This is the fifth in a series of meetings organized by the National Wind Coordinating Committee (NWCC)’s Wildlife Workgroup (formerly the Avian Subcommittee). Bringing together representatives from government and non-government organizations, from private business, and from academia, these meetings are convened to examine current research on the impacts of wind energy development on wildlife and to discuss the most effective ways to mitigate such impacts. Earlier meetings focused on birds; the scope has been expanded to examine study methods and metrics, impacts and mitigation strategies related to bats and other wildlife.
Wind energy is able to generate electricity without many of the environmental impacts (conventional and toxic air pollution and greenhouse gases, water use and pollution, and habitat destruction) associated with other energy sources. This can significantly benefit birds, bats, and many other plant and animal species. However, the direct and indirect local impacts of wind plants on birds and bats continue to be an issue. The populations of many bird and bat species are experiencing long-term declines, due to the effects of a wide range of human activities, including energy production and consumption.