July 10, 2019 / 12:26 PM / 13 days ago

Russia's Putin says wind power harmful to birds and worms

Russia's President Vladimir Putin makes comments on the country's bilateral relations with Georgia as he attends the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) in Yekaterinburg, Russia July 9, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned on Tuesday the use of wind power, saying wind turbines were harmful to birds and worms.

Russia, a world-leading producer of fossil fuel, is lagging other countries in its development of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind-powered energy.

Wind power is rarely used in the country to generate electricity. Enel Russia (ENRU.MM) pledged 90 million euros to build a power generation facility by 2024 with a capacity of 71 megawatts.

“Wind-powered generation is good, but are birds being taken into account in this case? How many birds are dying?” Putin said at a televised conference on industry in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.

“They (wind turbines) shake, causing worms to come out of the soil. This is not a joke,” he said.

Putin added that people would not like to live on a planet dotted with “rows of wind-powered generators and covered by several layers of solar panels”.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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