|Date||8 Jan 2019|
The International Energy Agency in 2009 predicted a 40% global increase for energy demand in the next two decades. Considering unstable oil prices, increasing emission of greenhouse gases, and global warming, there is an urgent need for alternative, clean and reliable energy. Wind power is one of the most adopted alternative sources of renewable energy in developing regions. Therefore, construction, use, and more planned wind energy and related developments are predicted to increase.
In Africa: South Africa has over 5 operational wind farms; while Lesotho is planning to install about four thousand wind turbines. Tarfaya in Morocco has a capacity of 301 MW and Ashegoda in Ethiopia generating 120 MW. Lake Turkana Wind Project in Kenya will be Africa’s largest while many farms are proposed in Kenya’s Southern Rift Valley.
Considering its larger impacts on birds of prey, its development and expansion should be carefully evaluated in its potential environmental impacts. Both direct and indirect impacts of wind energy vary spatially and diﬀer among the species but are more severe on critically endangered vultures. Beyond the gains of economic development, creation of employment opportunities and access to low green-house gas emission energy, the environmental costs of expanding wind energy development could be substantial, particularly with regards to increasing potential extinction risks of critically endangered vultures.
There is an urgent need to understand the threats of wind development on endangered vultures and their habitats with an aim of mitigating potential impacts from wind development. Overall, the survival and conservation of critically endangered vultures and other birds of prey can be achieved by ensuring environmentally sound wind energy development practices. This project therefore seeks to understand vulture movements in Southern Kenya to inform wind farm and energy infrastructure development to minimize those impacts and aid in sustainable development of renewable energies.
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