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Balancing “Green” Energy and Bird Protection: Wind Turbines

Wind turbines have been used to create “green” energy to minimize air pollutants associated with more traditional combustion fuel based energy.  However, the positive effects for air quality have been somewhat tempered by the substantial negative effects on birds: killing an estimated 140,00-328,00 birds each year in North America.  Engineers and scientists are working together to improve designs (including a new vortex design that basically eliminates the external turbine blades responsible for killing birds: https://www.wired.com/2015/05/future-wind-turbines-no-blades/).  While many of these are experimental (http://www.audubon.org/news/will-wind-turbines-ever-be-safe-birds), the future success of wind turbines depends on balancing the need for sustainable, green energy against the need to protect birds.