This thesis investigates the potential for moving towards a best practice for bird mortality mitigation within wind power planning in Sweden. Best practice in this sense involves stakeholder collaboration and consensus on methods for reducing the risk of bird mortality at wind farms in Sweden in line with current legislation.
The main objective was to highlight issues and reach consensus on solutions in relation to bird mortality and disturbance of avifauna in onshore wind power development through the engagement of relevant stakeholders. The secondary objective of the thesis was to evaluate the effectiveness of the collaborative stakeholder workshop method used for use within renewable energy planning conflicts of interest.
The primary data collection method or means used for the thesis was a collaborative stakeholder workshop designed and organized by the author, focused upon building trust among relevant real life stakeholders and a co-evolution of stakeholders towards potential mitigation solutions to bird mortality and disturbance of avifauna within onshore wind power development. The workshop was hosted and facilitated by the author on 19th May 2015 at Uppsala University, Campus Gotland. To compliment this approach a semi-structured interview was custom designed for relevant stakeholders unable to attend the workshop. An analysis of court cases relating to bird mortality in wind power planning was also undertaken with the aim of shedding light on interpretations of legislation relating to bird mortality and disturbance in wind power planning.
The results show stakeholders across both data collection methods agreeing upon the importance of pre-screening and siting of wind turbines as the most important step in moving towards a best practice. In addition the majority of stakeholders highlighted the importance of post-construction mitigation technologies such as DTBird and IdentiFlight to be used as a secondary option within low risk areas once validated. In addition the results highlight a general lack of knowledge relating to the interpretations of relevant legislation among stakeholders.
The analytical findings point towards the importance of engagement, consensus, validation and knowledge in moving towards a best practice for bird mortality mitigation in wind power planning in Sweden. Regarding innovation, the thesis has at least furthered dialogue in relation to best practice of bird mortality mitigation in wind power planning for Sweden and at best put forward a potential solution in an adaptive planning model for the island of Gotland in Sweden using IdentiFlight technology for further discussion and/or development. The thesis also highlights the potential of community planning influenced stakeholder engagement to applied problems within wind power planning in Sweden.
Finally the author's collaborative method designed for the workshop was considered useful through a stakeholder evaluation survey and could perhaps be developed further. The major limitations of the thesis related to the logistics behind organizing a stakeholder workshop. It was difficult to have a fully representative sample at a national level and in this regard the workshop was considered to be of more relevance for the island of Gotland. The complimentary stakeholder interviews were designed to partially compensate for this bias, but again were limited due to finite time and resources.