Demand for Renewable Energy Is Real

But the industry still has a few hitches to work out—like solar panels burning birds

Solar Panels
Percy Feinstein/Corbis

For the first time since 2006, solar panels are hard to find, Bloomberg reports. Solar panels and their components had been plentiful for the last few years, but it seems that demand has finally caught up with supply.

That’s good news for renewable energy advocates, because it means that the solar energy industry has been expanding quickly. And, in some places, it's not just solar that's been growing. In the first half of 2014, Germany generated 31 percent of itss power from renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass sources. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that this renewable surge is driven by passion for the environment but has political motivations as well: Germany would prefer to wean itself off of Russia's supply of oil and gas. 

There are still a few hitches that the renewable energy industry does need to work on, though. Co.Design reports that a solar plant in the Mojave desert is actually burning birds to death as they fly overhead: 

According to a CBS report, as unsuspecting birds fly over this five mile stretch of mirrors, each the size of a garage door, they get scorched, often to death. The trails of smoke left in the sky by their burning feathers have led workers in the area to dub them “streamers.” Federal wildlife investigators reported an average of one streamer every two minutes. BrightSource claims there are 1,000 bird deaths annually, but the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group puts its estimate as high as 28,000.

The owners of the plant are researching solutions to the problem.