The development of renewable energy sources is key in combating global climate change. Nevertheless renewable energy developments – such as wind farms, tidal power schemes and solar farms – may themselves potentially impact wildlife. Working with government and industry stakeholders, our work aims to improve the evidence-base on these impacts, to inform spatial planning, assessment and monitoring. Our research has focussed on:
- Understanding interactions between species and developments
- Improving impact assessment methodologies
- Determining population-level impacts
Quantifying avian avoidance of offshore wind turbines: Current evidence and key knowledge gaps
Dodging the blades: gulls and wind farms
Offshore wind farms may affect birds in many ways, such as stopping them moving between places, or restricting access to areas where they feed. Collision risk is a key concern for seabirds, yet there...
Assessing the impact of offshore wind farms on seabird populations
New research led by Aonghais Cook of the BTO has tested a variety of analytical tools, or models, to assess the likely population-level consequences of the impacts arising from any individual wind...
Assessing offshore wind farm impact assessments for breeding seabirds
The construction of offshore wind farms is rapidly increasing as governments aim to reduce carbon emissions. However, since there is a growing body of evidence linking offshore wind farms to...
Liz's current job is to develop research projects principally concerned with wetland and marine issues. Her most recent work has focused on understanding the impacts of the renewable industry on seabirds. Previously to joining the BTO, Liz's main research interests involved quantifying the factors that determine the foraging performance and energetics of seabirds.
Is offshore wind farm risk to seabirds constant?
Wind farm use varies BTO scientists, led by Chris Thaxter, tracked twenty-five Lesser Black-backed Gulls breeding at Orford Ness on the Suffolk coast, in three consecutive summers. The study found...
Understanding the risk of birds colliding with offshore wind turbines
Collision risk models Collision risk models are used prior to the construction of wind farms to predict the number of birds likely to collide with turbines. The industry standard is the “Band...
Resolving issues with environmental impact assessment of marine renewable energy installations
Connectivity between seabird features of protected sites and offshore wind farms: Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Great Skuas through the breeding, migration and non-breeding seasons
Scottish skuas in changing seas
Scotland is home to over 60% of the world’s breeding Great Skuas, and principal colonies are protected under the European Birds Directive. Breeding success at many of these sites has been low in...
High flying birds at greater risk of collision with offshore wind turbines
In a project funded by The Crown Estate via the Strategic Ornithological Support Services (SOSS) work programme, BTO scientists examined the importance of flight heights in determining the risk posed...