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It wanted to invest in wind energy, and it posed a threat to the habitat of blue parrots.. A French company is being criticized


The project was criticized after activists from environmental associations reported that these white turbines, which are 90 meters high and 60 meters long, will be built in areas that are a habitat for blue parrots.

Wind turbines are usually a source of clean energy welcomed by environmentalists, but Voltalia’s establishment of a field for these generators in Brazil, however, has raised objections from activists seeking to protect blue parrots.

In 2021, the French company began installing wind turbines in northeastern Brazil, which already includes turbines that provide more than 90% of what wind energy produces in this country through strong and regular winds.

The field, whose installation work is already advanced, includes 28 wind turbines with a production capacity of 99.4 megawatts, and is located in a semi-arid area in Canodos in the state of Bahia, whose authorities have granted Voltalia the necessary environmental licenses for this project.

However, a wave of criticism affected the project after activists from associations concerned with the environment reported that these white turbines, which are 90 meters high and have a fan length of 60 meters, will be built in areas that constitute a habitat for blue parrots.

In the mid-19th century, the ornithologist Charles-Lucien Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, named these blue macaws after the British poet, painter, and explorer Edward Lear, who featured them in his works.

Nature does not currently include only about two thousand birds of this kind.

“ultimate effect”

Marilyn Reis of the NGO Progetto Jardins da Arara de Lier fears that the wind turbines in Canodos will “significantly increase the risk of extinction” of this light-blue bird, which measures about 75 centimeters in length.

It considers that the impact of the turbines is “final” on an animal that lives and reproduces in this area exclusively, while it encounters turbines in its paths that it may collide with.

A federal court agreed with these arguments and in April issued an order suspending the installation work by revoking the permits granted to Voltalia by the Bahia state authorities.

The court also ordered additional studies to be carried out as well as the consultation of the local population in this regard.

Voltalia, which has subsidiaries in twenty countries and four Brazilian states, filed an appeal.

Speaking to Agence France-Presse, the company’s head in Brazil, Nicolás Taufrez, confirmed that “the potential environmental and social consequences that could be recorded have been comprehensively addressed.”

He notes that studies carried out by specialists to obtain permits from local authorities “showed that the installation of a wind turbine field does not in any way threaten the conservation issue” of the blue parrots.

The company also proposes solutions to reduce the impact of wind turbines on these birds, including the installation of a system that stops the movement of fans as soon as it detects the arrival of one of these birds to the vicinity of the turbine. A second suggestion is to provide some birds with a Global Positioning System (GPS) to better monitor their tracks.

huge investments

However, the blue parrot is not the only source of concern for the local population.

In the areas around the “Voltalia” field, about 7,500 farmers fear that their agricultural activities will be negatively affected.

Adelson Matos, a 65-year-old farmer who raises goats, sheep and cows and grows fruit trees in the neighboring region of Alto Redondo, says the project goes against “any kind of harmony with the natural habitat”.

It is feared that wind turbines will affect the wind and rain cycle in the region. Even before the turbines are put into service, the farmer complains about the noise from vehicles coming in and out “day and night”.

Brazil is a member of the Group of Twenty, which includes the twenty largest economies in the world, while 89% of its electricity is produced from renewable energy sources.

While hydroelectric plants account for more than 60% of this production, the share of solar and wind energy is steadily increasing.

Left-wing President Lula, who returned to power for the third time in January, promised that combating climate change would be one of his priorities, which his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022) did not do.

Energy Minister Alexandre Silvera recently announced his goal to make Northeast Brazil, home to 725 of Brazil’s 828 wind fields, “the world’s largest reserve of clean, renewable energy.”

To reach this goal, the government hopes to attract investments worth 120 billion riyals (about $23.7 billion).

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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