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April 6

How Environmentally Conscious is Wind Power?

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Wind power is one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy. Wind will have a key place in our future electricity generation landscape. Wind turbines do not emit greenhouse gases themselves, therefore making them environmentally friendly. There are some valid concerns about the effect of wind farms and wind turbines on wildlife habitats; however, these issues are mitigated by several steps, taken by both the government and Naveco Power, to ensure that wind farms incur the least disruption possible to an ecosystem. Wind power and its relationship with wildlife is our focus for this blog.   

Wind power is one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy. Wind will have a key place in our future electricity generation landscape. Wind turbines do not emit greenhouse gases themselves, therefore making them environmentally friendly. There are some valid concerns about the effect of wind farms and wind turbines on wildlife habitats; however, these issues are mitigated by several steps, taken by both the government and Naveco Power, to ensure that wind farms incur the least disruption possible to an ecosystem. Wind power and its relationship with wildlife is our focus for this blog.   

Wind Turbines and GHG Emissions 

First, we’ll acknowledge that while wind turbines do not create GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, the process of constructing and maintaining them do. Most estimates of wind turbine life-cycle global warming emissions are between 0.02 and 0.04 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour. To put this into context, estimates of life-cycle global warming emissions for natural gas generated electricity are between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour and estimates for coal-generated electricity are 1.4 and 3.6 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour. Sothere are some carbon emissions involved with wind power, but as the facts above show, it is nowhere near as much as fossil fuel sources. 

First, we’ll acknowledge that while wind turbines do not create GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, the process of constructing and maintaining them do. Most estimates of wind turbine life-cycle global warming emissions are between 0.02 and 0.04 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour. To put this into context, estimates of life-cycle global warming emissions for natural gas generated electricity are between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour and estimates for coal-generated electricity are 1.4 and 3.6 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour. Sothere are some carbon emissions involved with wind power, but as the facts above show, it is nowhere near as much as fossil fuel sources. 

Do Wind Turbines Impact Wildlife?

There are several effects a wind farm or wind turbine has on the environment. The first of these effects is land use. Land use is something people don’t often think about. Often, we see a wind farm on the horizon out a car window and go “that’s cool,” but otherwise we don’t really think too much about it. But chances are, that land has been cleared at least somewhat; a maintenance road has been builtconstruction has taken placeand new vibrations and noise from a wind turbine exist where a slight breeze was once all there wasAll these things alter wildlife habitats to some degree. 

The wind farm and its construction may have displaced animals that used to frequent the area. Birds might now avoid the site or occasionally get struck by the blade of the wind turbine. Bats are affected by the vibration of the turbines, causing great harm to bats that stray too close. Increased human activity in the area may sway land animals away from the area as well. These effects of a wind farm are all very valid and are taken seriously by Naveco Power and the Province of New Brunswick.

There are several effects a wind farm or wind turbine has on the environment. The first of these effects is land use. Land use is something people don’t often think about. Often, we see a wind farm on the horizon out a car window and go “that’s cool,” but otherwise we don’t really think too much about it. But chances are, that land has been cleared at least somewhat; a maintenance road has been builtconstruction has taken placeand new vibrations and noise from a wind turbine exist where a slight breeze was once all there wasAll these things alter wildlife habitats to some degree. 

The wind farm and its construction may have displaced animals that used to frequent the area. Birds might now avoid the site or occasionally get struck by the blade of the wind turbine. Bats are affected by the vibration of the turbines, causing great harm to bats that stray too close. Increased human activity in the area may sway land animals away from the area as well. These effects of a wind farm are all very valid and are taken seriously by Naveco Power and the Province of New Brunswick.

Naveco Power always has the environment in the foreground of our minds, and our processes and procedures reflect that in our developments.

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How We Mitigate Environmental Risks

A very complex Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) particularly tailored to wind projects is conducted by the province prior to development. Naveco Power also conducts an assessment after thorough research into the location and siting of the proposed wind farm. This helps ensure that the least environmental impact possible occurs. The wind farm will be placed strategically to avoid common migratory paths of birds and bats. The construction is conducted efficiently to have the least negative impact possible. Maintenance roads are also avoided if possible and created in consideration of wildlife and the surrounding area. 

A very complex Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) particularly tailored to wind projects is conducted by the province prior to development. Naveco Power also conducts an assessment after thorough research into the location and siting of the proposed wind farm. This helps ensure that the least environmental impact possible occurs. The wind farm will be placed strategically to avoid common migratory paths of birds and bats. The construction is conducted efficiently to have the least negative impact possible. Maintenance roads are also avoided if possible and created in consideration of wildlife and the surrounding area. 


Beyond wildlife, it is also important to note that the sound and vibrations created by wind turbines do not adversely affect human health. Naveco Power always has the environment in the foreground of our minds, and our processes and procedures reflect that in our developments. These are all current steps taken specially to mitigate the environmental impact of wind farms on wildlife.

 Of course, some steps must be considered in the future as well. For example, simple actions like staying in tune with the extensive research conducted on the environmental impacts of wind energy on specific species help keep us environmentally conscious. A more complex future step is to consider wind developments in urban areas, where the wildlife has already adjusted, and the impact would be minimal to build a wind turbine in a large industrial area or open urban space. More research and consultation can be conducted to ensure that the siting process for a wind farm will be more efficient and find locales where wind farms can be constructed with a minimal environmental impact. These are more steps that can be taken and should be considered in future wind developments.  

Beyond wildlife, it is also important to note that the sound and vibrations created by wind turbines do not adversely affect human health. Naveco Power always has the environment in the foreground of our minds, and our processes and procedures reflect that in our developments. These are all current steps taken specially to mitigate the environmental impact of wind farms on wildlife.

 Of course, some steps must be considered in the future as well. For example, simple actions like staying in tune with the extensive research conducted on the environmental impacts of wind energy on specific species help keep us environmentally conscious. A more complex future step is to consider wind developments in urban areas, where the wildlife has already adjusted, and the impact would be minimal to build a wind turbine in a large industrial area or open urban space. More research and consultation can be conducted to ensure that the siting process for a wind farm will be more efficient and find locales where wind farms can be constructed with a minimal environmental impact. These are more steps that can be taken and should be considered in future wind developments.  

Renewable Energy

Naveco Power takes these environmental considerations very seriously and always looks to develop projects with the most minimal impact on wildlife possible. We look forward to the opportunity to create such development with you in the future. Wind energy is rapidly growing and will help us create a cleaner environment. Let’s make sure that’s done as well as possible to benefit the environment the most we can.  

 

Resources 

https://cwf-fcf.org/en/news/articles/wind-power.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIosjMmvDj6gIV4AiICR2RNgiSEAAYASAAEgILSvD_BwE 

https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/environmental-impacts-wind-power 

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200302-how-do-wind-farms-affect-bats-birds-and-other-wildlife 

https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/environmental-impacts-and-siting-wind-projects 

https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/environmental-impacts-wind-power  

Naveco Power takes these environmental considerations very seriously and always looks to develop projects with the most minimal impact on wildlife possible. We look forward to the opportunity to create such development with you in the future. Wind energy is rapidly growing and will help us create a cleaner environment. Let’s make sure that’s done as well as possible to benefit the environment the most we can. 


Resources 

https://cwf-fcf.org/en/news/articles/wind-power.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIosjMmvDj6gIV4AiICR2RNgiSEAAYASAAEgILSvD_BwE 

https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/environmental-impacts-wind-power 

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200302-how-do-wind-farms-affect-bats-birds-and-other-wildlife 

https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/environmental-impacts-and-siting-wind-projects 

https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/environmental-impacts-wind-power 

 

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