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A surprise loser in the wind farms game - bats.

  • 25-04-2012 7:09pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,895 ✭✭✭ SeanW


    Just read a blog article recently about how bats are becoming the new casualty of the current wind farm expansion, a very important species in the ecosystem, are now under threat as these wind turbines change local air pressure and cause the little bats lungs to explode.

    http://thingsworsethannuclearpower.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/exploding-bat-lungs.html

    Can the species survive the kind of mass expansion of wind energy sought by some environmentalists?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,129 pljudge321


    SeanW wrote: »
    Just read a blog article recently about how bats are becoming the new casualty of the current wind farm expansion, a very important species in the ecosystem, are now under threat as these wind turbines change local air pressure and cause the little bats lungs to explode.

    http://thingsworsethannuclearpower.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/exploding-bat-lungs.html

    Can the species survive the kind of mass expansion of wind energy sought by some environmentalists?

    I've read similar claims with regards birds. Problem is that most of the time they don't quote the number of fatalities caused by other human activities like driving and buildings so there's no context. For example wind turbines kill around 30000 birds per year in Denmark, traffic kills over a million.

    The references they use in that article are pretty dire, I'll see if there are any actual proper studies about tomorrow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭ djpbarry


    pljudge321 wrote: »
    I've read similar claims with regards birds. Problem is that most of the time they don't quote the number of fatalities caused by other human activities like driving and buildings so there's no context.
    Perhaps more relevant would be a wildlife impact comparison with other forms of energy generation - it's not like birds, for example, don't collide with structures other than wind turbines.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,129 pljudge321


    djpbarry wrote: »
    Perhaps more relevant would be a wildlife impact comparison with other forms of energy generation - it's not like birds, for example, don't collide with structures other than wind turbines.

    You may not be able to access this but this paper seems to address this issue well.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421509001074

    Quick summary of numbers.

    Avian mortality from wind per GWh: 0.279
    Avian mortality from fossil fuel per GWh: 5.18
    Avian mortality from nuclear per GWh: 0.416


    Some of the numbers in the breakdown for the individual components which make up the total seem a bit off to me. I don't have time right now to go through the paper properly though.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,064 ✭✭✭ Gurgle


    SeanW wrote: »
    Without doing any actual research, I'll dismiss this claim outright because:
    1) The source is a blog
    2) The blog is called 'things worse than nuclear power', which raises questions about objectiveness.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭ djpbarry


    pljudge321 wrote: »
    You may not be able to access this but this paper seems to address this issue well.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421509001074

    Quick summary of numbers.

    Avian mortality from wind per GWh: 0.279
    Avian mortality from fossil fuel per GWh: 5.18
    Avian mortality from nuclear per GWh: 0.416
    Yeah, my search threw up that one too! It should be pointed out that this publication was criticised by subsequent works:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030142150900620X

    However, the general consensus does appear to be that the wildlife impact of wind farms is similar to nuclear and negligible relative to fossil fuels.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,895 ✭✭✭ SeanW


    Gurgle wrote: »
    Without doing any actual research
    Why am I not surprised :(
    I'll dismiss this claim outright because:
    1) The source is a blog
    2) The blog is called 'things worse than nuclear power', which raises questions about objectiveness.
    If you read the article you will find that they are not making it up - it links to reputable sources like New Scientist, BBC, NBC San Francisco, and the U.S. Forestry and Wildlife Service, some of which specifically site a University of Calgary study on the matter.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 6,367 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Macha


    SeanW wrote: »
    Why am I not surprised :(

    [mod]Less of this please.[/mod]
    SeanW wrote: »
    If you read the article you will find that they are not making it up - it links to reputable sources like New Scientist, BBC, NBC San Francisco, and the U.S. Forestry and Wildlife Service, some of which specifically site a University of Calgary study on the matter.
    All of your articles date back to 2008. The science of the interaction between wildlife and wind turbines has moved on significantly in the last 4 years.

    What is generally ignored with these issues is the question of location. Put a turbine in the wrong place and there will be higher fatalities. This means that wind turbines don't necessarily kill bats if placed in appropriate areas. This is why organisations such as the UK's Bat Conservation Trust and Bat Conservation Ireland play a constructive role in determining the appropriate planning guidelines and don't call for an end to the development of wind energy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 804 Chloe Pink


    Comparing the avian mortality per GW/hr for differing generators is fair enough in itself except that it has to be remembered that wind generators are not a substitute for fossil fuel or nuclear generators so by installing wind turbines we are still increasing avian mortalities.

    This thread was about bats though.

    Re the idea that correctly located wind turbines don't kill bats; the other side to the story is that where bats are found near wind turbines proposals, the wind developers simply apply for a licence that allows them to kill bats.

    So building wind turbines increases avian and bat mortality.

    (The Bat Conservation Trust might not be calling for an end to the development of wind energy but there's a great big "BUT" in their statement regarding wind turbine installations.)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,064 ✭✭✭ Gurgle


    Chloe Pink wrote: »
    wind generators are not a substitute for fossil fuel or nuclear generators
    surely that's exactly what they are?
    Chloe Pink wrote: »
    where bats are found near wind turbines proposals, the wind developers simply apply for a licence that allows them to kill bats.
    I've never heard of a bat killing license, and I believe that all types are protected here. Are you sure such a license is available?
    Do you have any link to back this up?


  • Registered Users Posts: 804 Chloe Pink


    Gurgle wrote: »
    surely that's exactly what they are?
    Sadly not. Even the hardiest supporters of wind turbines will tell you that wind turbines are additional to our other generators. I won't go into depth here because this thread is about bats and there are plenty of other threads on this board about this matter. Suffice to say that if we had 20% of our generating capacity supplied soley by wind and the wind isn't blowing or isn't blowing enough or is blowing too much (i.e. turbines shut down for safety reasons), we could find ourselves unable to meet demand.
    Gurgle wrote: »
    I've never heard of a bat killing license, and I believe that all types are protected here. Are you sure such a license is available?
    Do you have any link to back this up?
    Yes certainly, a quick google search has thrown up these:
    http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/protecting-wildlife/legislation-licenses-protect-wildlife/ Scroll down on this page
    Also:
    http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/threats_to_bats.html
    http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/threats_to_bats.html
    http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/regulation/wildlife/species/epslicensing.aspx
    http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/regulation/wildlife/default.aspx


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,064 ✭✭✭ Gurgle


    Chloe Pink wrote: »
    Even the hardiest supporters of wind turbines will tell you that...
    That's spin and nonsense, but as you said this is a bat thread.
    Chloe Pink wrote: »
    The UK have always put development and industry over agriculture and environment, have you any information that relates to Ireland?


  • Registered Users Posts: 804 Chloe Pink


    Gurgle wrote: »
    That's spin and nonsense, but as you said this is a bat thread.
    How do you think demand can be met if the wind isn't turning the turbines? Can you provide evidence to support your statement above because unfortunately wind turbines are additional to a grid as explained by EON UK here http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldeconaf/195/8061708.htm and they're being optimistic; generally the capacity credit of wind turbines is treated as zero in order to ensure a supply to meet demand. This thread is about bats but I respond to this point so that we are not left in a situation whereby we can say that wind turbines are a better option when they are not a substiute to other generators but additional to them and this means a net result of increased bat mortality.
    Back to bats:
    Gurgle wrote: »
    The UK have always put development and industry over agriculture
    and environment, have you any information that relates to Ireland?
    www.dublincity.ie/.../Pages/BatMitigationGuidelinesforIreland.aspx
    "2.2.1 When is a licence required?
    The National Parks and Wildlife Service is frequently asked by consultants whether a derogation licence is required for a particular activity. Ultimately, however, this is a decision to be made by the consultant or client. A licence simply permits an action that is otherwise unlawful. To ensure that no illegal activities are undertaken, it is recommended that a licence is applied for if, on the basis of survey information and specialist knowledge, it appears that:
    • the site in question is a breeding site or resting place for bats
    • the proposed activity could result in an offence"
    www.npws.ie/publications/IWM25.pdf


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,064 ✭✭✭ Gurgle


    Chloe Pink wrote: »
    How do you think demand can be met if the wind isn't turning the turbines?...
    I don't know what you think I'm claiming, and I'm not getting into it here.

    You made this claim:
    Chloe Pink wrote:
    where bats are found near wind turbines proposals, the wind developers simply apply for a licence that allows them to kill bats.
    I've yet to see anything to back it up.
    All the licensing info relates to disturbing bats and their habitats for study or development or any other reason. In all cases, any harm or damage must be mitigated by providing suitable alternative habitats.

    There is no suggestion anywhere that bats are fair game if you have a license.


  • Registered Users Posts: 804 Chloe Pink


    Gurgle wrote: »
    I don't know what you think I'm claiming, and I'm not getting into it here.
    That 'wind generators are a substitute for fossil fuel or nuclear generators' which they are not. Back to the bats themselves:
    Gurgle wrote: »
    You made this claim:
    I've yet to see anything to back it up.
    All the licensing info relates to disturbing bats and their habitats for study or development or any other reason. In all cases, any harm or damage must be mitigated by providing suitable alternative habitats.
    There is no suggestion anywhere that bats are fair game if you have a license.
    The document I linked to isn't very clear but their statement "• the proposed activity could result in an offence"" is not exclusive to roosts, it is illeagle to kill a bat deliberately or accidently and they do refer to wind turbines briefly, saying they pose a collision risk, mention of barotrauma is ommitted. In their mitigation section, they also mention habitats beyond the roost sites.

    Here's a reference to needing a bat licence even when not touching the roost itself:
    www.ceramicxwindfarmsucks.com/ Ceramicx%20Wind%20Turbine%20Bat%20Assessment%20Report.doc
    "A development such as that planned, sited so close to a bat roost, with high potential to pose a risk to the bat colony, requires a derogation licence application under Regulation 23 of the EU Habitats Regulations 1997 to be submitted to the local authority as part of the planning application as described in the National Parks and Wildlife Service Circular Letter NPWS 2/07 reproduced in Appendix 4."

    The problem is that wts (wind turbines) are proposed - surveys are done - bats are detected - mitigation is proposed - a licence is sought (so as not to be breaking the law if bats are killed by the wts) - wts are put up - post development survey done to see if bats killed / if mitigation works / if bat population suffers...
    But what if the bat population has suffered - it's too late by then!

    This is why the Bat Conservation Trust have a big "BUT" (see earlier link in thread) and the same concern is expressed here and is well worth a read:
    http://www.seai.ie/Renewables/Wind_Energy/Wind_Energy_2011_Conference/Bats_and_Wind_Farms,_State_of_the_Art_and_Best_Practice_Guide.pdf

    "How are bats affected
    1. Collision & barotrauma;
    2. Changes to landscape including feeding habitat loss and loss of connectivity;
    3. Loss of roosts."

    "What we don’t know
    – Mortality rates in Ireland;
    – Whether mortality rates affect population viability;
    – The extent to which bats migrate in Ireland;
    – The potential risk posed to different species;
    – How different bats react to change;
    – How turbines interact with landscape;
    – The potential effectiveness of mitigation measures."
    etc

    "What should we be doing NOW?
    • Local authorities/An Bord Pleanala: Ensure that potential impacts on bats are fully and appropriately addressed in EIA studies – seek advice from NGOs or NPWS if not sure.
    • Wind Energy Sector: Help to determine the extent of the impact in Ireland so that survey effort can be better focussed (CIBR Research)."


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 6,367 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Macha


    It amazes me that people so dedicated to the protection of bats that they set up NGOs and trusts to promote awareness and policy change don't use bats as a scape goat to halt the development of wind turbines.

    Yet others are perfectly happy to jump on the bandwagon and say "won't someone please think of the bats?" in pushing long-standing positions that have already been expressed repeatedly on this forum.

    That is this thread is a nutshell.

    The reality is that 99% of biodiversity focused NGOs are in favour of the development of renewable energy, including wind turbines. No doubt someone will claim that they know better than the biodiversity NGOs, exaggerate the precautions they call for and drag up a few of the 1%ers. But the inescapable reality is that most, including big ones like RSBP and BirdWatch Ireland are all in favour of wind development.


  • Registered Users Posts: 804 Chloe Pink


    Macha wrote: »
    It amazes me that people so dedicated to the protection of bats that they set up NGOs and trusts to promote awareness and policy change don't use bats as a scape goat to halt the development of wind turbines.
    But they do halt the development of some wind turbine sites and they may or not come out more forecefully when the effects of wts on bats is better understood.
    I'm sure the remainder of your comment was not intended as a snipe in my direction, but just in case it was, I would like to point out that I may be dedicated to protecting bats and have simply jumped on all the reasons that people are not in favour of wind turbines to reach my end goal of protecting bats.
    Anyway, back to the topic of bats - do you have a point re bats and wind turbines other than the fact that some quite big organisations don't outright oppose wind turbines (yet).


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 6,367 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Macha


    Chloe Pink wrote: »
    But they do halt the development of some wind turbine sites and they may or not come out more forecefully when the effects of wts on bats is better understood.
    I'm sure the remainder of your comment was not intended as a snipe in my direction, but just in case it was, I would like to point out that I may be dedicated to protecting bats and have simply jumped on all the reasons that people are not in favour of wind turbines to reach my end goal of protecting bats.
    Anyway, back to the topic of bats - do you have a point re bats and wind turbines other than the fact that some quite big organisations don't outright oppose wind turbines (yet).

    [mod]Stop saying "anyway back on topic" as a way of shutting down a discussion. I'm saying this as a mod[/mod]

    I don't have any other points to make about bats and wind turbines because I'm not an expert on the issue and if the bat NGOs have what seems to be a pretty reasonable line on it, I'm happy to take it at face value.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,065 ✭✭✭ Birdnuts


    Macha wrote: »
    The reality is that 99% of biodiversity focused NGOs are in favour of the development of renewable energy, including wind turbines. No doubt someone will claim that they know better than the biodiversity NGOs, exaggerate the precautions they call for and drag up a few of the 1%ers. But the inescapable reality is that most, including big ones like RSBP and BirdWatch Ireland are all in favour of wind development.

    Maybe - but the same orgs have objected to a number of wind-farm developments that are obviously badly sited and a threat to rare or endangered birds. Something the industry would need to address instead of the their current sense of arrogant entitlement that sees planning applications going in for developments on designated SAC, NHA sites here and their equivalent in the UK:(


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,065 ✭✭✭ Birdnuts


    pljudge321 wrote: »
    I've read similar claims with regards birds. Problem is that most of the time they don't quote the number of fatalities caused by other human activities like driving and buildings so there's no context. For example wind turbines kill around 30000 birds per year in Denmark, traffic kills over a million.

    The references they use in that article are pretty dire, I'll see if there are any actual proper studies about tomorrow.

    The problem with poorly sited windfarms(of which there are more then a few) is that they tend to kill a disproportionate amount of larger, slower breeding species like various Vultures, Cranes etc. - many of which already have a poor conservation status.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 6,367 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Macha


    Birdnuts wrote: »
    Maybe - but the same orgs have objected to a number of wind-farm developments that are obviously badly sited and a threat to rare or endangered birds. Something the industry would need to address instead of the their current sense of arrogant entitlement that sees planning applications going in for developments on designated SAC, NHA sites here and their equivalent in the UK:(
    Of course but what they're fighting for is better alignment of biodiversity and clean energy policies, not the subjugation of one for the other. They certainly don't call for renewable energy policies to be abandoned.

    There is certainly an issue within the industry that sees objectors in too negative a light. But at the same time, there are some who would rather keep the very comfortable status quo than realise this isn't possible and acknowledge the importance of renewables in any future sustainable energy system. Both sides are at fault.

    I would make the point that development isn't banned outright in Natura 2000 sites. It has to be related to the species that has caused the area to be made a Natura 2000 site and then can be built if the EIA shows there would be no impact on that species. So wind farms can go up in Natura 2000 sites and be entirely in line with the Birds & Habitats Directives.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 804 Chloe Pink


    Macha wrote: »
    So wind farms can go up in Natura 2000 sites and be entirely in line with the Birds & Habitats Directives.
    Do you have some examples of where developers sought to put wind turbine developments in Natura 2000 sites please and if so, were they successful in doing so?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,895 ✭✭✭ SeanW


    Macha wrote: »
    It amazes me that people so dedicated to the protection of bats that they set up NGOs and trusts to promote awareness and policy change don't use bats as a scape goat to halt the development of wind turbines.

    Yet others are perfectly happy to jump on the bandwagon and say "won't someone please think of the bats?" in pushing long-standing positions that have already been expressed repeatedly on this forum.

    That is this thread is a nutshell.
    I don't deny being a bandwagon jumper. But as a person who enjoys the creature comforts that bats provide (i.e. they eat large amount of insects, providing a valuable service to humanity) I think this is another reason to question whether the current push for wind turbines is really a good idea.
    Macha wrote: »
    Of course but what they're fighting for is better alignment of biodiversity and clean energy policies, not the subjugation of one for the other.
    The problem is that this is exactly what is going to happen - for example in another thread I posted a link to a claim that to provide the U.K. with 1/6 of its energy needs you'd have to cover an area the size of Wales with wind turbines. It should go without saying that such an insane demand would require putting wind turbines just about everywhere and to Hell with the wildlife affected, probably along with bankrupting the U.K. and making its power grid completely unstable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ joela


    A development such as that planned, sited so close to a bat roost, with high potential to pose a risk to the bat colony, requires a derogation licence application under Regulation 23 of the EU Habitats Regulations 1997 to be submitted to the local authority as part of the planning application as described in the National Parks and Wildlife Service Circular Letter NPWS 2/07 reproduced in Appendix 4. This is simply so that it too can be given due consideration when deciding to grant planning permission or not.


    Nothing to do with a license to kill bats at all!


  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ joela


    Chloe Pink wrote: »
    Do you have some examples of where developers sought to put wind turbine developments in Natura 2000 sites please and if so, were they successful in doing so?

    Are you serious? LOL Part of the reason wind development has been slowed down, and rightly so, was the proliferation of applications and grants for wind farms in many of our SPA's around the country. I suggest you take a look at Stack's to Mullaghareirk Mountains, West Limerick Hills and Mount Eagle SPA 004161 for a start and I can tell you this from firsthand experience of working on a number of wind farm developments in this area.

    Furthermore I can also tell you that bats form a large part of EIS work for most wind farms since at least 2009 and that in Ireland many of the wind farms are sited in upland sites which offer little or no suitable roosting and foraging habitats. Bats are also less of an issue in Ireland as we have less species than the rest of Europe and we do not host species which are known to migrate. The jury is still out on migration of Irish species but as it stands this is the consensus with the proviso that further studies are needed to learn more about Irish bats and their movements. The impact of a wind farm on the bats is also assessed in relation to distance from the site to the nearest known roost site, suitability of the site for foraging and roosting, the species likely to be found in the habitats present and the sensitivity of species to collision or barotrauma. In Ireland Leislers bats tend to be the species of greatest concern due to the distances they fly and how they utilise the landscape.

    Obviously in the situation with the roost 160m from a turbine it is a given that there is a significant risk which is evidenced by the report from the excellent Conor Kelleher. However, 160m is an unlikely scenario in relation to wind farms as turbines must be situated at least 500m from the nearest house. In the case of wind farms should a roost or flight path be found close to a turbine then the developer can adjust the turbine position to avoid the impact on bats. The BCT guidelines on best practice have recently (Feb 2012) been revised to include a chapter on wind farms and bats Bat Surveys: Good Practice Guidelines, 2nd edition. This is a really useful document and bases its approach on a risk assessment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 804 Chloe Pink


    joela wrote: »
    A development such as that planned, sited so close to a bat roost, with high potential to pose a risk to the bat colony, requires a derogation licence application under Regulation 23 of the EU Habitats Regulations 1997 to be submitted to the local authority as part of the planning application as described in the National Parks and Wildlife Service Circular Letter NPWS 2/07 reproduced in Appendix 4. This is simply so that it too can be given due consideration when deciding to grant planning permission or not.

    Nothing to do with a license to kill bats at all!

    I think it's pretty clear - it says a licence is needed because the planned development has a "high potential to pose a risk to the bat colony"

    The reference "This is simply so that it too can be given due consideration when deciding to grant planning permission or not." just means that if planning is granted, the steps have already been taken to permit an otherwise illegal activity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 804 Chloe Pink


    joela wrote: »
    Furthermore I can also tell you that bats form a large part of EIS work for most wind farms since at least 2009 and that in Ireland many of the wind farms are sited in upland sites which offer little or no suitable roosting and foraging habitats. Bats are also less of an issue in Ireland as we have less species than the rest of Europe and we do not host species which are known to migrate. The jury is still out on migration of Irish species but as it stands this is the consensus with the proviso that further studies are needed to learn more about Irish bats and their movements. The impact of a wind farm on the bats is also assessed in relation to distance from the site to the nearest known roost site, suitability of the site for foraging and roosting, the species likely to be found in the habitats present and the sensitivity of species to collision or barotrauma. In Ireland Leislers bats tend to be the species of greatest concern due to the distances they fly and how they utilise the landscape.

    Obviously in the situation with the roost 160m from a turbine it is a given that there is a significant risk which is evidenced by the report from the excellent Conor Kelleher. However, 160m is an unlikely scenario in relation to wind farms as turbines must be situated at least 500m from the nearest house. In the case of wind farms should a roost or flight path be found close to a turbine then the developer can adjust the turbine position to avoid the impact on bats. The BCT guidelines on best practice [/SIZE]have recently (Feb 2012) been revised to include a chapter on wind farms and bats Bat Surveys: Good Practice Guidelines, 2nd edition. This is a really useful document and bases its approach on a risk assessment.

    I know bats form a large part of EIS work - they have to - if the EIS is not thorough enough, that in itself can be reason to turn down the planning application.
    You say "Bats are also less of an issue in Ireland as we have less species than the rest of Europe" - having less species doesn't make bats less of an issue, you may currently have a haven for a large percentage of the world population of a particular bat.
    You then say categorically "we do not host species which are known to migrate" and then admit that the "jury is still out on migration of Irish species"
    You say "However, 160m is an unlikely scenario in relation to wind farms" - well the link I provided was for a wind turbine so while it may be unlikely, it has been proposed.
    The 500m separation distance is only a guideline; it can be less.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0413/1224314683057.html
    Furthermore bats will forage further than 500m from their roosts and they roost in caves and trees and underground not just in buildings.
    As you say "further studies are needed to learn more about Irish bats and their movements." which is exactly what I pointed out in my post at 18.10 on 02/05 - meanwhile derogation licences are sought to allow activities that would otherwise be illegal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ joela


    We don't host species KNOWN to migrate although there are some who feel that further research is required to identify exactly how bats move in Ireland but they are not migratory species as those studied in Europe and the US.

    Never said bats didn't forage further than 500m from roost but foraging and roosting are two completely different things when it comes to impacts and mitigation.

    I am perfectly well aware where bats roost but you used a roost in a house as an example so I was pointing out that in the case of wind farms, as opposed to single turbines, the standard approach is 500m from homes unless they are landowners within the scheme. From the Irish Times article you link "We strongly believe that appropriate separation distances should be set during the planning process in the context of Department of the Environment guidelines,” he said, adding these set a minimum distance of 500m “or closer with the consent of the landowner”, this article is suggesting the distance from homes should be up to 2km in the case of large turbines.Derogation licenses are sought not to allow bats to be killed but to allow appropriate steps to be taken to mitigate for any proposed development. This could be something relatively simple or something as complex as destruction of the roost with the provision of a suitable alternative roost site where the bats are less likely to be impacted by the turbine.

    Derogation licenses are not sought for wind farms to allow them to kill bats, I've never heard of a wind farm requiring a derogation license primarily because they are not usually located in areas of high bat usage or areas of suitable bat habitat. I have worked with Conor Kelleher and read many of his reports and I know he would not endorse anything which is going to allow "killing of bats". He is probably the foremost bat specialist in the country and has written much of the Irish guidance on bat surveys. I have not heard him or any of the other bat specialists condemn wind farms thus far.

    By the way you did see that I supported Macha with evidence that there are wind developments within Natura 2000 sites?

    Some texts which professional ecologists will regularly reference: http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/35010
    http://www.eurobats.org/publications/publication%20series/pubseries_no3_english.pdf
    http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/windfarm_november_2011.pdf


  • Registered Users Posts: 804 Chloe Pink


    joela wrote: »
    We don't host species KNOWN to migrate although there are some who feel that further research is required to identify exactly how bats move in Ireland but they are not migratory species as those studied in Europe and the US.
    Thank you for clarfying
    joela wrote: »
    Never said bats didn't forage further than 500m from roost but foraging and roosting are two completely different things when it comes to impacts and mitigation.
    So, to be clear, siting wind turbines 500m from houses doesn't necessarily help bats as they may travel beyond 500m of peoples houses and it doesn't necessarily help bats as some may be roosting in places other than houses e.g. outbuildings, barns, caves, trees, underground
    joela wrote: »
    Derogation licenses are sought not to allow bats to be killed but to allow appropriate steps to be taken to mitigate for any proposed development..
    But is mitigation working?
    http://www.wildlifesurveys.net/
    Wind farms have formed a major aspect of the survey work in recent years. Detector surveys of proposed wind farms can be undertaken as can bat corpse searches using a sniffer dog.

    And are environmental assessments protecting wildlife?
    http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/2012/01/17/spanish-wind-farms-kill-6-to-18-million-birds-bats-a-year/


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,895 ✭✭✭ SeanW


    Chloe Pink wrote: »
    Thanks Chloe, this is certainly quite troubling reading!

    I fear that what is going on here is a microcasm of what is going on in the wider environmental-left movement. Specifically, that certain renewables, mainly wind power, are glorified out of all proportion to reality, while certain genuinely green technologies are demonised, again out of all proportion to reality.

    Someone who subscribes to a Greenpeace-esque view of the world will read you report (or not bother) stick their fingers in their ears and sing "la la la, Windmills Uber Alles."

    It is perhaps more mature than wearing a baseball hat backwards and saying "Yo mama," but not much more.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 6,367 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Macha


    SeanW wrote: »
    Thanks Chloe, this is certainly quite troubling reading!

    I fear that what is going on here is a microcasm of what is going on in the wider environmental-left movement. Specifically, that certain renewables, mainly wind power, are glorified out of all proportion to reality, while certain genuinely green technologies are demonised, again out of all proportion to reality.

    Someone who subscribes to a Greenpeace-esque view of the world will read you report (or not bother) stick their fingers in their ears and sing "la la la, Windmills Uber Alles."

    It is perhaps more mature than wearing a baseball hat backwards and saying "Yo mama," but not much more.

    [mod]Banned for 3 days for dissing the environmental movement on the environmental forum (for the umpteenth time). Do it again and it will be a week. If you can't debate without name-calling, don't come here.[/mod]


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