Global climate change is among the greatest threats confronting both human and natural systems (IPCC, 2007). A substantial component of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is from energy production, generated via the burning of fossil fuels, especially coal, natural gas and refined petroleum. Given that reduction in global energy consumption is unlikely over the next century or so, renewable energy generation has been proposed as a low‐carbon alternative to limit GHG emissions. Consequently, many national and regional governments have set targets for renewable energy manufacture and use (e.g. ‘20% Wind Energy by 2030’ – DoE, 2008; EU, 2009). Nevertheless, despite the benefits associated with reducing carbon emissions, renewable energy development itself has important, sometimes severe, implications for the conservation of biodiversity that should not be ignored. A central challenge and opportunity for animal conservation is to understand and manage environmental problems associated with the rapid growth in renewable energy production, while simultaneously maintaining progress toward reducing dependence on fossil fuels.