In hopes of increasing wind energy production in New Mexico while protecting wildlife and habitat, a coalition of energy companies, conservation groups and government agencies have come up with recommendations.
The group this week launched a website to list the “best management practices” for designing and siting wind facilities while protecting bats, raptors and other birds. The coalition says its recommendations are based on science but aren’t binding on any of the energy companies operating in the state.
The New Mexico Wind and Wildlife Collaborative involves eight energy companies, seven conservation groups and several agencies such as the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Public Service Company of New Mexico, First Wind, Audubon New Mexico and Hawks Aloft are among the groups that met over the last two years to hammer out recommendations for wind farms.
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Thousands of turbines being built in pristine landscapes of the UK, but at what cost?
Mr Bryson said the CPRE and people in the countryside are supportive of the Government’s plans to cut carbon emissions.
But the continuing march of the turbines is turning ordinary people against the battle against climate change because they see green energy destroying the countryside.
“The Campaign to Protect Rural England is increasingly concerned that the wave of planning applications for wind turbines across the country risks unacceptable damage to the landscape; to localism and people’s confidence in the planning system; and, ultimately, to the battle against climate change,” he said.
Excellent piece at The Telegraph
A major new study has quashed fears that onshore windfarms are causing long-term damage to bird populations, but found new evidence that some species are harmed when windfarms are built.
The study by conservationists into the impacts on 10 of the key species of British upland bird, including several suffering serious population declines, concluded that a large majority of species can co-exist or thrive with windfarms once they are operating.
But the study, the largest carried out in the UK into the impact of onshore windfarms on bird life, also found strong evidence that some species suffered serious harm while windfarms are being built.
Only in Denmark…
The world’s third-largest toy manufacturer is going to be putting “made with wind power” labels on all those boxes of LEGOs, and not just because they bought their power from utilities with wind turbines. Kirkbi A/S, the family holding company that owns LEGO, will be buying actual wind turbines representing fully a third of an offshore wind farm, reports Reuters.
LEGO’s share of the 277-megawatt Borkum Riffgrund 1 wind farm, which will be finished in 2015, should provide all the energy the company needs through 2020. Considering that LEGO produces 19 billion bricks every year, that’s a surprisingly efficient use of wind power.
“Employment in the EU’s renewable energy sector has broken through the one million mark for the first time, after the number of people working in the industry increased 25 per cent in 2010.
The latest figures from the European Commission reveal over 1.14 million people were working in green energy in 2010, an increase of a quarter on 2009. Meanwhile, revenue for the sector soared by 15 per cent year-on-year to €127bn.
With separate reports suggesting the sector continued to grow during 2011, the industry is likely to be considerably larger by now.
According to the report, the solid biomass power sector was the largest employer, accounting for 273,000 jobs, followed by solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind power, which supported 268,110 and 253,145 jobs respectively.
The UK had the ninth biggest renewable energy sector in terms of employment in 2010, boasting 31,700 jobs. Wind accounted for 9,200 of these, followed by biogas at 6,000, biofuels at 5,300, solar PV at 5,000, and biomass with 2,000 employees.
However, the figures are likely to be already out of date with trade associations reporting that over 10,000 people now work in the wind energy industry, while the surge in demand for solar panels last year is thought to have supported between 20,000 and 30,000 jobs. In addition, further employment growth is predicted across the renewables sector over the next five years after a host of wind turbine firms recently announced plans to locate new factories in the UK.
Germany topped the employment league table with 361,360 jobs, based on strong growth in the PV sector. France came in second place with 174,735 jobs, with Italy, Spain and Sweden making up the top five.
The Germans also ruled the roost in terms of turnover, recording €36bn of revenue across the renewable energy sector in 2010.”
Read the rest at Business Green
“On February 2nd, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau announced that BOEM’s National Environmental Policy Act assessment found that there would be no significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts from issuing wind energy leases in designated Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas off the mid-Atlantic Coast, allowing Interior to move forward with the process for wind energy lease sales off Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware.
BOEM also published Calls for Information and Nominations for Maryland and Virginia to solicit lease nominations from industry and request public comments regarding site conditions, resources and multiple uses of the Wind Energy Areas.
Additionally, BOEM announced the finalization of a first-of-its-kind lease form that will help streamline the issuance of renewable energy leases on the OCS. The lease form will be effective 15 days following publication in the Federal Register at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html.
- The Notice of Availability of the environmental assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact are available through the Federal Register at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html.
- For more information and links for the Maryland call, see: http://www.boem.gov/BOEM-Newsroom/Press-Releases/2011/press02022012(2).aspx. For more information and links for the Virginia call, see: http://www.boem.gov/BOEM-Newsroom/Press-Releases/2011/press02022012.aspx.
- Additional information, including summaries of the public comments received and the Bureau’s response to those comments is available at: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Regulatory-Information/Index.aspx.”