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Renewable Energy and Wildlife

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Effects of Renewable Energy on Wildlife

Renewable Energy sourced from the sun, wind, water, biogas, fossil fuel, and thermal power is fundamentally different from the power obtained using natural coal, oil, and gas. The investments for renewable energy are high which includes the costs of installation, producing energy, converting energy, and applying the latest technologies.

Renewable energy sources like solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, geothermal energy, and biomass energy do not pollute the environment but there are certain disadvantages for wildlife.

If the sources do not pollute how can they harm the Wildlife?

Wind Turbines: The electricity generated from wind does not pollute the air, but its noise is harmful to birds and wildlife, it can create sleep disorders and the birds may accidentally die due to moving turbine blades. The installation requires a huge area and this land is restricted for animal entry that impacts the wildlife movement. We are using their land and space now. According to a report, indoor rabbit hutch is the best option for pet rabbits now.

Solar Panels: This energy is environment-friendly and geographically available, it has no moving parts and is less costly than power generated from any other source. The large land requirement for the installation of solar panels affects the wildlife reducing the land available for them and the glare can cause inconvenience to birds.


The huge solar plants consist of automated mirror positioned to generate maximum heat throughout the day, in this process few birds and insects fly across this concentrated heat/steam and die due to high temperature. Few birds mistake the solar panel as water body and are wounded before they can notice the difference between lake and panel.

Hydroelectric power: This power generated from flowing water turns turbines and generates electricity. The plants can only be set on the water bodies or dams, which can create environmental concerns as the fishes and water animals or birds may get stuck in the turbines. A large need of land for the dam is also a drawback for wildlife.

Biomass power: The organic material, trees, and plants burned to generate electricity creates air pollution adversely affecting the birds and animals survival. Unauthorized and excessive burning of trees is a huge menace to the environment.

Biogas: Decomposing the natural and food waste generates biogas, the land required can vary on the size of users, but the unrecyclable material in the landfill creates huge piles of waste and the conversion to energy is difficult. This same landfill can cause illness and death of wild animals.

A major concern is the rising human population and its impact on wildlife, we know that our needs are increasing and the natural resources are limited. Any renewable energy requires land that is available to humans and animals, humans capture the land earlier used by animals. Due to reducing habitat, the animal population is decreasing and some species are on the verge of being extinct.

Precautionary Measures

To protect wildlife from being prey to technology and the advancements of humans, we humans have to build solutions that can save, protect, and in fact secure the future of wildlife. Indicators using sound effects recognized by birds and animals can save them. Proper guidance from design engineers, environmentalists, and involvement of authorities running renewable energy projects can save wildlife.

The magnetic fields in the equipment used, suck the birds causing accidental injuries and deaths. Some unpredictable flaws of these systems may lead to fatal accidents in the migration routes of the birds and animals from the land or sky above the machines installed. 

Also, read Avoiding Wildlife Impacts from Renewable Energy in Europe

The need for Saving Wildlife

Recovery of destroyed species is impossible as they are born and created by nature, not by humans e.g. We build, repair, or reconstruct machines, we may combine some living beings genes and create a new species like liger which is hybrid offspring of a male lion and a female tiger but we cannot recreate the Tasmanian tiger because they have been wiped out from the face of earth.

The costs of technological advancement and cost reduction are primary for the project owners but the real threat is the loss of environment and the impact of that is neither considered nor can it be experienced in advance but the learnings from past do suggest that wildlife plays an unavoidable role in lives of humans.

Food: They balance the ecology and human existence is dependent on plants, birds, insects, bees, and animals for food production by pollination. Few animals like fishes, crabs, pigs etc are food for a few people. Each species is dependent on other species or plants for their survival for which the environment where they can continue to exist is required. The fertility of the soil is because of many living organisms and not just because we continue to use the land for agriculture.

Air: The trees in reducing forests, have lost the capacity to absorb carbon dioxide as a result of carbon emissions from natural fuels used by humans for transportation, making of electricity in various industries etc.

Innovation: Humans have been studying the birds and animals for centuries and inventing by observing them. The experts need facts to interpret the data and evaluate the precise use of the particular wild plant or creature for the betterment of human life.

Forests: Diminishing forests and declining quality of soil can condense the growth of wilds. To increase the sources for renewable energy production and for long-lasting human existence we need the latest technology that can grow plants and trees speedily than the natural methods.

The demand and supply of power have perfect imbalance and it is creating the same unevenness in the wildlife. We can adapt the learning curve approach to reduce production costs. Renewable Energy methods should eliminate the risks of birds and animals killed in the process. Improvements observed with new technology components raises hopes for increasing favorable results.

Efforts in creating new habitats for the birds and animals away from the renewable energy sourced equipment are in progress but the challenge is no common grounds of communication between humans and birds or animals. Long term perspective is extremely important for people to wheedle out renewable energy and protection of wilderness especially with the interdependence of energy and wildlife.

About the Author: This article is contributed by Harsh Arora who is a proud father of four Flemish Giant Rabbits and a leopard gecko. Besides being a full-time dog father, he is a freelance content writer/blogger and an educationist, with more than 6 years experience in the field of content writing.



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