Renewable energy

Wind farms

Waardenburg Ecology has been studying the effects of wind turbines on wildlife since the 1990s. This includes research into flight behaviour, area use and mortality in and around wind farms, both on land and offshore, as well as mitigation and scour protection. We use this extensive knowledge to assess the potential effects on wildlife and look for solutions that benefit both wildlife and people.

We have been using radars to study the flight behaviour of birds for over 25 years, and we use also acoustic monitors to study bats. This information is used in models to predict the level of mortality in planned wind farms. We assess any effects against wildlife legislation and identify measures to reduce any negative effects on wildlife. We are at the forefront of ecologcial research into offshore wind and on ways of enhancing biodiversity in offshore developments.

Assessments and monitoring

During the past few decades, we have performed ecological assessments for hundreds of wind farms both on land and offshore. We advise on initial assessments in the planning phase to EIAs and support in legal proceedings. We also develop monitoring programmes to assess the effects of new wind farms during and after construction, and during the operation and decommisioning phases we identify ways to reduce impacts on wildlife, particularly through nature-based solutions.

Mitigation and compensation

Technical solutions can be used to reduce the effects of wind turbines on wildlife. Anti-motion smear patterns can increase the visibility of turbines and detection systems or predictive modelling can be used to initiate controlled shutdown. Where possible, we identify opportunities to enhance opportunities for wildlife and reduce the negative effects of wind turbines. We investigate the effectiveness of these measures, contribute to expert groups and monitor the latest developments in the field.
Read more about optimising offshore wind at the ecosystem scale

Cumulative effects

In addition to assessing the effect of individual wind farms, it is crucial to assess the cumulative effects. This is a standard part of our Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). Furthermore, we work on improving the assessment of cumulative effects by identifying gaps in the knowledge and targeted research.