Solar Panels Kill Birds
Green energy sounds visionary till you account for the real-world cost to animals.
Why do birds crash into solar panels? (Science Node, Argonne National Lab).
Billions of birds die annually from collisions with windows, communication towers, wind turbines, and other human-made objects. One reason is that birds see a reflection of the sky in the object and think they’re flying into an unobstructed path.
This is even a problem for solar panel facilities, which see up to 138,000 bird deaths per year in the US from collisions with equipment. Though damage to the solar panels is minimal, officials worry about the impact these structures have on local wildlife. To combat the problem, the Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Argonne National Laboratory $1.3 million to develop a system that can automatically monitor bird activity.