Governments and developers are pursuing offshore wind energy to address climate change, but multiple wind farms may cumulatively affect wildlife populations. Assessments of cumulative effects must first calculate the cumulative exposure of a wildlife population to a hazard and then estimate how the exposure will affect the population. Our research responds to the first need by developing a model designed to assess how different wind farm siting scenarios cumulatively expose wildlife. The model assesses cumulative exposure by identifying all locations where development could occur, placing wind farms within this suitability layer, and then overlaying wind engineering and biological data sets. The first model output is a graphical representation of how offshore wind farm siting decisions affect wildlife cumulative exposure. The second output is an index that ranks which offshore wind farm siting decisions will have the greatest influence on wildlife cumulative exposure. Together these outputs provide stakeholders with valuable information that could be used to guide siting and management decisions.
Assessing the cumulative exposure of wildlife to offshore wind energy development
Title: Assessing the cumulative exposure of wildlife to offshore wind energy development
April 01, 2019
Journal: Journal of Environmental Management
Wing Goodale, M.; Milman, A. (2019). Assessing the cumulative exposure of wildlife to offshore wind energy development. Journal of Environmental Management, 235, 77-83.