July 5, 2005

Wind turbines not so deadly for birds -Dutch study

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Wind turbines producing "green"energy kill many fewer birds than previously thought and poseless of a threat to avian life than cars, a study by the DutchBird Protection charity and power utility Nuon showed.

The study, published on Wednesday, was based on resultsfrom three wind farms. It showed each turbine killed an average28 birds per year, a third of what had been assumed on thebasis of research conducted in the 1980s.

"The mathematical model which was used up until now seemsto predict too many collision victims for modern wind turbinesin the Netherlands," Bird Protection and Nuon said in astatement.

The new study suggests the Netherlands' 1,700 wind turbineskill about 50,000 birds a year. About 2 million birds perisheach year on Dutch roads, it said.

The study showed that large wind turbines producing morethan 1.5 megawatts of power killed slightly more birds thansmaller, older windmills, but Bird Protection noted that thebigger windmills produce five to 10 times more electricity.

"In contrast to what might be expected, it seems that thenumber of bird victims has almost no relationship with the sizeof the wind turbine," the report said.