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Welcome to IEA Wind Task 34 – Workplan

Task 34 activities will draw upon efforts in member countries that are developing procedures and conducting assessments of the environmental impacts of wind technology deployment on land and offshore. A kick-off meeting will be held to draft a detailed framework for cooperation and a set of specific issues to be addressed under the Task.

The primary areas of common interest include utility-scale implementation of turbines offshore and on land. Countries and organizations may choose technology deployment approaches of greatest interest to their national goals and objectives. Although there is clear overlap between issues of land-based and offshore deployment, research strategies and focuses can be different. For this reason, meetings will be structured to allow the greatest flexibility for attendees. For example, a three-day meeting may cover offshore assessments on the first day, more general cumulative study issues on the second day, and land-based assessment topics on the third day.

This work will be undertaken in close collaboration with other IEA activities, most specifically the IEA Ocean Energy Systems Annex 4: Assessment of Environmental Effects and Monitoring Efforts for Ocean Wave, Tidal and Current Energy Systems. Because the environmental impact of wind development has strong ties to the social acceptability of the technology, ties to IEA Wind Task 28, Social Acceptance of Wind Energy Projects will also be maintained.

Task participants will share the work necessary to address the task objectives. The following work packages will be elaborated following the kick-off meeting. Work Packages #1 and #2 are parallel activities, focusing on different applications. They are separated to make it easier for countries to align themselves with one or the other if they only have interest in one deployment area (i.e. land-based or offshore).

Work Package # 1: Land-based, utility-scale, and distributed wind
This effort will collect and synthesize information on environmental monitoring and research on the impacts of land-based wind development. It will be focused on both utility-scale and distributed applications, dependent on the consensus made during the kick-off meeting. The goal is to identify effective and promising monitoring practices and tools, successful mitigation strategies, and approaches to predicting wildlife impacts from land-based wind.

WP1, Phase 1: Information Collection, Integration, and Analysis
Many countries have supported significant efforts to assess wildlife interactions with land-based wind projects. Phase 1 will aggregate publicly available information on monitoring efforts, mitigation strategies, and tools for predicting impacts of wind development on land. The emphasis will be to collect peer-reviewed scientific research on land-based wind impacts both before and after construction. In the first year, a workshop will be convened for the research and development communities to identify ongoing research and to help shape the scope of this effort.

Each participant will assemble relevant information for their country and share it with the task. Once a critical mass of existing information has been gathered, trends and outcomes will be highlighted. The participants will identify additional information necessary to understand the potential environmental effects of land-based wind development and these research needs will be discussed. The analyses and the assembled national project and research reports will be made available through a task website.

WP 1, Phase 2: State-of-the-Science Report
During year four, the aggregated data, reports, and subsequent analyses will be used to develop a State-of-the-Science report that examines the impacts of land-based wind and highlights proven methods to monitor, mitigate, and predict impacts. The report will identify research gaps to help focus future work in this area. The scientific community will be brought together in workshops to assist in the development of the document and to review all work products. To the greatest extent possible, the document will identify effective and promising monitoring practices and tools, and appropriate mitigation strategies. Lessons learned from permitting and siting challenges for land-based wind projects will be identified. Analogous solutions from offshore wind projects, as identified in WP #2, will be applied. These lessons learned and analogous solutions will be reported in the State-of-the-Science report. Case studies and improvements in outcomes will also be included.

Work Package 2: Offshore Wind, Utility-Scale Wind
This effort will collect and synthesize information on environmental monitoring and research on the effects of offshore wind development, identify effective and promising monitoring practices and tools, and identify appropriate mitigation strategies.

WP 2, Phase 1: Information Collection, Integration, and Analysis
Many developers and regulators see the data collected for consenting (permitting) and monitoring purposes as proprietary to the wind developer. Because relatively few studies of environmental effects are readily available for dissemination, the first two years of Work Package 2 will be spent collecting environmental effects metadata. Standardized information will be sought that describes the regulatory questions, monitoring methods, results, and mitigation strategies for offshore wind projects. Outcomes of research studies that focus on offshore wind environmental effects will also be collected. Member nations will gather and share information for their own countries. To the greatest extent possible, data and reports from offshore wind project monitoring and research papers will be gathered as well. In the first year, a workshop will be held to bring together the research and development communities to help identify ongoing research and shape the scope of the Task 34 effort. Once a critical mass of information has been gathered, the aggregation of this information will be analyzed to highlight trends and outcomes, and to identify gaps in information needed to understand the potential environmental effects of offshore wind development. The metadata, analyses, and all accompanying project and research reports will be made available through the task website.

Phase 2: State-of-the-Science Report
During year four, the aggregation of metadata, data, reports and subsequent analyses will be used to develop a State-of-the-Science report that examines the effects of specific environmental stressors from offshore wind development on avian and marine animals, habitats and ecosystem processes, as well as to identify research needed to fill critical information gaps. The scientific community will be brought together in workshops to assist in the development of the document and to review all work products. To the greatest extent possible, the report will identify effective and promising monitoring practices and tools, and appropriate mitigation strategies. Lessons learned from solving permitting and siting challenges in the offshore area will be identified and brought together with analogous solutions from land-based wind projects, as identified in Work Package 1. These lessons learned and analogous solutions will be reported in the State-of-the-Science report. Case studies and improvements in outcomes will also be included.

Specific final activities under each of the work packages will be based on further discussion held at the kick-off meeting for Task 34.

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