Sustainable development of wind energy in          Ireland – challenges of biodiversity and                    ecosystem s...
Outline• Energy policy• Impacts on biodiversity   – National/international literature   – Spatial analyses• Key gaps/resea...
Policy Drivers“Directive on the promotion of the use  of energy from renewable sources”
How will we meet the 2020 Renewable Energy targets?                                              Wind                     ...
(EEA, 2009)
Impacts on Species & Habitats • Birds & Bats        –    Collision        –    Avoidance (energetic costs)        –    Bir...
Effects on birds are variable and context specific.           BirdWatch Ireland                    BirdWatch Ireland      ...
Q. How much viable wind do we have inside and outside of                                           designated areas?      ...
Q. Can we meet renewable energy targets without developing                             designated areas?                  ...
Q. Where are wind farms located and planned in the future?Q. Is the density of wind farm development a problem and is it i...
Future Challenges (1)•   Adequate evidence to provide sound advise•   More publishing of data•   Inaccessible grey literat...
Stacks to Mullaghareirk Mountains, West  Future Challenges (2)          Limerick Hills and Mount Eagle SPAMultiple stresso...
Key areas for future research• Bird/bat sensitivity maps• Population-level impacts• Species specific studies• Identificati...
bourkedo@tcd.ie              Thanks to        Ms Soledad ColombeSustainable Energy Authority of Ireland          BirdWatch...
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Sustainable development of wind energy in Ireland - challenges of biodiversity and ecosystem services - David Bourke

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Sustainable development of wind energy in Ireland - challenges of biodiversity and ecosystem services - David Bourke

  1. 1. Sustainable development of wind energy in Ireland – challenges of biodiversity and ecosystem services. David BourkeAinhoa González, Nova Sharkey, Jesko Zimmermann, John McCann, and Jane Stout
  2. 2. Outline• Energy policy• Impacts on biodiversity – National/international literature – Spatial analyses• Key gaps/research questions
  3. 3. Policy Drivers“Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources”
  4. 4. How will we meet the 2020 Renewable Energy targets? Wind Wave Biomass2041 MW of installed wind capacity – 174 onshore (1 offshore – 25 MW) SEAI Report (2011) “Energy Forecasts for Ireland to 2020”.
  5. 5. (EEA, 2009)
  6. 6. Impacts on Species & Habitats • Birds & Bats – Collision – Avoidance (energetic costs) – Birds of prey, upland & waterbirds – Migration routes Bird Watch Ireland – Barotrauma - bats • Cetaceans/marine communities – Noise, habitat loss, collisions, habitat creation • Habitat disturbance, fragmentation NPWS Baerwald et al. (2008)(Inger et al., 2009; Maar et al., 2009) (Drewitt and Langston, 2006; Stewart et al. , 2007; Masden et al. 2010)
  7. 7. Effects on birds are variable and context specific. BirdWatch Ireland BirdWatch Ireland Pearse-Higgins et al. (2012)
  8. 8. Q. How much viable wind do we have inside and outside of designated areas? 70,000 Designated 60,000 Non designatedArea Con > 7m/s (km2) 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 50m 75m 100m Turbine Hub Height Bourke et al. (in prep)
  9. 9. Q. Can we meet renewable energy targets without developing designated areas? 70,000 Designated 60,000 Non designated ~4000 MW Q. Height v Density?Area Con > 7m/s (km2) 50,000 40,000 30,000 •Impacts different species 5 – 10 MW/km2 20,000 •Turbine footprint reduced 10,000 400 to 800km2 0 50m 75m 100m Turbine Hub Height Bourke et al. (in prep)
  10. 10. Q. Where are wind farms located and planned in the future?Q. Is the density of wind farm development a problem and is it in the “right or wrong places”? Bourke et al. (in prep)
  11. 11. Future Challenges (1)• Adequate evidence to provide sound advise• More publishing of data• Inaccessible grey literature/internal reports• Many gaps in our knowledge – Fundamental ecological understanding – Impacts on species? – Impacts on habitats?
  12. 12. Stacks to Mullaghareirk Mountains, West Future Challenges (2) Limerick Hills and Mount Eagle SPAMultiple stressors & cumulative effects • Development (e.g. wind farms, roads) • Climate change • Land-use change • Invasive species • Habitat loss Future Challenges (3) • Planning • Assessment • Monitoring Photo: RSPB Images/Andy Hay/PA Wire
  13. 13. Key areas for future research• Bird/bat sensitivity maps• Population-level impacts• Species specific studies• Identification of migration routes/corridors and stepping stones of bats in Ireland• Cumulative effects• Preliminary research into impacts on marine species and habitats
  14. 14. bourkedo@tcd.ie Thanks to Ms Soledad ColombeSustainable Energy Authority of Ireland BirdWatch Ireland EirGridSpecial thanks to the SIMBIOSYS Team and the EPA for funding. Bird Watch Ireland

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