On Saving Energy. And Bats.

Bats are an ongoing issue in our horse barn. It’s old and as such has numerous nooks and crannies through which they find their way in. So much so that the hay loft may as well be officially dubbed a bat hotel. As much as I loathe their presence, shudder when I hear their high-pitched squeals from above when I do chores I also appreciate their service. And so far, their keeping themselves confined to the loft and the great out doors and not venturing into my tack room.

Bats, as creepy as they may be, are a vital component in insect population control and living near a river and flood plain in a state known for it’s killer mosquito population I can readily appreciate their value. Unfortunately, one of the most promising green technologies of our time, wind turbine energy production, seriously threatens bat populations; and not in the way you might think.

Today on TreeHugger, Brian Merchant writes that:

The sudden drop in air pressure around the turbines causes severe injuries to the bats’ lungs, an affliction called barotruama. Thankfully, scientists have come up with a way to reduce bat deaths around turbines by at least 60% without sacrificing any serious power generation from the turbines.

As it turns out that solution is as simple as reducing the speed of the turbines in low-wind conditions; a time when the turbines are producing a diminished amount of power anyway. The only party not winning with this solution? Bugs, but most of those aren’t exactly in short supply either.

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Diana Prichard is a rural-living freelance writer, wife and mother of two who loves black toenail polish, taking pictures, vintage-styled aprons, dark chocolate, tomato sandwiches, lip gloss, t-shirts, flip flops, and mason jars. Her work and life can be found on her self-titled personal blog.

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