Access the full text.
Sign up today, get DeepDyve free for 14 days.
References for this paper are not available at this time. We will be adding them shortly, thank you for your patience.
Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences Vol. 9, No. 4, December 2012, 255–278 Benjamin K. Sovacool* Vermont Law School, Institute for Energy & the Environment, South Royalton, Vermont 05068- 0444, United States (Received 30 June 2012; ﬁnal version received 2 November 2012) Environmentalists and environmental scientists have criticized wind energy in various forums for its negative impacts on wildlife, especially birds. This article highlights that nuclear power and fossil-fuelled power systems have a host of environmental and wildlife costs as well, particularly for birds. Therefore, as a low-emission, low-pollution energy source, the wider use of wind energy can save wildlife and birds as it displaces these more harmful sources of electricity. The paper provides two examples: one relates to a calculation of avian fatalities across wind electricity, fossil-fueled, and nuclear power systems in the entire United States. It estimates that wind farms are responsible for roughly 0.27 avian fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity while nuclear power plants involve 0.6 fatalities per GWh and fossil- fueled power stations are responsible for about 9.4 fatalities per GWh. Within the uncertainties of the data used, the estimate means that wind farm-related avian fatalities equated to approximately 46,000 birds in the United States in 2009, but nuclear power plants killed about 460,000 and fossil-fueled power plants 24 million. A second example summarizes the wildlife beneﬁts from a 580-MW wind farm at Altamont Pass in California, a facility that some have criticized for its impact on wildlife. The paper lastly highlights other social and environmental beneﬁts to wind farms compared to other sources of electricity and energy. Keywords: wind power; avian mortality; wind turbines Introduction Advocates of wind energy cherish its multitude of economic and energy security beneﬁts compared to other sources of conventional electricity generation. Engineers and contractors can construct wind turbines more quickly than large-scale nuclear reactors and coal-ﬁred power plants (Sovacool and Watts 2009). Use of wind turbines means less consumption and pollution of water resources – a real concern since about half of water use in the United States involves producing electricity in thermoelectric plants (US Geological Survey 2005). The deployment of wind farms diversiﬁes the fuel mix of utility companies, thereby reducing the overall risk of fuel shortages, fuel cost hikes, and interruptions (Christensen et al. 2006). Wind energy tends to be more widely accepted by communities and can contribute to economic development through greater jobs and enhanced tax revenue than fossil-fueled *Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ISSN 1943-815X print/ISSN 1943-8168 online 2012 Taylor & Francis http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1943815X.2012.746993 http://www.tandfonline.com 256 B.K. Sovacool infrastructures which primarily send money out of the local economy. (Slattery et al. 2011, 2012). Wind energy, however, is not free from environmental costs, and it has become common practice for environmental scientists and environmental advocates to criticize wind turbines for their direct and indirect hazards to birds, bats, and natural habitats. Such authors have used the term ‘avian mortality’ to describe the process whereby birds are killed by colliding with wind energy infrastructure. Writing in a prominent biology journal, for example, Carrete et al. (2009) argue that wind farms ‘have adverse eﬀects on wildlife, particularly through collision with turbines’ and that ‘alarming numbers of Egyptian vultures [have been] found dead in the vicinity of wind-farms’. A follow up-study concludes that ‘wind-farms have negative impacts on the environment, mainly through habitat destruction and bird mortality’ (Carrete et al. 2012). Cryan and Brown (2007) note that ‘wind turbines are killing bats in many areas of North America’. Dahl et al. (2012) write that despite producing ‘clean’ electricity, ‘wind-farms do have impacts on the environment’. Other recently published articles have documented negative impacts from wind turbines on Griﬀon vultures in Spain (de Lucas et al. 2012), golden eagles in Scotland (Fielding et al. 2006), and ‘sensitive birds’ in the United Kingdom (Bright et al. 2008). Some have proposed ‘no-go’ zones for wind farms based on probable ﬂight paths and habitats (Janss et al. 2010) and noted that wind farms can threaten non-avian species such as ground squirrels (Rabina et al. 2006). Indeed, biology journals are not alone in drawing attention to the wildlife costs of wind energy. One of my earlier literature reviews of 616 studies on wind energy and avian mortality found that every single one drew a negative connec- tion between wind energy and the natural environment (Sovacool 2009). A recent, cursory review undertaken by this author of articles published in the past 5 years in three scientiﬁc databases (Science Direct, BioOne, and EBSCO Host Envi- ronment Complete) – including prominent journals such as Biological Conserva- tion, Bioscience, Journal of Wildlife Management, Ornithological Science, Wildlife Biology,and Wildlife Society Bulletin – identiﬁed 56 articles with ‘wind energy’ or ‘wind turbine’ in their title, abstract, or keywords. Every single one was negative in its treatment of wind energy. A meta-survey of dozens of other studies also concluded that ‘associated infrastructure required to support an array of turbines— such as roads and transmission lines—represents an even larger potential threat to wildlife than the turbines themselves because such infrastructure can result in extensive habitat fragmentation and can provide avenues for invasion by exotic species’ (Kuvlesky et al. 2007). This evidence suggests that a consensus is emerging, or may already exist, within the wildlife community that wind turbines are environmentally calamitous or at least that such wind farms need better methods of construction, siting, and operational performance. This article, however, argues that conventional electricity systems, namely those combusting fossil fuels and ﬁssioning atoms, present their own acute risks to wildlife and birds, risks that are far greater than those from wind energy. Consequently, wind energy brings with it advantages that make it an environmen- tally friendly source of electricity. Through a synthesis of previously published literature, the article notes that wind farms and nuclear power stations are res- ponsible each for approximately 0.27 and 0.6 avian fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity while fossil-fueled power stations are responsible for about 9.4 fatalities per GWh. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 257 To make this argument about the costs of conventional electricity compared to the beneﬁts of wind energy, the article proceeds as follows. It ﬁrst compares avian fatalities from wind energy with other conventional forms of electricity generation at the national scale of the United States. It then compares avian-related mortality from wind turbines with nonenergy sources such as stationary towers and roads in addition to cats and automobiles and presents the Altamont Pass case study. It lastly summarizes some of the social and environmental beneﬁts from wind energy, presents the study’s caveats, and oﬀers conclusions for those in the environmental sciences and energy policymaking communities. In making this case, a number of salient limitations deserve mentioning. This study compares wind energy with nuclear power and fossil fuels but not other sources of electricity such as solar panels or hydroelectric dams. Many of the avian deaths from fossil fuels result indirectly from climate change, whereas those from wind energy and nuclear power are more direct from collisions with equipment (wind turbines and nuclear cooling towers) and contamination of land and water (uranium mines and enrichment facilities). The study focuses almost entirely on birds rather than bats and other types of wildlife. These shortcomings do mean that the study should be viewed as a ﬁrst-order estimate to be (hopefully) reinforced by future research. Avian mortality compared to other energy sources Perhaps surprisingly, for some readers of this Journal, wind farms appear to have fewer avian deaths per GWh than fossil-fueled power plants (coal, natural gas, and oil generators) and nuclear power plants. For wind turbines and wind farms, fatalities arise from birds striking towers or turbine blades. For fossil-fueled power stations, the most signiﬁcant fatalities come from climate change, which is altering weather patterns and destroying habitats that birds depend on. For nuclear power plants, the risk spreads across hazardous pollution at uranium mine sites and collisions with draft cooling structures. Yet, as this section of the paper demonstrates, taken together, fossil-fueled facilities are about 35 times more dangerous to birds on a per GWh basis than wind energy and nuclear power plants twice as hazardous. In absolute terms, Table 1 shows that, when climate change is included, avian fatalities from wind turbines include about 46,000 birds in 2009 but fossil-fueled stations were responsible for 24 million deaths and nuclear power plants 458,000 (See Table 1). Wind electricity Unlike fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, which spread their avian-related impacts across an entire fuel cycle, most of a wind farm’s impact occurs in one location. Consider the real world operating performance of six wind farms, each varying according to windiness, size, and location, in the United States. Using data collected by Erickson (2004), though his numbers are uncorrected for searcher eﬃciency and scavenger losses (Willis et al. 2010; Sovacool 2010) , one can quantify avian fatalities per GWh, inclusive of transmission and distribution lines within each wind farm, for 339 individual turbines constituting 274 MW of capacity spread across six wind farms in Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Averaged out over all six wind farms and presuming a capacity factor of 33% reported by the 258 B.K. Sovacool Table 1. Comparative assessment of avian mortality for fossil fuel, nuclear, and wind power plants in the United States, 2011. Avian mortality Avian mortality Avian mortality Avian mortality (total per year, (fatalities per (total per year, (fatalities per including climate GWh, including excluding climate GWh, excluding Fuel source Assumptions change) climate change) change) climate change) Wind energy Based on real world operating 46,113 0.269 46,113 0.269 experience of 339 wind turbines comprising six wind farms constituting 274 MW of installed capacity. Total avian mortality per year taken by applying 0.269 fatalities per GWh multiplied by the 171,422 GWh of wind electricity generated in 2011 Fossil fuels Based on real world operating 23.96 million 9.36 512,000 0.200 experience for two coal facilities as well as the indirect damages from mountain top removal coal mining in Appalachia, acid rain pollution on wood thrushes, mercury pollution, and anticipated impacts of climate change. Total avian mortality taken by applying the 9.36 fatalities per GWh multiplied by the 2.56 million GWh of electricity produced by the country’s ﬂeet of coal-, natural gas-, and oil-ﬁred power stations in 2011 (continued) Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 259 Table 1. (Continued). Avian mortality Avian mortality Avian mortality Avian mortality (total per year, (fatalities per (total per year, (fatalities per including climate GWh, including excluding climate GWh, excluding Fuel source Assumptions change) climate change) change) climate change) Nuclear power Based on real world operating 458,331 0.638 458,331 0.638 experience at four nuclear power plants and two uranium mines/mills. Total avian mortality taken by applying the 0.638 fatalities per GWh multiplied by the 718,388 GWh of electricity produced by the country’s nuclear plants in 2011 Note: 2011 electricity generation statistics taken from US Energy Information Administration. 260 B.K. Sovacool US Department of Energy (2008), those 339 turbines were responsible for 0.269 avian deaths per GWh. Coal, oil, and natural gas power plants Coal-, oil-, and natural gas-ﬁred power plants induce avian deaths at various points throughout their fuel cycle: upstream during coal mining, onsite collision and electrocution with operating plant equipment, and downstream poisoning and death caused by acid rain, mercury pollution, and climate change. Starting with the upstream part of their fuel cycle, Winegrad (2004) estimates that mountaintop removal and valley ﬁll operations in four states – Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia – destroyed more than 387,000 acres of mature deciduous forests. Such a loss of forest will result in approximately 191,722 deaths of the global population of Cerulean Warblers. These deaths can be loosely calculated to amount to 0.02 Warbler deaths per GWh (Sovacool 2009). Avian wildlife also frequently collides with or faces electrocution at thermo- electric power plant equipment. An observation of 500 m of distribution lines feeding a 400-MW conventional power plant in Spain estimated that it electrocuted 467 birds and killed an additional 52 in collisions with lines and towers over the course of 2 years, creating about 260 deaths per year (Janss 2000). Presuming a capacity factor of 85%, and that power plant was responsible for 0.09 deaths per GWh. Similarly, Anderson (1978) observed 300 waterfowl killed each year by colliding into Kincaid Power Plant near Lake Sangchris, Illinois. Presuming that the 1108-MW power station operated at 85% capacity factor, it was responsible for about 0.04 deaths per GWh. The mean for both facilities is 0.07 fatalities per GWh. Acid precipitation and deposition occurs when sulfur and nitrogen compounds rise into the atmosphere and combine with water to then fall to the earth as rain, snow, mist, and fog. Studies have linked acid rain to bronchial constriction, elevated pulmonary resistance, and metabolism changes within a variety of avian species (Treissman et al. 2003). After taking into account and adjusting for soil, habitat alteration, population density, and vegetation cover, an extensive study from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology estimated that acid rain annually reduced the population of the wood thrushes in the United States by 2% to 5% (Hames et al. 2002). The upper end of the estimate reﬂects wood thrushes living at higher elevations and thus subject to greater levels of acid rain found in the Adirondacks, Appalachian Mountains, Great Smokey Mountains, and the Allegheny Plateau. The results can be used to loosely quantify avian deaths of 0.05 fatalities per GWh. Mercury, another hazardous pollutant with fossil-fueled electricity generation, can cause decreased bird egg weight, embryo malformations, lowered hatchability, neural shrinkage, and increased mortality. Mercury poisoning and contamination were responsible for population declines ranging from 1% to 11% across 14 species of penguins, albatross, ducks, eagles, hawks, terns, gulls, and other birds (Burger and Gochfeld 1997). These numbers, as well, can be roughly quantiﬁed into 0.06 deaths per GWh. Finally, while perhaps the most diﬃcult to quantify, climate change is already threatening the survival of millions of birds around the world. Thomas et al. (2004) concluded that climate change was the single greatest long-term threat to birds and other avian wildlife. Looking at the mid-range scenarios in climate change expected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, they projected that 15% to 37% Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 261 of all species of birds could be extinct by 2050. These numbers, too, can be tentatively quantiﬁed into 9.16 deaths per GWh from oil, natural gas, and coal-ﬁred power stations. Adding the avian deaths from coal mining, plant operation, acid rain, mercury, and climate change together results in a total of 9.36 fatalities per GWh. Nuclear power The threat to avian wildlife from nuclear power plants can be divided into upstream and downstream fatalities. Upstream, uranium milling and mining can poison and kill hundreds of birds per facility per year. Abandoned open pit uranium mines in Wyoming have formed lakes hazardous to wildlife. Uranium-bearing formations are usually associated with strata containing high concentrations of selenium. For example, one of these pits killed 300 birds during a single year (US Fish and Wildlife Service 2008). Presuming this rate stayed constant, deaths at this mine therefore correlate to about 0.45 deaths per GWh. Like fossil-fueled power stations and wind farms, avian fauna can also collide with nuclear power plants. Three thousand birds died in two successive nights in 1982 from collisions with cooling towers at Florida Power Corporation’s Crystal River Generating Facility (Maehr et al. 1983). Given that the power plant now hosts an 838-MW nuclear reactor, and presuming it operated with a capacity factor of 90% and that the 3000 deaths were the only ones throughout the year, the facility was responsible for 0.454 avian deaths per GWh. Ornithologists observed 274 fatal bird collisions with an elevated cooling tower at the Limerick nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1980 (Veltri and Klem 2005). Since the Limerick plant has a 1200-MW reactor, and also assuming it operated at a 90% capacity factor, it was responsible for 0.261 deaths per GWh. At the Susquehanna plant in eastern Pennsylvania, 1500 dead birds were collected between 1978 and 1986 for an average of 187 fatalities per year (Biewald 2005). Assuming that the 2200 MW plant operated at 90% capacity factor, it was responsible for 0.01 deaths per GWh. Extensive surveys for dead birds were also conducted at the Davis-Bess nuclear plant near Lake Erie in Northern Ohio. Ornithologists recorded a total of 1554 bird fatalities or an average of 196 per year from 1972 to 1979 (Biewald 2005). Given that the power plant hosts an 873-MW reactor, and assuming it operated with a 90% capacity factor, and the plant was responsible for 0.0285 fatalities per GWh. Taking the mean for each of the four power plants results in 0.188 deaths per GWh. The total avian deaths per GWh for nuclear power plants are therefore about 0.638. Limitations At least three meaningful limitations concerning these estimates deserve to be mentioned. First, none of them account for avian species diversity. That is, they assume that ‘a bird is a bird is a bird.’ Biological diﬀerences between species is not accounted for, essentially meaning a dead raptor has the same signiﬁcance as a dead sparrow or starling, even though the former is larger, longer-lived, and higher up the trophic level. Second, for simplicity, the estimates apply to birds but not to bats – excluded in part because bats are mammals (Sovacool 2010), and also because the author was 262 B.K. Sovacool unaware of any reliable studies that looked speciﬁcally at the impact of coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear power facilities on bats. Wind turbines do, however, have bat- related mortalities (Willis et al. 2010; Arnett et al. 2008; Kunz et al. 2007), and the author wholeheartedly encourages research comparing bat fatalities across various energy sources. Indeed, evidence from Barclay et al. (2007) compiled from 21 separate wind energy sites suggests that bat deaths may be as high as 1.46 per GWh. Third, calculating the relationship between avian fatalities and climate change is admittedly simplistic. The role of climate change on bird extinctions, although indeed worrying, is not conclusive and as such should be approached with extreme caution. Studies looking at the expansion and contraction of ranges, shifts in migratory patterns, cumulative eﬀects with other environmental threats, and pre- dictions of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ are only recently surfacing (see Møller et al. 2004; Crick 2004; Schwartz et al. 2006; Jetz et al. 2007; Sekercioglu et al. 2008; Gilman et al. 2010 for a sample). Moreover, the author has presumed that Thomas et al.’s (2004) estimate of bird species extinctions can be extrapolated to the number of individuals that will perish and that those deaths will occur at a constant rate year-to- year. Instead, the avian species most aﬀected by climate change might be those with the smallest populations, and rates of decrease will probably vary, with most deaths occurring closer to 2050. The author is unaware of any reliable technique for how to account for these complexities within existing models. Avian mortality compared to other non-energy sources Moving away from avian fatalities per unit of energy produced to absolute numbers of avian deaths, millions of birds die annually when they strike high voltage trans- mission lines, collide with tall stationary communications towers, encounter moving automobiles, and fall victim to stalking cats. High voltage transmission lines – which rarely serve wind farms, and instead interlink large-scale centralized baseload generators combusting fossil fuels or moderating the process of nuclear ﬁssion – can electrocute birds of prey, ravens, and thermal soarers and cause collision casualties with ‘poor’ ﬂiers (Janss 2000). Martin and Shaw (2010) report that roughly 25% of juveniles and 6% of adult white storks in Europe die annually from power line collisions and that, in South Africa, 12% of blue cranes and 30% of Denham’s bustards are killed annually by collisions with power lines. Furthermore, Benı´tez-Lo´ pez et al. (2010) assessed the impact of road networks and other ‘linear infrastructure’ on wildlife and ecosystems and documented that they degrade bird habitats, isolate populations, increase human access, and induce road mortality. After reviewing 49 studies with 90 datasets and 2107 data points, they concluded that such infrastructure was responsible in a decline in species abundance of 28% to 36% for birds within 2.6 km and 25% to 38% for mammals within 17 km. Ecologist Paul Hawken (2010) has also calculated that the automobile-centered transport system in the United States requires a paved area equal to all arable land in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania to function and that it kills millions of wild animals each week (including domestic pets, deer, and birds). Aircraft pose another threat to avian wildlife, with one study documenting 44 species belonging to 37 genera at risk in Canada (Solman 1973), and oﬃcials at airports commonly using ‘lethal control’ to prevent birds from interfering with ﬂight safety (Burt 2009). Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 263 Furthermore, windows exert a signiﬁcant role in avian injury and death. Window fatalities are separated into two categories. The ﬁrst type of window-associated avian death is from birds who ﬂy unaware of clear windows believing they are ﬂying through an unobstructed pathway. The second type results from male birds defending their territories against mirrored trespassers. Birds are at elevated risk – compared to insects and mammals – due to the amount of momentum they generate during ﬂight (Klem, 1989; 1990a; 1990b). The impacts of wind turbines are therefore negligible compared to these other sources of avian mortality. Upward of one-quarter of all bird species within the United States are documented striking anthropogenic structures. Estimates of annual avian deaths from collisions with buildings range from just under 100 million to greater than 1 billion casualties. Erickson et al. (2005) estimate 550 million building and structure related deaths – analyzed from surveys that took into account scavenging data and scavenger eﬃciency bias. After surveying wind development in California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming (the 10 states with the most installed wind power capacity at the time), the US Government Accountability Oﬃce (2005) calculated that building windows are by far the largest source of bird morality, accounting for 97 million to 976 million deaths per year. Attacks from domestic and feral cats accounted for 110 million deaths; poisoning from pesticides 72 million deaths; and collisions with communication towers 4 to 50 million deaths. Yet another study projected that glass windows kill 100 to 900 million birds per year; transmission lines to conventional power plants, 175 million; hunting, more than 100 million; house cats, 100 million; cars and trucks, 50 to 100 million; and agriculture, 67 million (Pasqualetti 2004). Domestic and feral cats pose such a substantial risk to avian wildlife in Wisconsin, where they were projected to kill 39 to 40 million songbirds per year, that the state proposed allowing game hunters to shoot un-collared felines (Lane 2005). Though perhaps less reliable due to their vested interest, the Canadian Wind Energy Association estimated that more than 10,000 migratory birds die each year in the city of Toronto between 11 pm and 5 am from collisions with brightly lit oﬃce towers (Marsh 2007). A 29-year study of a single television tower in Florida found that it killed more than 44,000 birds of 186 species, and another 38-year study at a communication tower in Wisconsin found even greater deaths amounting to 121,560 birds of 123 species (Winegrad 2004). The National Academy of Sciences (2007) attributed less than 0.003% of anthropogenic bird deaths every year to wind turbines in four eastern states in the United States. It also conﬁrmed that collisions with buildings and communication towers pose a much greater risk. Put another way, the ﬁndings from the National Academy imply that it takes more than 30 wind turbines to reach a ‘kill-rate’ of one bird per year (Marris and Fairless 2007). Altamont Pass: a revealing case study Environmentalists and some media commentators have documented negative impacts on avian wildlife from the 580-MW wind farm at Altamont Pass. Yet closer examination reveals that it, too, appears to have net wildlife (and human health) beneﬁts. The Altamont Pass in California is an area known for high winds, straddling the borders between Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Joaquin counties about 48 km (30 264 B.K. Sovacool miles) east of San Francisco. The site of the nation’s ﬁrst large wind farm and at one point the largest wind farm in the world, it had approximately 6700 wind turbines, some of them shown in Figure 1, representing $1 billion in capital investment and reached a capacity of 630 MW at the peak of its development in 1986 (Smith 1987). At one point in the 1980s, its production represented over half of the world’s wind generation (McCubbin and Sovacool 2011a) – making it an ideal test case to explore what social and environmental beneﬁts, if any, accrue to larger scale wind farms. During the early 1990s, concern about avian mortality at Altamont Pass began to surface. A 1992 assessment sponsored by the California Energy Commission estimated than more than 1766 bats and 4721 wild birds, representing more than 40 species, some of them endangered, perished every year while passing through the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (Asmus 2005). Recent follow-up studies have tended to conﬁrm this trend: Thelander and Rugge (2000) and Smallwood and Thelander (2005) studied raptor mortality at Altamont Pass and estimated that as many as 835 were killed each year. Thelander (2004) projected that 881 to 1300 birds perished there per year. Smallwood and Thelander (2008) calculated that as many as 67 golden eagles perished annually. However, relying on pollution and mortality data from the Co-Beneﬁts Risk Assessment Tool (COBRA) developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, research undertaken with a colleague suggests that Altamont Pass might save more wildlife than it harms (McCubbin and Sovacool 2011a, 2011b). To make this claim, we examined and quantiﬁed the health and environmental beneﬁts of wind power at Altamont Pass for two periods: 1987–2006, its ﬁrst two decades of operation, and 2012 to 2031, 20 years of forecasted production for newer turbines installed within the resource area. Our study calculated human and wildlife health impacts from reduced ambient PM levels, using well-established human health impact and 2.5 valuation functions and some preliminary estimates and qualitative discussion of climate change. We found, perhaps unexpectedly, that electricity production from Altamont Pass reduces emissions of SO ,NO ,PM , and greenhouse gases to the degree that it has 2 x 2.5 a net beneﬁcial impact on avian wildlife. Over the 40-year period under consideration, Altamont Pass reduced an estimated 164 tons of SO , 10,400 tons of NO , 1,570 tons of PM , and 39.4 million tons of CO . Put another way, the x 2.5 2 emissions saved during 20-years of operation at Altamont Pass amount to more than 10.4 million tons (23 billion pounds) of NO ,SO , PM, and CO – enough to cover x x 2 the City of Oakland, California, in 114 m (373 ft) of pollution. Figure 1. Panoramic view of the Altamont Pass wind farm in California. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 265 In turn, the avoidance of these emissions reduces adverse eﬀects to humans, wildlife, and ecosystems. By our estimation, the generation of Altamont Pass wind power saved approximately 168 fewer premature deaths and $1.4 billion in human health beneﬁts. It avoided 128,700 avian deaths due to reduced PM exposure and 2.5 climate change – about 3217 birds per year, more than twice as many as the highest range of Thelander’s (2004) estimate suggesting an annual death rate of 1300 birds (though, to be fair, the species of birds saved would likely be diﬀerent than the species killed). Finally, we calculated the avoided damages of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at $2.21 billion measured in 2010 dollars. Table 2 summarizes these results. What is striking about these ﬁndings is that (a) they are likely conservative and (b) they have been conﬁrmed by follow-up studies. Our calculations underestimate the beneﬁts from wind energy because they only compared it to a baseline of natural gas power plants rather than coal- or oil-ﬁred facilities. Furthermore, we did not include upstream PM emissions associated with energy production from fossil 2.5 fuels, and we assumed that premature mortality occurred with a conservative 20-year lag, when work by Schwartz et al (2008) suggests that most deaths occur within the ﬁrst 2 or 3 years. In addition, we did not include negative externalities associated with natural gas for vertebrate wildlife and ﬁsh, nor did we account for the adverse eﬀects caused by ozone to human health, crops, and forests. Our own follow-up research has also found the same trend for wind farms – substantial environmental beneﬁts exceeding costs in Idaho (McCubbin and Sovacool 2011b; 2011c). In short, the evidence gathered here suggests that the negative environmental image of Altamont Pass, and perhaps other large-scale wind farms similar to it, may be undeserved, or at least in need of proper contextualization. Moreover, if these older and excessively less eﬃcient wind farms have clear environmental advantages compared to other modern electricity sources, then newer and more eﬃcient wind farms likely have even greater beneﬁts. The social and environmental advantages of wind energy Although more complicated and diﬃcult to calculate than species-speciﬁc avian fatalities, wind energy also displaces a broad number of social and environmental threats from other electricity sources. The National Research Council (2009) has noted that every kilowatt-watt hour (kWh) of conventional electricity generated produces a laundry list of damages, or ‘negative externalities,’ which include radioactive waste and abandoned uranium mines and mills, acid rain and its damage to ﬁsheries and crops, water degradation and excessive consumption, particle pollution, and cumulative environmental damage to ecosystems and biodiversity through species loss and habitat destruction. While the list of externalities from the National Research Council is incomplete, Thomas Sundqvist and Patrik Soderholm (2002) analyzed 38 electricity externality studies and 132 estimates for individual generators to determine the extent that positive and negative externalities were not reﬂected in electricity prices. They found that these costs, when averaged across studies, represented an additional 0.29 ¢/kWh for wind energy to 14.87 ¢/kWh for coal-ﬁred electricity shown in Table 3. In this compilation of data across various energy sources, wind energy was by far the cleanest source. Taking the mean values from Sundqvist and Soderholm (2002) and Sundqvist (2004) and adjusting them to 2010 dollars, one gets a rough picture for just how 266 B.K. Sovacool Table 2. Summary of avoided impacts from Altamont Pass wind power generation. Best estimate (low to high)* Impact 1987–2006 2012–2031 Total SO emissions (tons avoided) 59 (44–74) 105 (76–134) 164 (121–208) NO emissions (tons avoided) 6,050 (2,720–9,390) 4,300 (956–7,650) 10,400 (3,670–17,000) PM emissions (tons avoided) 617 (395–839) 956 (573–1,340) 1,570 (968–2,180) 2.5 CO -e emissions (mil. tons avoided) 14.6 (11–18.3) 24.8 (18.3–31.2) 39.4 (29.3–49.5) Human mortality (deaths avoided; due to PM ) 64 (12–116) 104 (17–191) 168 (29–307) 2.5 Total human health eﬀects ($ million; due to PM ) $480 ($88–$870) $920 ($150–$1,700) $1,400 ($240–$2,500) 2.5 Avian deaths avoided (PM ) 4,810 (1,220–8,410) 5,870 (1,280–10,500) 10,700 (2,500–18,900) 2.5 Avian deaths avoided (climate change extinctions) 40,800 (32,500–49,200) 77,400 (61,600–93,300) 118,000 (94,000–142,000) Beneﬁts of avoided CO -e emissions ($ million) $571 ($188–$954) $1,640 ($531–$2,760) $2,210 ($719–$3,710) *The best estimate is an average of the low and high impact scenario estimates, which are in parentheses. Note that numbers in this table are rounded to three signiﬁcant digits, so a row may not sum to the total. Costs are in 2010 dollars. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 267 Table 3. Negative externalities associated with electricity generation (cents/kWh in 1998 dollars). Statistic Coal Oil Gas Nuclear Hydro Wind Solar Biomass Min 0.06 0.03 0.003 0.0003 0.02 0 0 0 Max 72.42 39.93 13.22 64.45 26.26 0.80 1.69 22.09 Mean 14.87 13.57 5.02 8.63 3.84 0.29 0.69 5.20 Std. Dev. 16.89 12.51 4.73 18.62 8.40 0.20 0.57 6.11 N 291524 16 11 14 7 16 Note: Source: Sundqvist (2004, Table 1). N ¼ number of estimates included. severe these externalities are for the United States. Adding the likely damages from oil, natural gas, and coal equates to $415.9 billion in negative externalities, which is $129.8 billion more than the $276.1 billion in revenue the electricity industry reported for 2009. In other words, fossil-fuel-ﬁred electricity generation created $415.9 billion of additional costs that neither producers nor consumers had to pay for in 2009, costs that were instead shifted to society at large in the form of premature deaths, debilitating illnesses, hospital admissions, and reduced productivity. Here is the bad news. First, Sundqvist and Soderholm likely underestimate damages. In some cases, the studies they sampled relied on a ‘willingness-to-pay’ metric to assess damages, but many things such as clear skies or a dead child are diﬃcult to impossible to quantify in dollars. Furthermore, virtually none of the studies accounted for the risk of irreversible environmental damages – such as tipping points that are crossed as the earth’s climate changes, unknown ecological thresholds that are passed, and species extinctions – impossible to recover from once they happen. Most of the studies they surveyed modeled damages associated with a single power plant and not the combined or cumulative damages from a ﬂeet of power plants or an entire utility system. Many of the studies they sampled assumed reference, rather than representative, technologies; that is, they assumed benchmark and state-of-the art technologies instead of those used by utilities in the real world where many power plants are more than 50 years old. Almost none of the studies they analyzed included the human health eﬀects of exposure to electric and magnetic ﬁelds, which some researchers claim may contribute to childhood cancer. Lastly, and most importantly, when surveying externalities, Sundqvist and Soderholm did not include any value for CO and climate change. They explain that their meta-survey found a range of damages so large (from 1.4 ¢/kWh to 700 ¢/kWh) that they decided to exclude climate change externalities. This speciﬁcally undervalues the beneﬁts from wind energy, since a rigorous meta-survey from Jacobson (2009) concludes that wind energy had the lowest lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of any electricity source, numbers shown in Table 4. Second, other independent studies have corroborated the truly colossal negative externalities with fossil fuels such as coal. In one recent study, traditional coal-ﬁred technology appeared to produce aﬀordable power – under 5 ¢/kWh over the life of the equipment, which included capital, operating and maintenance costs, and fuel costs – while wind-turbine generators and biomass plants produced power that cost 7.4 ¢/kWh and 8.9 ¢/kWh, respectively, and tended to require larger amounts of land. However, when analysts factored in a host of externality costs, coal costs rose 268 B.K. Sovacool Table 4. Lifecycle equivalent carbon dioxide emissions (grams of CO /kWh) for selected electricity sources. Risk of leakage, Opportunity accident, and Technology Lifecycle costs disruption Total Mean Wind 2.8–7.4 0 0 2.8–7.4 5.1 Concentrated solar power 8.5–11.3 0 0 8.5–11.3 9.9 Geothermal 15.1–55 1–6 0 16.1–61 38.6 Solar PV 19–59 0 0 19–59 39 Hydroelectric 17–22 31–49 0 48–71 59.5 Nuclear 9–70 59–106 0–4.1 68–180 124 Clean coal with CCS 255–442 51–87 1.8–42 308–571 439 Note: Source: Jacobson 2009. to almost 17 ¢/kWh, while biomass and wind plants yielded power costing much less (Roth and Ambs 2004). Another assessment calculated that if damages to the environment in the form of noxious emissions and impacts on human health resulting from combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas were included in electricity prices, coal would cost 261.8% more than it does (Norland and Ninassi 1998). Kammen and Pacca (2004) found that if they internalized the cost of mortality and asthma, just two items, into electricity rates, then the annual cost of operation for conventional coal power plants in Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington was 50 ¢/ kWh, almost eight times higher than the average 6.5 ¢/kWh paid by consumers at the time. Many of the negative externalities from conventional energy systems speciﬁcally aﬀect wildlife and ecosystems. For instance, one recent report for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (EBF 2009) qualitatively compared the risks to vertebrate wildlife from diﬀerent power sources, including natural gas-ﬁred plants and wind energy. After conducting a systematic review of the scientiﬁc literature, the study described the risks due to each of six lifecycle stages for each power source and then assigns a ‘relative level of risk’ to vertebrate wildlife ranging from lowest potential, lower potential, moderate potential, higher potential, to highest potential – see Tables 5 and 6. When looking at each lifecycle stage, it is clear that wind energy has the least potential to harm vertebrate wildlife in comparison to natural gas, coal, oil, nuclear, and hydroelectricity. EBF’s assessment that wind energy has a collection of environmental beneﬁts – displaced resource extraction, fewer energy accidents, lower levels of noxious pollutants involved in manufacturing which all beneﬁt various types of wildlife – or the inverse, that fossil-fueled facilities exert great damage on the environment, has been substantiated by numerous other studies (Ingelﬁnger and Anderson 2004; Naugle et al. 2006; Sawyer et al. 2006; Russell 2005; US Fish and Wildlife Service 2009; Pirie et al. 2009; Meng and Zhang 2002; Sovacool 2008b). Conclusion Whether looking at absolute avian fatalities or fatalities per unit of energy delivered, this article has demonstrated that nuclear power and fossil fuels are hazardous to Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 269 Table 5. Relative risk levels to wildlife by energy lifecycle stage. Lifecycle stage Wind Natural gas Coal Oil Nuclear Hydro Resource extraction None Higher Highest Higher Highest None Fuel transportation None Moderate Lower Highest Lowest None Facility construction Lowest Lowest Lower Lower Lowest Highest Power generation Moderate Moderate Highest Higher Moderate Moderate Transmission and delivery Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Facility decommissioning Lowest Lowest Lower Lowest Lowest Higher Note: Source: Based on EBF (2009, Table 3-1). 270 B.K. Sovacool Table 6. Eﬀects on invertebrate wildlife by lifecycle category and relative level of risk. Lifecycle stage Eﬀects of wind energy Eﬀects of natural gas-ﬁred plants Resource extraction NA Injury or death to wildlife and habitat degradation from oil spills and wastes in oil pits when natural gas is extracted from onshore crude oil pumping. Injury or death to wildlife and habitat degradation from accidental oil spills and discharge of drilling muds, cuttings, and production water as a result of simultaneous oﬀshore oil and natural gas exploration and extraction. Injury and mortality to wildlife (e.g. birds and bats) from collision with oﬀshore oil and gas platforms. Injury and mortality to wildlife (birds) from exposure to toxic emissions and ﬁre from stacks of onshore and oﬀshore oil and gas platforms. Fuel transportation NA Habitat fragmentation along pipeline route, leading to invasion of edge species and displacement of interior species. Pipeline gas leaks (e.g. methane, a contributor to greenhouse gasses). Facility construction Habitat fragmentation from the Habitat fragmentation from the construction of electric construction of electric transmission facilities and roads. transmission facilities and roads. Loss of habitat through land clearing Loss of habitat through land clearing for facilities. for facilities. Temporary wildlife disturbance and Wildlife disturbance and displacement from construction noise displacement from construction and activity. noise and activity. (continued) Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 271 Table 6. (Continued). Lifecycle stage Eﬀects of wind energy Eﬀects of natural gas-ﬁred plants Power generation Injury and mortality to birds and Injury and mortality to birds and bats from collision with bats from collision with wind vertical structures (e.g. stacks, cooling towers). turbines. Mortality, injury, and behavioral changes to wildlife caused by toxic air emissions. Injury and mortality to aquatic wildlife from cooling water intake systems. Injury, mortality, and behavioral changes in ﬁsh from thermal discharge from cooling systems. Aquatic habitat degradation from acidiﬁcation of lakes and streams caused by air emissions (e.g. SO ,NO ) deposited 2 x as dry and wet acidic deposition. Upland and alpine habitat degradation from injury or death to vegetation caused by acidic deposition. Habitat loss from climate changes caused by greenhouse gas emission. Geographical range changes, abundance changes, change in timing of migration or emergence, change in timing of breeding activities, and change in food sources of wildlife from climate change caused by greenhouse gas emission. (continued) 272 B.K. Sovacool Table 6. (Continued). Lifecycle stage Eﬀects of wind energy Eﬀects of natural gas-ﬁred plants Transmission and delivery Injury and mortality to birds from Injury and mortality to birds from collisions with transmission collisions with transmission and and distribution lines. distribution lines Mortality to birds caused by Mortality to birds caused by electrocutions from power lines electrocutions from power lines and substations. and substations. Habitat fragmentation from Habitat fragmentation from maintenance of transmission maintenance of transmission facilities. facilities. Decommission Wildlife disturbance and Wildlife disturbance and displacement from demolition displacement from demolition process due to noise and activity. process due to noise and activity. Injury and mortality from contamination of aquatic systems caused by mobilizing electricity generation wastes. Note: Source: Based on EBF. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 273 birds and that, contrariwise, wind energy is far less harmful to wildlife. Even the 580- MW Altamont Pass wind farm has meaningful wildlife beneﬁts. To recap, about 46,000 avian mortalities were associated with wind farms across the United States in 2009 but nuclear plants killed about 458,000 and fossil-fueled power plants almost 24 million, estimates illustrated by Figure 2. Figure 2 also reveals how the number of absolute birds killed by wind energy pales in comparison to other causes such as windows and cats. Regardless of where the wind turbines are located, by minimizing reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power, they prevent the death and injury of wildlife that would otherwise occur across the world’s coal mines, uranium tail ponds, oil reﬁneries, natural gas facilities, uranium acidiﬁed forests, polluted lakes, and habitats soon to be threatened by climate change. A few caveats, however, deserve mentioning when observing the estimates provided by Figure 2. More sophisticated analysis is called for that takes into account the complexities of the wind, fossil-fueled, and nuclear energy fuel cycles and also compares these three sources of electricity with other alternatives, including energy eﬃciency. The shortcomings of the assessment provided here are numerous: a focus on bird deaths but not bird births; treating all birds as ‘the same’ rather than accounting for species diversity; a small sample size for wind, coal, and nuclear facilities that may not be representative; a focus on individual species such as the wood thrush or waterfowl to produce overall estimates of avian mortality that are deﬁnitely not representative (and very likely conservative); a presumption that coal was only mined using mountain top removal (thereby excluding the impacts from other types of coal mining); fatalities that happened on particular days and weeks that were then presumed to be the only ones throughout the year (also resulting in conservative estimates); an assumption that only carbon dioxide emissions from Figure 2. Avian deaths per year in the United States from various energy and non-energy sources, 2009. Note: When a range of estimates has been given, the ﬁgure presents only data for the lowest end of that range. 274 B.K. Sovacool power plants contribute to climate change (again conservative for excluding other greenhouse gases); highly uncertain deaths attributed to climate change that may be prevented if future greenhouse gas emissions are signiﬁcantly reduced. Put another way, lumping estimates from diﬀerent species, locations, and time periods do not capture temporal diﬀerences relating to migration patterns or spatial diﬀerences concerning migratory corridors. A study with a larger sample size that focused on a greater number of species across more locations, including migration routes and other important areas, over a longer period of time and encompassing the entire part of the fuel cycle for diﬀerent electricity systems would be useful and expedient. Moreover, these ﬁndings are not a license for wind turbines to kill birds, for wind farms to be sited recklessly, or for research to cease on better designs that make wind energy less destructive to wildlife and its habitat. Although wind turbines have fewer fatalities per GWh than other sources, they still have negative externalities and are not completely benign. Nonetheless, placing the issue of avian deaths in wider context is essential so that wildlife advocates, environmentalists, and even policymakers can better understand the true costs and beneﬁts involved in producing electricity. Wind turbines do not exist in isolation; they are part of an electric utility system and compete with an entire portfolio of options including energy eﬃciency and distributed generation as well as nuclear reactors, natural gas turbines, and coal-ﬁred power plants. Looking at the animal deaths and other social and environmental costs for wind turbines but not their beneﬁts, and also ignoring the costs of fossil fueled and nuclear options, is (at best) incomplete and (at worst) misleading. Acknowledgments The author is grateful to Donald McCubbin from the University of California San Diego for his helpful suggestions for revision. The author is also appreciative to Altamont Winds, Inc., and Idaho Winds, Inc., for supporting the research conducted here. Despite their assistance, however, all conclusions and statements in this article reﬂect only the views of the author. Notes 1. Although Erickson professes to using ‘standardized fatality monitoring data’, Willis et al. point out that, when corrected for scavenger and eﬃciency losses, the number of birds killed by these six wind farms could be as high as 0.653 per GWh. However, I do not use the numbers from Willis et al. because the associated avian deaths for nuclear power and fossil fuels are not adjusted for scavenger and eﬃciency losses. I wanted a comparison between the three sources of energy to remain consistent, viewing ‘apples to apples’ as it were. 2. The wood thrush population in the United States totals about 14 million, so a mean population reduction of 3.5% amounts to 490,000 deaths per year. Fossil-fueled electricity combustion is responsible for about one-third to one-fourth of all sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, the two primary precursors to acid rain, making it indirectly responsible for about 122,500 to 161,700 wood thrush deaths. Taking the mean, 142,100, and dividing it by the 2.87 million GWh coal, oil, and gas generators produced in 2006, one gets a fatality rate of 0.05 GWh. 3. The National Audubon Society has placed more than 6.7 million albatross, ducks, hawks, terns, and gulls in the United States on their Watch List of threatened species. While these numbers are indeed a small fraction of the overall population, attributing a mean population reduction of 6% correlates with 402,000 mercury-induced deaths. Fossil-fueled power plants are responsible for about 40% of the country’s mercury emissions. Taking 40% of 402,000 one gets 160,800 and dividing it by the 2.87 million GWh generated by fossil-fueled power stations results in 0.06 deaths per GWh. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 275 4. There are more than 9800 species and an estimated global population of 100 billion to 1 trillion individual wild birds in the world (a mean estimate of 500 billion birds). The United States is presumed to have between 10% and 12% of this total, or roughly 55 billion birds, within its geographic borders in the summer. Taking the mean in climate change induced avian deaths expected by Thomas et al. (26%), one gets 14.3 billion bird deaths spread across 38 years for the United States or an average of 376 million dead birds per year. Attributing 7% of these deaths to fossil-fueled power plants (responsible for 39% of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions, and US emissions are responsible for about 18% of the global total), one gets 26.3 million birds for 2.87 million GWh per year or 9.16 deaths per GWh. This estimate is a very crude approximation – for more see the section on ‘Limitations’. 5. Taking the extra cost associated with scrubbed coal (19.79 ¢/kWh in 2010 dollars) – and multiplying it by coal’s generation in 2009 (1756 billion kWh), amounts to $347.5 billion in damages. For oil generators, the number is $6.9 billion (17.97 ¢/kWh and 38,937 million kWh). For natural gas power plants, the number is $61.5 billion (6.68 ¢/kWh and 921 billion kWh). References Anderson WL. 1978. Waterfowl collisions with power lines at a coal-ﬁred power plant. Wildlife Soc Bull. 6(2):77–83. Arnett EB, Brown WK, Erickson WP, Fiedler JK, Hamilton BL, Henry TH, Jain A, Johnson GD, Kerns J, Koford RR, et al. 2008. Patterns of bat fatalities at wind energy facilities in North America. J Wildlife Manage, 72(1):61–78. Asmus P. 2005. Wind and wings: the environmental impact of windpower. Electr Perspect. 30(3):68–80. Barclay RMR, Baerwald EF, Gruver JC. 2007. Variation in bat and bird fatalities at wind energy facilities: assessing the eﬀects of rotor size and tower height. Can J Zool 85:381– Benı´ tez-Lo´ pez A, Alkemade R, Verweij PA. 2010. The impacts of roads and other infrastructure on mammal and bird populations: a meta-analysis. Biol Conser. 143:1307–1316. Biewald B. 2005. Environmental impacts and economic costs of nuclear power and alternatives. Testimony Before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (April 5), 18 pp. Bright J, Langston R, Bullman R, Evans R, Gardner S, Pearce-Higgins J. 2008. Map of bird sensitivities to wind farms in Scotland: a tool to aid planning and conservation, Biol Conserv. 141:2342–2356. Burger J, Gochfeld M. 1997. Risk, mercury levels, and birds: relating adverse laboratory eﬀects to ﬁeld biomonitoring. Environ Res. 75:160–172. Burt C. 2009. Experts shoo birds from oakland runways. San Francisco Chronicle, p. 12. Carrete M, Sa´ nchez-Zapata JA, Benı´tez JR, Lobo´ n M, Dona´ zar JA. 2009. Large scale risk- assessment of wind-farms on population viability of a globally endangered long-lived raptor. Biol Conserv. 142:2954–2961. Carrete M, Sa´ nchez-Zapata JA, Benı´tez JR, Lobo´ n M, Montoya F, Dona´ zar JA. 2012. Mortality at wind-farms is positively related to large-scale distribution and aggregation in griﬀon vultures. Biol Conserv. 145:102–108. Christensen J, Denton F, Garg A, Kamel S, Pacudan R, Usher E. Changing climates: the role of renewable energy in a carbon-constrained world (Vienna: REN21/UNEP, January, 2006), 18. Crick HQP. 2004. The impact of climate change on birds. Ibis. 146:48–56. Cryan PM, Brown AC. 2007. Migration of bats past a remote island oﬀers clues toward the problem of bat fatalities at wind turbines. Biol Conserv. 139:1–11. Dahl EL, Bevanger K, Nyga˚ rd T, Røskaft E, Stokke BG. 2012. Reduced breeding success in white-tailed eagles at Smøla windfarm, western Norway, is caused by mortality and displacement. Biol Conserv 145:79–85. de Lucas M, Ferrer M, Bechard MJ, Mun˜ oz AR. 2012. Griﬀon vulture mortality at wind farms in southern Spain: distribution of fatalities and active mitigation measures. Biol Conserv. 147:184–189. 276 B.K. Sovacool Environmental Bioindicators Foundation (EBF), Pandion Systems (2009). Comparison of reported eﬀects and risks to vertebrate wildlife from six electricity generiaton types in the New York/New England region. Albany (NY): New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Report 09-02, NYSERDA 9675. March. Erickson W. 2004. Bird fatality and risk at new generation wind projects. In: SchwartzS, editor. Proceedings of the Wind Energy and Birds/Bats Workshop: Understanding and Resolving Bird and Bat Impacts; 2004 Sep 12–19. Washington (DC): Resolve. Erickson WP, Johnson GD, Young DP, Jr. 2005. A summary and comparison of bird mortality from anthopogenic causes with an emphasis on collisions. Tech. PSW-GTR-191. USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rep. Fielding AH, Whitﬁeld DP, McLeod DRA. 2006. Spatial association as an indicator of the potential for future interactions between wind energy developments and golden eagles Aquila chrysaetos in Scotland. Biol Conserv 131:359–369. Gilman SE, Urban MC, Tewksbury J, Gilchrist GW, Holt RD. 2010. A framework for community interactions under climate change. Trends Ecol Evol. 25(6):325–331. Hames RS, Rosenberg K, Lowe J, Barker S, Dhondt A. 2002. Adverse eﬀects of acid rain on the distribution of the wood thrush Hylocichla mustelina in North America. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 99(17):11235–11240. Hawken P. 2010. Natural capitalism. In: Nader L, editor. The energy reader. New York: Wiley Blackwell., p. 463–475. Ingelﬁnger F, Anderson S. 2004. Passerine response to roads associated with natural gas extraction in a sagebrush steppe habitat. West N Am Nat. 64(3):385–395. Jacobson MZ. 2009. Review of solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security. Energy Environ Sci. 2:148–173. Janss GFE. 2000. Avian mortality from power lines: a morphologic approach of a species- speciﬁc mortality. Biol Conserv. 95:353–359. Janss GFE, de Lucas M Whitﬁeld DP, Lazo A. 2010. The precautionary principle and wind- farm planning in Andalucı´a. Biol Conserv. 143:1827–1828. Jetz W, Wilcove DS, Dobson AP. 2007. Projected impacts of climate and land-use change on the global diversity of birds. PLoS Biol. 5(6):157. Kammen D, Pacca S. 2004 Assessing the costs of electricity. Annu Rev Environ Resour. 29:301–344. Klem D, Jr. 1989 Dec. Bird-window collisions. The Wilson Bulletin. 101(4):606–620. Klem D, Jr. 1990a. Bird injuries, cause of death, and recuperation from collisions with windows. J Field Ornithol. 61(1):115–119. Klem D, Jr. 1990b. Collisions between birds and windows: mortality and prevention. J Field Ornithol. 61(1):120–128. Kunz TH, Arnett EB, Erickson WP, Hoar AR, Johnson GD, Larkin RP, Strickland MD, Thresher RW, Tuttle MD. 2007. Ecological impacts of wind energy development on bats: questions, research needs, and hypotheses. Front Ecol Environ. 5:315–324. Kuvlesky WP, Brennan LA, Morrison ML, Boydston KK, Ballard BM, Bryant FC. 2007. Wind energy development and wildlife conservation: challenges and opportunities. J Wildlife Manage. 71(8):2487–2498. Lane B. 2005 May 2. Should cats be shot for killing birds? People. p. 86. Maehr DS, Spratt AG, Voigts DK. 1983 Aug. Bird casualties at a central Florida power plant. Florida Field Naturalist. p. 45–68. Marris E, Fairless D. 2007. Wind farms deadly reputation hard to shift. Nature. 447: Marsh G. 2007. WTS: The avian dilemma. Renew Energy Focus. (July/August):42–45. Martin GR, Shaw JM. 2010. Bird collisions with power lines: failing to see the way ahead? Biol Conserv. 143:2695–2702. Meng Z, Zhang B. 2002. Induction eﬀects of sulfur dioxide inhalation on chromosomal aberrations in mouse bone marrow cells. Mutagenesis. 17(3):215–217. Meng Z, Qin G, Zhang B, Geng H, Bai Q, Bai W, Liu C. 2003.Oxidative damage of sulfur dioxide inhalation on lungs and hearts of mice. Environ Res. 93(3):285–292. McCubbin D, Sovacool, BK. 2011a Aug. Health, wildlife and climate beneﬁts of the 580 MW Altamont wind farm, Altamont Pass, California. Tracy (CA): Altamont Winds Incorporated. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 277 McCubbin D, Sovacool BK. 2011b. The hidden factors that make wind energy cheaper than natural gas in the United States. Electr J. 24(9):84–95. McCubbin D, Sovacool BK. 2011c Aug. Health, wildlife and climate beneﬁts of the 22 MW Sawtooth wind farm, Elmore County, Idaho. Boise (ID): Idaho Winds Incorporated. Møller AP, Fiedler W, Berthold P, editors. 2004. Birds and climate change. London: Elsevier (Advances in ecological research; vol 35.). Naugle DE, Walker BL, Doherty KE. 2006. Sage-grouse population response to coal-bed natural gas development in the Powder River Basin: interim progress report on region- wide lek-count analyses. Wildlife Biology Program, College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana. May 26. National Academy of Sciences. 2007. Environmental impacts of wind-energy projects. Washington (DC): National Research Council. National Research Council. 2009. Hidden costs of energy: unpriced consequences of energy production and use. Washington (DC): The National Academies Press. Norland DL, Ninassi KY. 1998. Price it right: energy pricing and fundamental tax reform. Washington (DC): Alliance to Save Energy. Pasqualetti MJ. 2004. Wind power: obstacles and opportunities. Environment. 46(7):22–31. Pirie LD, Francis CM, Johnston VH. 2009. Evaluating the potential impact of a gas pipeline on whimbrel breeding habitat in the Outer Mackenzie Delta, Northwest Territories. Avian Conserv Ecol. 4(2):2. Rabina LA, Coss RG, Owings DH. 2006.The eﬀects of wind turbines on antipredator behavior in California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi). Biol Conserv. 131:410–420. Roth IF, Ambs LL. 2004. Incorporating externalities into a full cost approach to electric power generation life-cycle costing. Energy. 29:2125–2144. Russell RW. 2005. Interactions between migrating birds and oﬀshore oil and gas platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Final Report. US Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, New Orleans, LA. OCS Study MMS 2005-009. Sawyer H, Nielson RM, Lindzey F, McDonald LL. 2006. Winter habitat selection of mule deer before and during development of a natural gas ﬁeld. J Wildlife Manage. 70(2):396– Schwartz J, Coull B, Laden F, Ryan L. 2008. The eﬀect of dose and timing of dose on the association between airborne particles and survival. Environ Health Perspect.116(1):64. Schwartz MW, Iverson LR, Prasad AM, Matthews SN, O’Connor RJ. 2006. Predicting extinctions as a result of climate change. Ecology. 87(7):1611–1615. Sekercioglu CH, Schneider SH, Fay JP, Loarie SR. 2008. Climate change, elevational range shifts, and bird extinctions. Conserv Biol. 22(1):140–150. Solman VEF. 1973. Birds and aircraft. Biol Conserv. 5(2):79–86. Slattery MC, Lantz E, Johnson BL. 2011. State and local economic impacts from wind energy projects: texas case study. Energy Policy. 39(12):7930–7940. Slattery MC, Johnson BL, Swoﬀord JA, Pasqualetti MJ. 2012. The predominance of economic development in the support for large-scale wind farms in the U.S. Great Plains. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 16(6):3690–3701. Smallwood KS, Thelander CG. 2005 Aug. Bird mortality in the Altamont Pass wind resource area. Golden (CO): NREL/SR-500-36973. Smallwood KS, Thelander CG. 2008. Bird mortality in the Altamont Pass. J Wildlife Manage. 72:215–223. Smith DR. 1987. The wind farms of the Altamont Pass area. Annu Rev Energy. 12:145–183. Sovacool BK. 2008a. The dirty energy dilemma: what’s blocking clean power in the U.S. Westport (CT): Praeger. Sovacool BK. 2008b. Valuing the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power: a critical survey. Energy Policy. 36(8):2940–2953. Sovacool BK. 2009. Contextualizing avian mortality: a preliminary appraisal of bird and bat fatalities from wind, fossil-fuel, and nuclear electricity. Energy Policy. 37(6):241–248. Sovacool BK. 2010. Megawatts are not megawatt-hours and other responses to Willis et al., Energy Policy. 38(4):2070–2073. Sovacool BK, Watts C. 2009. Going completely renewable: is it possible (Let alone desirable)? Electr J. 22(4):95–111. 278 B.K. Sovacool Sundqvist T. 2004. What causes the disparity of electricity externality estimates? Energy Policy. 32:1753–1766. Sundqvist T, Soderholm P. 2002. Valuing the environmental impacts of electricity generation: a critical survey. J Energy Lit. 8(2):1–18. Thelander CG, Rugge L. 2000. Avian risk behavior and fatalities at the Altamont Wind Resource Area, March 1998 to February 1999. Golden (CO): National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL/SR-500-27545. Thelander CG. 2004. Bird fatalities in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area: a case study, part 1. In: Schwartz SS, editor. Proceedings of the Wind Energy and Birds/Bats Workshop: understanding and resolving bird and bat impacts, 2004 May 18–19. Washington (DC): RESOLVE. p. 25–28. Thomas CD, Cameron A, Green RE, Bakkenes M, Beaumont LJ, Collingham YC, Erasmus BFN, de Siqueira MF, Grainger A, Hannah L, et al., 2004. Extinction risks from climate change. Nature. 427:145–148. Treissman D, Guigard S, Kindzierski W, Schulz J, Guigard E. 2003. Sulphur dioxide: environmental eﬀects, fate and behaviour. Tech. WBK & Associates. US Department of Energy. 2008. Annual report on U.S. wind power installation, cost, and performance trends: 2007. Washington(DC): US Department of Energy. USFish and Wildlife Service. 2008. Region six environmental contaminants – pit lakes [Internet]. Available from: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/contaminants/contaminants8.html. US Fish & Wildlife Service. 2009 Sep. Reserve pits: mortality risks to birds [Internet]. Cheyenne (WY): Wyoming Ecological Services, Environmental Contaminants Program. Available from: http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/Documents/ReservePitsBirdMortality. pdf. US Geological Survey. 2005. Estimated use of water in the united states in 2000. USGS Circular 1268, revised February 2005. US Government Accountability Oﬃce. 2005. Wind power: impacts on wildlife and govern- ment responsibilities for regulating development and protecting wildlife. Washington (DC): US GAO. September 2005, GAO-05-906. Veltri CJ, Klem D. 2005. Comparison of fatal bird injuries from collisions with towers and windows. J Field Ornithol. 76(2):127–133. Willis CKR, Barclay RMR, Boyles JG, Brigham RM, Brack V, Jr., Waldien DL, Reichard J. 2010. Bats are not birds and other problems with Sovacool’s (2009) analysis of animal fatalities due to electricity generation. Energy Policy. 38(4):2067–2069. Winegrad G. 2004. Wind turbines and birds. In: Schwartz S, editor. Proceedings of the Wind Energy and Birds/Bats Workshop: understanding and resolving bird and bat impacts; 2004 Sep. Washington (DC): Resolve. p. 22–28.
Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences – Taylor & Francis
Published: Dec 1, 2012
Keywords: wind power; avian mortality; wind turbines
Access the full text.
Sign up today, get DeepDyve free for 14 days.