The Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC or Cooperative) is an alliance of experts from government agencies, private industry, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations that cooperate to develop and disseminate solutions to measure and mitigate the impact of wind turbines on bats, while maintaining the ability to develop and operate wind energy facilities in a competitive and cost-effective manner. The BWEC is overseen by the American Clean Power Association (ACP), Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, (AFWA), Bat Conservation International (BCI), Energy and Wildlife Action Coalition (EWAC), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In 2022, the BWEC’s Oversight, Science Advisory, and Technical Advisory Committees met virtually on February 7, 8, 28, March 4, and September 7 for the 6th Science and All Committees Meeting to examine progress of the BWEC toward priorities established at the 2018 meeting, discuss emerging issues, and establish priorities for the Cooperative for the years 2023 to 2026.
Research Priorities and Emerging Issues
The BWEC committee members identified research priorities for 2023–2026 in the following categories
- Population estimation, modeling, and data collection.
- Mortality estimation, modeling, and sampling
- Bat behavior at and around wind turbines
- Bat behavior at the landscape scale
- Other issues included: improved coordination with existing and potential partners, tracking offshore wind development, exploring policy options for implementation of practicable impact reduction strategies, and BWEC’s niche and role for bat and wind energy issues.
Section 6.0 includes tables summarizing specific research priorities and activities by topic. The priorities the BWEC developed do not represent decisions on specific projects, plans, financing, and roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, these priorities are not exclusive to the BWEC or committee members and can be used by anyone interested in bats and wind energy research.