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27 Aug 20201 minute read

Black turbines could benefit wildlife

ECAtoday
Black turbines could benefit wildlife

A new study suggests that painting just one blade of a wind turbine black could cut bird strike deaths by up to 70 per cent.

Published in the academic journal Ecology and Evolution, the study said that painting the rotor blades black reduces ‘motion smear’, making them more visible to birds.

Study co-author Roel May said to the BBC, “Collision of birds, especially raptors, is one of the main environmental concerns related to wind energy development.

“The annual fatality rate was significantly reduced at the turbines with a painted blade by over 70%, relative to the neighbouring control (i.e. unpainted) turbines."

Turbine manufacturers have said the issue was one for windfarm developers and operators to consider, but that they could “manufacture to a specification laid down by the developers."