Applying risk management science to wind farm development

Authors: Arie Feltman-Frank*, University of Denver
Topics: Energy, Environment, Development
Keywords: wind energy development, environmental compliance, conservation, risk management
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download


Wind energy projects can have negative effects on wildlife. Managing risk to wildlife is difficult, especially when the behavioral patterns of some species are poorly characterized. As a result, there is growing interest in establishing better practices to quantify and manage risk to wildlife in the face of industry uncertainties. These practices will play an essential role in setting the balance between clean energy development and conservation priorities. Managing environmental risk is a critical function for wind farm developers and regulatory bodies. However, the chosen risk management (RM) practice is not always derived from the scientific foundation of the field of RM. Ideally, there should be a strategic process that achieves a customized management approach that is most fitting for a classified risk and based on the scientific principles of RM. Following a comprehensive literature review related to RM practices, tools, and case studies in the wind industry and other related industries, this narrative highlights where RM has been applied, where it has been most effective, and how it can be improved. We suggest a stepwise process for incorporating RM science into decision making frameworks. Depending on the classification of a high priority environmental risk at a proposed wind farm, some management practices are more suitable than others. Understanding when to use each management practice can significantly improve management results and achieve the desired goals of accomplishing successful wind farm development while concurrently minimizing deleterious environmental impacts.

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