A major conference on Wind Energy and Wildlife Impacts was held at Trondheim, Norway in May 2011. This event brought together many of the leading international researchers on wind farm-wildlife interactions. BSG is in the process of collating and reviewing many of the studies that are most pertinent to the UK. This process helps us to keep improving our assessment work, and allows us to disseminate our findings and thoughts to our clients and other interested parties.
This note is the first of these review articles and concerns monitoring at the Egmond aan Zee Offshore Wind Farm, which lies off the Dutch coast. The authors studied bird behaviour in relation to the wind farm for three years using radar and field surveyors. This has resulted in detailed information being collected on the altitude and flight paths of birds, and has revealed patterns of seasonal use of the airspace within and above the turbine array. The study has demonstrated displacement from and avoidance of the wind farm in some bird species, and no active avoidance or rapid habituation in others.
A more in-depth appraisal of the study, and our thoughts on what it might mean for the wind industry can be found below.
For advice on birds and wind farms, please speak to one of our specialists:
Owain Gabb (Oxford office)
Matt Hobbs (Monmouth office)