skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Cumulative impact assessments and bird/wind farm interactions: Developing a conceptual framework

Abstract

The wind power industry has grown rapidly in the UK to meet EU targets of sourcing 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020. Although wind power is a renewable energy source, there are environmental concerns over increasing numbers of wind farm proposals and associated cumulative impacts. Individually, a wind farm, or indeed any action, may have minor effects on the environment, but collectively these may be significant, potentially greater than the sum of the individual parts acting alone. EU and UK legislation requires a cumulative impact assessment (CIA) as part of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). However, in the absence of detailed guidance and definitions, such assessments within EIA are rarely adequate, restricting the acquisition of basic knowledge about the cumulative impacts of wind farms on bird populations. Here we propose a conceptual framework to promote transparency in CIA through the explicit definition of impacts, actions and scales within an assessment. Our framework requires improved legislative guidance on the actions to include in assessments, and advice on the appropriate baselines against which to assess impacts. Cumulative impacts are currently considered on restricted scales (spatial and temporal) relating to individual development EIAs. We propose that benefits would be gained from elevatingmore » CIA to a strategic level, as a component of spatially explicit planning.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [3];  [5]
  1. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ (United Kingdom) and Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ (United Kingdom)
  2. Department of Wildlife Ecology and Biodiversity, National Environmental Research Institute, University of Aarhus, Kalo, Grenavej 14, 8410 Ronde (Denmark)
  3. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ (United Kingdom)
  4. Scottish Natural Heritage, The Beta Centre, Innovation Park, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4NF (United Kingdom)
  5. (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21364695
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2009.05.002; PII: S0195-9255(09)00085-7; Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; BIRDS; ENVIRONMENT; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS; LEGISLATION; PLANNING; POPULATIONS; PROPOSALS; WIND POWER; WIND POWER INDUSTRY; WIND TURBINE ARRAYS; WIND TURBINES; ANIMALS; DOCUMENT TYPES; ENERGY SOURCES; EQUIPMENT; INDUSTRY; MACHINERY; POWER; RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES; TURBINES; TURBOMACHINERY; VERTEBRATES

Citation Formats

Masden, Elizabeth A., E-mail: e.masden.1@research.gla.ac.u, Fox, Anthony D., E-mail: tfo@dmu.d, Furness, Robert W., E-mail: r.furness@bio.gla.ac.u, Bullman, Rhys, E-mail: rhys.bullman@rpsgroup.co, Haydon, Daniel T., E-mail: d.haydon@bio.gla.ac.u, and Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ. Cumulative impact assessments and bird/wind farm interactions: Developing a conceptual framework. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2009.05.002.
Masden, Elizabeth A., E-mail: e.masden.1@research.gla.ac.u, Fox, Anthony D., E-mail: tfo@dmu.d, Furness, Robert W., E-mail: r.furness@bio.gla.ac.u, Bullman, Rhys, E-mail: rhys.bullman@rpsgroup.co, Haydon, Daniel T., E-mail: d.haydon@bio.gla.ac.u, & Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ. Cumulative impact assessments and bird/wind farm interactions: Developing a conceptual framework. United States. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2009.05.002.
Masden, Elizabeth A., E-mail: e.masden.1@research.gla.ac.u, Fox, Anthony D., E-mail: tfo@dmu.d, Furness, Robert W., E-mail: r.furness@bio.gla.ac.u, Bullman, Rhys, E-mail: rhys.bullman@rpsgroup.co, Haydon, Daniel T., E-mail: d.haydon@bio.gla.ac.u, and Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ. Fri . "Cumulative impact assessments and bird/wind farm interactions: Developing a conceptual framework". United States. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2009.05.002.
@article{osti_21364695,
title = {Cumulative impact assessments and bird/wind farm interactions: Developing a conceptual framework},
author = {Masden, Elizabeth A., E-mail: e.masden.1@research.gla.ac.u and Fox, Anthony D., E-mail: tfo@dmu.d and Furness, Robert W., E-mail: r.furness@bio.gla.ac.u and Bullman, Rhys, E-mail: rhys.bullman@rpsgroup.co and Haydon, Daniel T., E-mail: d.haydon@bio.gla.ac.u and Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ},
abstractNote = {The wind power industry has grown rapidly in the UK to meet EU targets of sourcing 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020. Although wind power is a renewable energy source, there are environmental concerns over increasing numbers of wind farm proposals and associated cumulative impacts. Individually, a wind farm, or indeed any action, may have minor effects on the environment, but collectively these may be significant, potentially greater than the sum of the individual parts acting alone. EU and UK legislation requires a cumulative impact assessment (CIA) as part of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). However, in the absence of detailed guidance and definitions, such assessments within EIA are rarely adequate, restricting the acquisition of basic knowledge about the cumulative impacts of wind farms on bird populations. Here we propose a conceptual framework to promote transparency in CIA through the explicit definition of impacts, actions and scales within an assessment. Our framework requires improved legislative guidance on the actions to include in assessments, and advice on the appropriate baselines against which to assess impacts. Cumulative impacts are currently considered on restricted scales (spatial and temporal) relating to individual development EIAs. We propose that benefits would be gained from elevating CIA to a strategic level, as a component of spatially explicit planning.},
doi = {10.1016/j.eiar.2009.05.002},
journal = {Environmental Impact Assessment Review},
number = 1,
volume = 30,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2010},
month = {Fri Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2010}
}