Black wind turbine blades can reduce bird deaths by 70%
One of the biggest problems with wind farms is that they can be deadly for birds. Black wind turbine blades could be the solution.
If you can imagine being a bird, flying through a wind farm would be like running across a 500 lane highway at rush hour.
Cats, windows, cars, and cell phone towers all claim more bird lives than wind farms.
But, birds are still brought to the forefront of every conversation regarding the problems with renewable energy.
Thankfully, a new study published in July demonstrated a simple yet effective solution.
The answer is, to quote The Rolling Stones, ‘paint it black.’
By painting one blade black on each wind turbine, the team recorded a 70% drop in bird deaths.
One of the biggest issues for birds is that the blades (which can reach 150 MPH) become invisible to them as they spin.
The black paint makes the blades more visible to birds (and everyone else).
Hopefully, wind turbine manufacturers will start painting turbines with a black blade before they ship.
Painting after the blades are installed is…a challenge.
The researchers had to wait until a day when the wind wasn’t blowing, and then someone had to rappel up 200-plus-feet to paint the 131-foot-long blades. Hats off to that person.
Renewable energy is the future and studies like this one move us closer to a large-scale shift in the way we power our world.