Political frameworks and guidelines concerning endangered species and species of concern affect the development of wind energy in many countries such as the United States of America and Germany. Renewable energies, with a focus on wind development, are rapidly growing worldwide and the necessity to ensure environmental and species protection during this development is essential. Concerns in wind energy development include direct and indirect effects on endangered species or species of concern. Through such policies as the Endangered Species Act in the U.S. and the Habitats Directive in Europe, mitigation measures have been taken to lower possible negative impacts on species around wind facilities and wind turbines.
This paper shows a multiple-case study analysis of eighteen locations, nine in the U.S. and nine in Germany, with a thorough analysis of literature, political reports, and policies, comparing trans-Atlantic commonalities and differences at or around onshore wind facilities. The biggest differences between U.S. and German policy in terms of species protection is the legal and illegal taking of endangered species, along with avoidance and minimization measures, CEF and compensatory mitigation, and the different levels of accessibility of information for wind development. With this collection of research, this paper not only aims to show the different mitigation strategies for wild-life management around wind facilities, but to also aid policymakers, regulators, and the wind industry in developing the most beneficial cost effective guidelines and/or policies for species protection and wind energy development.