WREN (Working Together to Resolve Environmental Effects of Wind Energy), also known as Task 34, was established by the IEA Wind Committee in October 2012 to address environmental issues associated with commercial development of land based and offshore wind energy projects. As the operating agent for WREN, the US leads this effort with support from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the US Department of Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO).
The primary objective of WREN is to facilitate international collaboration and advance global understanding of potential environmental effects of wind energy. To support this effort, Tethys was expanded to serve as a collaborative outreach and engagement space, and to disseminate knowledge and information. While most WREN information and content is publicly accessible, some space is reserved for WREN member nations for collaborative work, under password-protection.
To access member-only material, visit the WREN Members Page.
Countries Currently Involved in WREN (12)
- United Kingdom
- United States
WREN White Papers
WREN is producing a series of white papers that address common problems facing wind and wildlife interactions, for which solutions are often elusive, and that do not fall within the purviews of industry, regulators, or researchers. The list of white papers is available below. As each paper is produced, it will be made available on Tethys. Each white paper is also summarized into a 2-page fact sheet, also available on Tethys. The summaries are translated into additional languages, representing the WREN network. The following are completed or planned:
- 2016 Adaptive Management White Paper (Fact Sheet)
- Individual to Populations (Fact Sheet)
- Risk-Based Environmental Management (In Progress)
- Green versus Green (In Progress)
- Cumulative Effects Assessment (In Progress)
WREN Short Science Summaries
WREN seeks to summarize the current state of the science on interactions between wind energy development (land-based and offshore) and wildlife. A series of short science summaries are being prepared and made available for download on Tethys:
- WREN Fact Sheet
- European Wolves and Wind Energy Development
- Harbor Porpoises and Offshore Wind Energy
- Tethys Fact Sheet 2017
WREN hosts quarterly webinars on the environmental concerns that are of importance to the land-based and offshore wind energy industries, as a means to effectively disseminate new information and research efforts to a large international audience of stakeholders. You can sign up to receive invitations to live webinars here.
Presentations from past wind energy webinars are hosted on Tethys, along with the associated video, as well as questions and answers. Visit the archive.
Knowledge Base and Map Viewer
Tethys has collected over 2,400 documents related to the environmental effects of wind energy (land-based and offshore). All documents are available in a table format via the Tethys Knowledge Base, which can be easily filtered to find documents relevant to specific searches such as document type, technology type, or environmental effect. Any documents related to a spatial location have been geotagged and made available on the Tethys Map Viewer (note: the Map Viewer contains only a subset of the documents available in the Knowledge Base).
As an international initiative with 11 countries participating, in-person meetings among WREN country representatives are an important aspect as we work together to achieve the goals of WREN. These meetings occur twice a year, often in conjunction with related international conferences. The following is a list of all WREN meetings – both past and upcoming:
- WREN 2018 Meeting - Tarifa, Spain: November 6-8, 2018
- WREN 2018 Meeting - The Hague, Netherlands: May 23-25, 2018
- WREN 2017 Meeting - Estoril, Portugal: September 4-5, 2017
- WREN 2017 Meeting - Gotland, Sweden: June 14-15, 2017
- WREN 2016 Meeting - Broomfield, US: November 28-29, 2016
- WREN 2016 Meeting - Dublin, Ireland: April 4-5, 2016
- WREN 2015 Meeting - Bern, Switzerland: October 21-22, 2015
- WREN 2015 Meeting - Berlin, Germany: March 13, 2015
- WREN 2014 Meeting - Denver, US: December 2, 2014
- WREN 2014 Meeting - Newcastle, UK: May 15-16, 2014
- WREN 2013 Kick-Off Meeting - Trondheim, Norway: December 3-5, 2013
Tethys supports collaborative interactions among researchers, developers, regulators, and stakeholders for responsible development of wind energy. Notably, the IEA Wind’s WREN initiative is supported by Tethys. Below is a list of strategic project partners with WREN:
|US Department of Energy (DOE)||The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office supports Tethys and views Tethys as one of their major outreach programs. DOE is a US federal partner in WREN.|
|Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)||BOEM promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of offshore conventional and renewable energy and marine mineral resources. BOEM is a US federal partner in WREN.|
|National Oceanic and atmospheric Association (NOAA)||NOAA is a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. They conduct daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and support marine commerce. NOAA is a US federal partner in WREN.|
|US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)||The US Fish and Wildlife Service is a federal agency located within the US Department of Interior, and is intended to manage fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. Some of the USFWS responsibilities include enforcing wildlife laws, protecting endangered species, protecting migratory birds, restoring nationally significant fisheries and conserving and restoring wildlife habitat. USFWS is a US federal partner in WREN.|
|International Energy Agency (IEA) - Wind||IEA Wind is the implementing agreement for co-operation in the research, development, and deployment of wind energy systems. Founded in 1977, the IEA Wind Agreement sponsors cooperative research tasks between the 23 member nations and organizations, and provides a forum for international discussion of research and development issues. Task 34 (known as WREN) deals with the environmental effects of wind energy and is hosted on Tethys.|
|National Wind Coordinating Collaborative (NWCC)||NWCC is an open collaborative of leaders in the wind industry, wildlife management agencies, and science and governmental organizations who collaborate on a shared mission: to facilitate timely and responsible development of wind energy while protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat.|
|Wind-Wildlife Impacts Literature Database (WILD)||WILD was created by NREL in 1997 to provide access to documents that cover the impact of wildlife from a variety of technologies, including: land-based wind energy, offshore wind energy, marine energy, power lines, and towers. WILD provides and updates the collection of land-based wind that is available in Tethys.|
Any questions related to WREN can be directed to the following individuals, who are leading the initiative: