WIND POWER AFFECTS BIRDS
Although wind power is an ideal alternative energy option for Sri Lanka, the location of a proposed wind farm is said to negatively impact the migrant bird population arriving in the island.
While the turbines, also known as bird death-traps, result in a large number of bird deaths annually across the world, they also cause birds to change their routes.
To address Sri Lanka’s looming power crisis and energy capacity shortage in 2018 and beyond, there is a need to increase the generation of non-conventional renewable energy. With the Government’s energy policy looking at generating 20 percent of Sri Lanka’s power needs through renewable sources by 2020, a wind farm is proposed to be built in Mannar.
According to leading environmentalists and the Ceylon Bird Club, Mannar Island is an internationally recognised Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). Migratory birds from countries such as Russia, Belarus, China and Mongolia are said to first land in this area after long journeys, from September to April.
Environmentalists are urging the Government to relocate the proposed wind farm to an area between Silawathura and Arippu, which will help achieve the objectives of generating power without causing environmental damage.