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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Over a decade of failure to implement UNEP/EUROBATS guidelines in wind energy planning: A call for action
Author(s): Barré, Kévin
Froidevaux, Jérémy S. P.
Leroux, Camille
Mariton, Léa
Fritze, Marcus
Kerbiriou, Christian
Le Viol, Isabelle
Bas, Yves
Roemer, Charlotte
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Keywords: avoidance
collision risk
conservation planning
ecological impact assessment
international environmental agreement
mitigation hierarchy
Issue Date: Nov-2022
Date Deposited: 25-Apr-2023
Citation: Barré K, Froidevaux JSP, Leroux C, Mariton L, Fritze M, Kerbiriou C, Le Viol I, Bas Y & Roemer C (2022) Over a decade of failure to implement UNEP/EUROBATS guidelines in wind energy planning: A call for action. <i>Conservation Science and Practice</i>, 4 (11), Art. No.: e12805.
Abstract: Wind power generation has grown exponentially over the past 20 years to meet international goals of increasing the share of renewables in energy production. Yet, this process has too often been conducted at the cost of airborne biodiversity such as birds and bats. The latter are severely threatened due to deaths by collision at wind turbine. The UNEP/EUROBATS agreement that came into force in 1994 is now ratified by 37 countries; since 2008, it recommends to site wind turbines at least 200 m away from woody edges to decrease bat fatality risks. However, 14 years later we still do not know to what extent this international recommendation has been applied in Europe. We assessed siting distances between woody edges and wind turbines for the largest wind energy producers among the UNEP/EUROBATS parties: the UK, Germany, and France. We show that 61%, 78%, and 56%, respectively, of the installed wind turbines did not comply with UNEP/EUROBATS guidelines, without improvement over time. We identified probable causes of these findings and provided key policy recommendations to achieve compliance to UNEP/EUROBATS guidelines such as better: (i) inclusion in regulatory texts, (ii) notification of the environmental authorities, and (iii) strategic, well-informed, forward planning of areas suitable for wind turbine development.
DOI Link: 10.1111/csp2.12805
Rights: © 2022 The Authors. Conservation Science and Practice published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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