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Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Wildlife – An International Synopsis

Project Information
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Project Lead :
Prof. Dr. Johann Köppel
Research Associate:
Dr. Gesa Geißler
M.Sc. Victoria Gartman
M.Sc. Eva Schuster
November 2012 - August 2015


Today wind energy is one of the fastest growing and most promising renewable resources in order to meet the increasing energy demand around the world. However, balancing the different objectives of climate protection and wildlife conservation is challenging. The importance of this topic is shown by the vast number of studies that has been carried out during the last decade. At present some of the most discussed areas of research are collision risk of migratory birds, increase in bat mortality due to barotrauma and disturbance of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) due to noise pollution during construction. Adjacent to the investigation of potential impacts on sensitive species during construction and operation, a number of mitigation measures have already been developed.

The research project “Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Wildlife – An international Synopsis” (“Internationale Synopse von Umweltauswirkungen auf die wildlebende Fauna durch die Windenergie”) is aiming at bundling and consolidating the state of knowledge. Thus comprehensive tendencies can be detected, the significance of impacts and the effectiveness of mitigation measures can be estimated. Furthermore the development of an international synopsis in terms of an interim conclusion facilitates the identification of knowledge gaps and remaining uncertainties from which further research questions can be deduced.


SCHUSTER, E. , BULLING, L. and KÖPPEL, J. (2015): Consolidating the State of Knowledge: A Synoptical Review of Wind Energy’s Wildlife Effects. Environmental Management April 2015: 1–32.

KÖPPEL, J., DAHMEN, M., HELFRICH, J., SCHUSTER, E. and BULLING, L. (2014): Cautious but Committed: Moving Toward Adaptive Planning and Operation Strategies for Renewable Energy’s Wildlife Implications. Environmental Management, 54 (4): 744–755.


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