In recent years, bird deaths in wind power plants within the United States have become an important issue with economic, legal, policy and research dimensions. The National Avian-Wind Power Planning Meeting was convened to focus on the research aspects, particularly to (1) identify and prioritize key issues with respect to bird-wind turbine interactions, (2) define a research agenda to resolve scientific and technical issues, while (3) insuring transferability of results, (4) avoiding duplication and inadequate science, and (5) building consensus on approaches to the research needed to address the issues. The meeting was organized by groups with many perspectives on the issue: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Department of Energy (DoE), American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), National Audubon Society (NAS), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
About 57 individuals representing these and other interested groups, plus various independent scientists with relevant expertise, met in Lakewood Colorado, on 20-21 July 1994. They
- reviewed the status of wind power in the U.S.A.,
- developed lists of research questions,
- reviewed past and ongoing avian research at wind plants in the U.S.A and Europe,
- discussed general design concepts for avian-wind power research, including both monitoring methods and the Adaptive Resource Management approach,
- discussed desirable components of an integrated national research program, and
- identified next steps that should be taken.
The meeting Proceedings volume includes a Meeting Summary section (p. 80ff) covering each of the above topics, plus a more detailed description of the presentations, discussions and conclusions on each topic.
Meeting attendees recommended that some of the technical issues identified at this meeting be taken up by a group with a broader representation and mandate, including the economic, policy and legal ramifications. The National Wind Coordinating Committee's Avian Subcommittee may be an appropriate group to carry forward the work begun at this meeting. The overall goal might be to devise a process, incorporating scientific research as a major element, that would allow the wind industry to develop without the occurrence of an unacceptable number of bird deaths.
Table of Contents:
- WIND TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
- Wind Power Status and Utility Activities
- AVIAN MORTALITY QUESTIONS AT WIND PLANTS
- Initial List of Avian Mortality Questions
- Towards a Prioritized List of Research Questions
- AVIAN MORTALITY AT WIND PLANTS: PAST AND ONGOING RESEARCH
- The History of Wind-Related Avian Research in the U.S.A.
- Industry Research: Kenetech Windpower
- U.S. Federal Wind Energy Program Avian Research Projects
- Lessons from Utility Structure Environmental Impacts
- Bird/Wind Turbine Investigations in Europe
- Bird/Wind Turbine Investigations in Southern Spain
- DESIGNS FOR AVIAN-WIND POWER RESEARCH
- Standardized Assessment and Monitoring Protocols
- Conceptual Framework: Adaptive Resource Management and the Integration of Diverse Studies
- DEFINING AN INTEGRATED PLAN FOR AVIAN-WIND POWER RESEARCH
- Principles for an National Avian-Wind Power Research Plan
- Towards a National Research Agenda