Wind Farms Scaring Off Porpoises

'Bubble curtains' could be the solution

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 4, 2010 2:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – Renewable energy from wind farms comes at the cost of scaring off porpoises, according to a German study of the country's first offshore wind farm. The marine mammals—who depend on their acute hearing for communication, orientation, and finding food—fled the area 30 miles off the German coast while the wind farm was under construction, and it's unclear whether they'll ever return, Der Spiegel reports.

Researchers say the noise from wind farm construction can damage porpoises' hearing and believe measures should be taken to protect the sensitive animals before work begins on the dozens of other offshore wind projects Germany has planned. One solution being suggested is a "bubble curtain" of artificially generated bubbles to absorb sound waves.

Porpoises fled an area in a 12-mile radius of the wind farm project during construction, a new study has found.
Porpoises fled an area in a 12-mile radius of the wind farm project during construction, a new study has found.   (Wikimedia Commons/Erik Christensen)
Wind turbines spin at the Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm  in the North Sea.
Wind turbines spin at the Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm in the North Sea.   (Getty Images)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
13%
4%
33%
28%
15%
7%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   CollegeHumor   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!