Spatial statistical modelling to assess wind energy allocation and improve bat conservation

Supervision: Dr. Reinhard Klenke
Student granted: Aleksandra Zarzycka
Funded by: DBU MOE-Austauschstipendienprogramm
(FKZ: 30016/668)
External Partners/Supervisors: Dr. Agata Hościło,Dr. Marcin Brzeziński
Project management: Dr. Reinhard Klenke
Project duration: 08.02. 2016 - 07.08. 2016

Motivation & Description

Reduction of greenhouse gases emissions resulting from carbon–based energy sources is one of the most important tasks for mitigating and minimizing the negative consequences of human induced global warming. Beside the reduction of energy consumption, renewable energy sources are an effective measure for achieving this goal. However, they can also pose a threat to biodiversity. Increased mortality of bats and birds due to collisions with wind turbines is an important negative environmental impact of wind energy.

Germany is among world leaders in wind energy development reaching third place globally with 41.651 MW of installed capacity (GWEC 2015). Neighboring Poland has substantially less developed wind energy production with only 5010 MW of capacity further investment in this area is anticipated (EWEA 2015). Therefore comparative analysis of the wind energy impact on bats between Poland and Germany can be a relevant contribution for establishing future solutions for sustainable management of this conflict, whilst Germany can serve as a case study to forecast the situation in Poland in coming decades.

The aims of this project are a comparative analysis of available collision records from Western Poland and Eastern Germany, as well as the identification of those eco-geographical factors that promote fatality. This will allow identifying regions with the highest probability of bat collisions as well as provide a basis for improving the regional planning to ensure that wind energy development has less impact on regional, transboundary, and migrating populations of bats.