It seems like every time renewable energy gets the ball rolling, environmentalists protest to stop the progress. I care about animals, but would I be upset if some birds or tortoises died if it meant that 140,000 homes got electricity via solar energy? No, not really, although I feel like that negates what I said about me caring about animals.
That giant solar energy plant in the Mojave Desert (you know the big shiny thing you pass on the journey to your ensuing drunken adventures in Las Vegas) is responsible for setting the birds aflame. Workers at the plants have deemed them “streamers” because these birds pass through the concentrated rays roughly every two minutes and leave a jet stream trail as they plummet to the ground.
The $2.2 billion plant, which explodes about 28,000—significantly less than the 140,000 killed by wind turbines each year—birds per year, has 300,000 garage door sized mirrors. With all this light, insects go nuts and swarm the plant. This attracts insect-eating birds that incinerate while swooping in for a crunchy meal.
While I could easily cast the blame on insects, I shan’t take the easy road. I propose that the solar plant do something to prevent birds from entering the plant’s airspace. I respect the concern for local wildlife, but the need for clean, renewable energy is an itch that must be scratched. Jeff Holland, a spokesman for NRG Solar of Carlsbad, California, and others are taking steps to accommodate environmentalists’ needs as well as get the plant running at full energy levels. Know more.