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

Title: Ecological Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Bats: Questions, Research Needs, and Hypotheses

Abstract

No abstract prepared.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
921209
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-99-GO10337
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment; Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 6, 2007
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; WIND; ENERGY SOURCE DEVELOPMENT; BATS; BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; Wind Energy

Citation Formats

Kunz, T. H., Arnett, E. B., Erickson, W. P., Hoar, A. R., Johnson, G. D., Larkin, R. P., Strickland, M. D., Thresher, R. W., and Tuttle, M. D. Ecological Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Bats: Questions, Research Needs, and Hypotheses. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1890/1540-9295(2007)5[315:EIOWED]2.0.CO;2.
Kunz, T. H., Arnett, E. B., Erickson, W. P., Hoar, A. R., Johnson, G. D., Larkin, R. P., Strickland, M. D., Thresher, R. W., & Tuttle, M. D. Ecological Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Bats: Questions, Research Needs, and Hypotheses. United States. doi:10.1890/1540-9295(2007)5[315:EIOWED]2.0.CO;2.
Kunz, T. H., Arnett, E. B., Erickson, W. P., Hoar, A. R., Johnson, G. D., Larkin, R. P., Strickland, M. D., Thresher, R. W., and Tuttle, M. D. Mon . "Ecological Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Bats: Questions, Research Needs, and Hypotheses". United States. doi:10.1890/1540-9295(2007)5[315:EIOWED]2.0.CO;2.
@article{osti_921209,
title = {Ecological Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Bats: Questions, Research Needs, and Hypotheses},
author = {Kunz, T. H. and Arnett, E. B. and Erickson, W. P. and Hoar, A. R. and Johnson, G. D. and Larkin, R. P. and Strickland, M. D. and Thresher, R. W. and Tuttle, M. D.},
abstractNote = {No abstract prepared.},
doi = {10.1890/1540-9295(2007)5[315:EIOWED]2.0.CO;2},
journal = {Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment},
number = 6, 2007,
volume = 5,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • The cumulative impacts of utility-scale solar energy facilities on aquatic ecosystems in the Southwestern United States are of concern, considering the many existing regional anthropogenic stressors. We review the potential impacts of solar energy development on aquatic habitat and biota. The greatest potential for impacts is related to the loss, fragmentation, or prolonged drying of ephemeral water bodies and drainage networks resulting from the loss of desert washes within the construction footprint of the facility. Groundwater-dependent aquatic habitat may also be affected by operational groundwater withdrawal in the case of water-intensive solar technologies. Solar panels have also been found tomore » attract aquatic insects and waterbirds, potentially resulting in mortality. Avoiding construction activity near perennial and intermittent surface waters is the primary means of reducing impacts on aquatic habitats, followed by measures to minimize erosion, sedimentation, and contaminant inputs into waterways. Currently, significant data gaps make solar facility impact assessment and mitigation more difficult. Examples include the need for more regional and site-specific studies of surface–groundwater connectivity, more detailed maps of regional stream networks and riparian vegetation corridors, as well as surveys of the aquatic communities inhabiting ephemeral streams. In addition, because they often lack regulatory protection, there is also a need to develop valuation criteria for ephemeral waters based on their ecological and hydrologic function within the landscape. By addressing these research needs, we can achieve the goal of greater reliance on solar energy, while at the same time minimizing impacts on desert ecosystems.« less
  • This fact sheet describes the research conducted through the NWTC on environment and siting.
  • Wind energy is growing worldwide as a source of power generation. Bat assemblages may be negatively affected by wind farms due to the fatality of a significant number of individuals after colliding with the moving turbines or experiencing barotrauma. The implementation of wind farms should follow standard procedures to prevent such negative impacts: avoid, reduce and offset, in what is known as the mitigation hierarchy. According to this approach avoiding impacts is the priority, followed by the minimisation of the identified impacts, and finally, when residual negative impacts still remain, those must be offset or at least compensated. This papermore » presents a review on conservation measures for bats and presents some guidelines within the compensation scenario, focusing on negative impacts that remain after avoidance and minimisation measures. The conservation strategies presented aim at the improvement of the ecological conditions for the bat assemblage as a whole. While developed under the European context, the proposed measures are potentially applicable elsewhere, taking into consideration the specificity of each region in terms of bat assemblages present, landscape features and policy context regarding nature and biodiversity conservation and management. An analysis of potential opportunities and constraints arising from the implementation of offset/compensation programmes and gaps in the current knowledge is also considered. - Highlights: • Wind energy impacts bat populations in ways not yet fully understood. • As the use of windfarms is growing worldwide greater impacts on bat populations are also expected. • Mitigation hierarchy provides a way to reduce impacts from new wind farm facilities. • Compensation measures may be used to reduce the residual effects on bat populations. • Identify bats ecological needs and compensate according to the existing surroundings.« less
  • This fact sheet summarizes what is known about bird and bat interactions with land-based wind power in North America, including habitat impacts, and what key questions and knowledge gaps remain.
  • This session at the Wind Energy and Birds/Bats workshop consisted of two paper presentations followed by a discussion/question and answer period. It was the first of the sessions to shift the focus to the issue of wind energy development's impacts specifically to bats. The presentations discussed lessons that have been learned regarding direct and indirect impacts on bats and strategies planned to address such issues. Presenters addressed what the existing science demonstrates about land-based wind turbine impacts on bats, including: mortality, avoidance, direct habitat impacts, species and numbers killed, per turbine rates/per MW generated, and impacts on threatened and endangeredmore » species. They discussed whether there is sufficient data for wind turbines and bat impacts for projects in the eastern US, especially on ridge tops. Finally, the subject of offshore impacts on bats was briefly addressed, including what lessons have been learned in Europe and how these can be applied in the U S. Paper one, by Greg Johnson, was titled ''A Review of Bat Impacts at Wind Farms in the US''. Paper two, by Thomas Kunz, was titled ''Wind Power: Bats and Wind Turbines''.« less