The Royal Society For Protection Of Birds (RSPB) in the UK last week announced an objective that began about 10 years ago — a renewable energy project for the charity to offset its contributions to climate change. Collaborating with Ecotricity, the Royal Society For Protection Of Birds installed a new wind turbine at RSPB Headquarters at the Lodge. A 100-metre wind turbine at the charity’s headquarters in Bedfordshire should be complete — up and running — within only a couple of weeks. It will deliver 1.85 million kWh per annum. That is over half of RSPB’s annual electricity consumption.
The Director of Conservation and a blogger for RSPB, Martin Harper, writes that they are doing this to fight climate change, which is affecting wildlife — as it is humans. “It is the right thing to do and because we want to show that it is possible to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and deploy renewable technologies without causing needless harm to wildlife,” he writes.
The costs are covered by Ecotricity, who will benefit with revenues. Furthermore, RSPB will be saving on their current electricity costs — which means more to spend on conservation. Harper continues:
We’ve done what we can to ensure there will be no significant effects on the wildlife. Through pre-construction monitoring we’ve concluded that there is unlikely to be any significant impact on breeding birds in the area and the level of flight activity from sensitive species suggests collision risk will be low.
For bats, however, although the overall risk to the bat population is low, our monitoring did detect rare periods of slightly higher bat activity, so we have decided to adopt a precautionary approach. We’ll turn off the wind turbine half an hour either side of sunrise and sunset when wind speeds are below 7 metres per second. Bats like noctules and pipistrelles tend to feed at these times but mainly at lower wind speeds. While this will mean that we take a little hit in terms of electricity generation potential (c5-8%), we think this is absolutely the right approach.”
Businessgreen.com reports that Ecotricity and RSPB investigated the site for the turbine for 3 years. Thus, respecting both environmental concerns and wildlife, RSPB can cut carbon emissions and cut costs.
Ecotricity continues to be a game-changing leader for renewable energy. Founder Dale Vince said: “Green energy puts power in the hands of the people – the technology allows us to democratise and decentralise energy in Britain. That’s exactly what this partnership does; it allows us to work together with our customers to make green energy where they need it and to share the benefits – the complete opposite of the old top-down approach.”