Mitigating biodiversity impacts associated with solar and wind energy development

Authors: Bennun, L., van Bochove, J., Ng, C., Fletcher, C., Wilson, D., Phair, N., Carbone, Giulia,

Achieving a climate-resilient future requires rapid, sustained and far-reaching transformations in energy, land-use, infrastructure and industrial systems. Large-scale expansion of renewable energy can play a critical role in meeting the world’s growing energy demands and in the fight against climate change. However, even ‘clean’ energy sources can have significant unintended impacts on the environment. The guidelines aim to provide practical support for solar and wind energy developments by effectively managing risks and improving overall outcomes related to biodiversity and ecosystem services. They are industry-focused and can be applied across the whole project development life cycle, from early planning through to decommissioning and repowering, using the mitigation hierarchy as a clear framework for planning and implementation. The mitigation hierarchy is applied to direct, indirect and cumulative impacts. The catalogue of resources relevant to mitigating biodiversity impacts associated with solar and wind energy development (Annex 1 of the publication) is available as a separate, downloadable, spreadsheet.