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Enabling Renewable Energy While Protecting Wildlife: An Ecological Risk-Based Approach to Wind Energy Development Using Ecosystem-Based Management Values

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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 1100 Dexter Ave N #500, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 902 Battelle Blvd, Richland, WA 99352, USA
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Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Høgskoleringen 9, 7034 Trondheim, Norway
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Marine Scotland, St. Andrew’s House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG, UK
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National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 18200 CO-128, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
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STRIX, Rua Roberto Ivens, 1314 1º sala 15, 4450–251 Matosinhos, Portugal
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Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautier Street 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9352; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229352
Received: 19 October 2020 / Revised: 8 November 2020 / Accepted: 9 November 2020 / Published: 11 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Acceptance of wind energy development is challenged by stakeholders’ concerns about potential effects on the environment, specifically on wildlife, such as birds, bats, and (for offshore wind) marine animals, and the habitats that support them. Communities near wind energy developments are also concerned with social and economic impacts, as well as impacts on aesthetics, historical sites, and recreation and tourism. Lack of a systematic, widely accepted, and balanced approach for measuring the potential damage to wildlife, habitats, and communities continues to leave wind developers, regulators, and other stakeholders in an uncertain position. This paper explores ecological risk-based management (RBM) in wind energy development for land-based and offshore wind installations. This paper provides a framework for the adaptation of ecosystem-based management to wind energy development and examines that framework through a series of case studies and best management practices for applying risk-based principles to wind energy. Ten case studies indicate that wind farm monitoring is often driven by regulatory requirements that may not be underpinned by scientific questions. While each case applies principles of adaptive management, there is room for improvement in applying scientific principles to the data collection and analysis. Challenges and constraints for wind farm development to meet RBM framework criteria include collecting sufficient baseline and monitoring data year-round, engaging stakeholder facilitators, and bringing together large and diverse scientific teams. The RBM framework approach may provide insights for improved siting and consenting/permitting processes for regulators and their advisors, particularly in those nations where wind energy is still in the early development stages on land or at sea. View Full-Text
Keywords: wind energy; risk-based management; ecosystem-based management; risk assessment; best management practices wind energy; risk-based management; ecosystem-based management; risk assessment; best management practices
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MDPI and ACS Style

Copping, A.E.; Gorton, A.M.; May, R.; Bennet, F.; DeGeorge, E.; Repas Goncalves, M.; Rumes, B. Enabling Renewable Energy While Protecting Wildlife: An Ecological Risk-Based Approach to Wind Energy Development Using Ecosystem-Based Management Values. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9352. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229352

AMA Style

Copping AE, Gorton AM, May R, Bennet F, DeGeorge E, Repas Goncalves M, Rumes B. Enabling Renewable Energy While Protecting Wildlife: An Ecological Risk-Based Approach to Wind Energy Development Using Ecosystem-Based Management Values. Sustainability. 2020; 12(22):9352. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229352

Chicago/Turabian Style

Copping, Andrea E.; Gorton, Alicia M.; May, Roel; Bennet, Finlay; DeGeorge, Elise; Repas Goncalves, Miguel; Rumes, Bob. 2020. "Enabling Renewable Energy While Protecting Wildlife: An Ecological Risk-Based Approach to Wind Energy Development Using Ecosystem-Based Management Values" Sustainability 12, no. 22: 9352. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229352

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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