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WREN – Working Together to Resolve Environmental
Effects of Wind Energy

BACKGROUND Concerns over environmental effects of wind energy continue to challenge the wide scale deployment of both offshore and land-based wind projects. To address this challenge at an international level, IEA Wind Task 34 was originally approved by the IEA Wind Executive Committee in October 2012. Representatives from participating countries met in December 2013 in Trondheim, Norway for the initial project planning meeting. A summary of Task 34, now known as WREN, is below.

VISION IEA Wind Task 34 – WREN is the leading international forum for supporting deployment of wind energy technology across the globe through a better understanding of environmental issues, efficient monitoring programs, and effective mitigation strategies.

GOAL/WORK PLAN The goal of WREN is to facilitate international collaboration that advances global understanding of environmental effects of offshore and land-based wind energy development. WREN aims to create a shared global knowledge base and community of practice around research, monitoring and management of the environmental effects of wind energy development

Over the next three years, WREN will seek to achieve its goals through two primary sets of activities:

1. Serve as a “Hub” to facilitate collaboration within the international community on wind environmental issues. The Hub will focus information-sharing activities (web meetings/webinars, annual seminars and workshops), and will also be developed as an online platform that will facilitate finding information on research, and will provide tools for communication and collaboration.

The Hub will:

• Foster international collaboration through hosting online meetings and activities, and keeping the community apprised of upcoming environmental/wind events;
• Increase the centralized collection and access to knowledge on land-based and offshore wind energy environmental effects, impact reduction, monitoring methods, and research being conducted around the world;
• Provide a starting point for regulatory frameworks in nations around the world;
• Identify effective monitoring practices and strategies for impact avoidance, minimization, mitigation, and compensation; and,
• Actively aggregate and provide access to research results, white papers, key contacts, and pertinent events for the wind community.

2. Develop white papers that focus, facilitate discussion on, and advance the state of understanding of global concerns within the wind community. The WREN team has decided initially to focus on Adaptive Management, Cumulative Impacts, and Interpreting Impacts on Individual Wildlife to the Population Level.

Banner above. The Greater Prairie Chicken is one of the subjects of environmental studies preceding wind farm development in the United States. Credit: Lance McNew