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Norway opens debate on black wind turbines

Colored turbine blades could keep birds alive and improve the reputation of wind power on Norwegian soil.

Photo: Mathias Svold/INDBLIK

If the light gray and white blades of wind turbines were painted over, they would be easier for birds to avoid. You'd therefore think that more developers would rush to paint the blades black rather than their usual color. Only one problem prevents them from doing so: licenses.

According to these, regulation stipulates that blades be either gray or white. But that should change, says the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), which has demonstrated via studies that the number of collisions between birds and turbines can be drastically reduced if only the rotor blades were painted black.

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