First sliced eagles, then toasted migratory birds. Now sharks are getting in the way of clean energy.

Now basking sharks are getting involved. Not basking as in getting a summer tan in a chair on the beach, but basking as in appearing to lounge near the surface catching some rays when they are actually just catching plankton.  In this situation though, the sharks are shutting down a wind farm instead of getting killed by the farm, which is the way we do things in the US.

Wikipedia says basking sharks are not aggressive. They have large mouths and a different sort of gill arrangement so they can catch plankton, their main food.

Financial Times reports Basking sharks help kill off Scottish wind farm plan. (registration required with up to 8 articles a month free).

Seems the basking sharks along with lots of extra rocks on the seafloor have ended the plans for the Argyll Array wind farm off the west coast of Scotland. Apparently the proposed site is a major habitat for the basking shark.

One other major project was just cancelled.

Related news in the article:

  • 22 offshore wind farms already operating in UK
  • 5 offshore farms in construction
  • 8 farms approved
  • 12 farms pending approval

Implied capacity based on the article:

  • ~4 gigawatts – current capacity
  • 20 GW – potential capacity with slice-and-dicers in pipeline (any suggestions for a more-accurate phrase to describe wind farms that “take” underwater critters instead of birds?)
  • 39GW – potential offshore capacity by 2030

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