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
Dodging the blades: gulls and wind farms
Initial findings suggest that Lesser Black-backed Gulls in north-west England fly within wind farms, but may avoid wind turbines once there.
Assessing the impact of offshore wind farms on seabird populations
New research from the BTO has examined the different analytical tools used to assess the likely population-level impact of offshore wind farm developments on seabirds, finding that these vary widely and are influenced to a large extent by the assumptions made at the start of the analysis.
Assessing offshore wind farm impact assessments for breeding seabirds
As the number of offshore wind farms increases, it is important to correctly assess the impact that these developments can have on wildlife. New research led by the BTO examines this situation for seabirds, considering the current environmental impact assessment process in light of the key factors...
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?
Offshore wind farms are being developed on an unprecedented scale, but their effect on wildlife is not yet well understood. BTO research shows how seabirds’ use of an area earmarked for wind farm development varies, with implications for the likelihood that individuals would be adversely affected...
Understanding the risk of birds colliding with offshore wind turbines
Accurately estimating birds’ risk of collision with offshore wind turbines is a key part of the decision-making process for proposed renewable developments. However, the evidence base for quantifying the number of birds likely to avoid colliding with turbines is limited. Recent BTO-led work helping...
Resolving issues with environmental impact assessment of marine renewable energy installations
Scottish skuas in changing seas
Scotland has a large number of offshore sites where marine renewable developments (including wind, wave and tidal-stream installations) are proposed or under construction.The effect of these developments on marine ecosystems is not yet properly understood. Scotland is home to over 60% of the world’...