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The expansion of wind power has always been accompanied by criticism from citizens with regard to the damage to fauna, especially to the population of birds of prey and bats. One of our employees, who was involved in data collection for ecological assessments of such projects, was often made aware of this problem by concerned citizens. Sometimes the encounters were not so pleasant. The criticism is also justified. However, years of work in the industry have led to the following train of thought:

  • Humanity has become wealthy through natural capital
  • Humans have created today’s comfort for themselves by taking more and more of the natural space under their influence
  • The cultural landscapes in Germany were created by anthropogenic influence (and are protected today)
  • Over the centuries, cultivated landscapes have led to many of the introduced useful plants (e.g. camomile) and useful insects (e.g. some of the solitary bee species) becoming “indigenous”
  • The cultivated landscape in turn forms a habitat for the dill population, as the oak and beech forests together with the nearby fields are indispensable for the red kite, for example
  • It can therefore be said that the red kite population in many parts of Germany has been favored by anthropogenic influence

According to the Federal Environment Agency, Germany currently covers only around 30% of its primary energy requirements through domestic raw material extraction. The remaining 70% is imported from abroad. Hard coal and uranium are 100% imported. Over 90% of mineral oil and natural gas.

To round off the thought process, we would like to refer you to the following study.The USA has continued to expand wind power over the last 20 years.At the same time, oil and gas are also being extracted in the USA.This enabled the scientist, Erik Katovich from the University of Geneva, to draw a comparison. He compared the effects of wind turbines on bird populations with the decline in bird populations due to oil and gas installations. The study showed that the new gas wells have caused an average decline in bird numbers of around 15%, while the expansion of wind power has had no measurable impact on the bird population.

Quantifying the Effects of Energy Infrastructure on Bird Populations and Biodiversity | Environmental Science & Technology (acs.org) 

We are not suggesting that this study is 100% transferable to Germany. The geological conditions in the USA cannot be compared with those in Germany. It is only intended to serve as an example that things have to be weighed up differently. In addition, the interim results of a European study “LIFE EUOKITE” point to “predators” and “poisoning” as the most common causes of death among red kites. Death by “wind energy” is only in seventh place.

We would like to see a study carried out in the near future that includes worldwide results and compares the extraction of raw materials with “renewable energy projects”. This would provide us with important facts and allow us to make a sober judgment on such an important topic.

We hope you enjoyed this brief insight into this exciting topic. If you have any questions on the subject or suggestions for new topics, Kevin Kaiser is always available to answer them.