The collapse of Kenetech is jeopardising research into one of the leading obstacles to further development of wind plant in the US: avian mortality. Richard Curry, Kenetech's former manager of avian research, said at the recent AWEA conference that Kenetech had invested $500,000-$750,000 annually into avian research and mortality mitigation. "With the demise of Kenetech, that programme is now in mothballs," he said. Curry advised the domestic wind industry to rely upon the Audubon Society and other volunteer environmental groups to assist in monitoring future wind sites. This was a low cost solution and would help the industry gain new allies among groups that have been some of the chief wind turbine critics, he added. Curry complained, however, that wind power was being held to a higher standard than other utility resource options. "The same standard is not being applied to power lines leading to coal plants. No utility has ever been prosecuted for owning a transmission line."
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