated if necessary.
In 2012, the National Wildlife Federation, ConservAmerica, and 116 other sportsmen, business, and conservation groups signed a letter asking Congress to support renewable energy projects around the country.
While birds do occasionally collide with turbine blades, modern wind farms are far less harmful to birds than buildings, communication towers, power lines, and vehicles. In fact, turbines account for only a small fraction, about 0.0003%, of all human-related bird deaths.
Wind Energy Reduces Air Pollution
In 2012, wind energy offset 87,000 metric tons of SO2 and 61,000 metric tons of NOx, dangerous particulate air pollutants that are associated with conventional electric generation.* In addition, wind turbines installed in the United States through 2012 will displace nearly 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.* That’s the equivalent of removing over 17 million cars from the road. This carbon savings helps birds and wildlife by minimizing the worst impacts of climate change, which according to scientists could threaten between one-quarter and one-half of all bird species.
* American Wind Energy Association