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IEA Wind Task 34
Proposed Revised Vision, Goals, and Work Package

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

GOAL
The goal of Task 34 is to facilitate international collaboration that advances global understanding of environmental effects of offshore and land-based wind energy development. Task 34 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.

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 in principle by the IEA Wind Executive Committee in October 2012. Representatives from six participating countries (Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States) met in December 2013 in Trondheim, Norway for a planning meeting. During this initial in-person meeting, participating members refined the Task vision, objectives, and proposed activities.

Over subsequent discussions, conducted either in person, through conference calls, or through email exchanges, specific activities have been further refined. The participating members rebranded IEA Wind Task 34 to WREN – Working Together to Resolve Environmental Effects of Wind Energy and have developed the Work Plan described below.

WORK PLAN
The activities currently planned within WREN are anticipated to be conducted through October 2016. WREN will seek to achieve its goals through two primary sets of activities:

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

The Hub will:

o Foster international collaboration through a variety of channels.
o Increase the centralized collection and access to knowledge on land-based and offshore wind energy regulatory structures, environmental effects, impact reduction, monitoring methods, and research being conducted around the world;
o Identify effective monitoring practices and strategies for impact avoidance, minimization, mitigation, and compensation; and,
o Actively aggregate and provide access to research results, white papers, key contacts, and pertinent events for the wind community.

2. Develop white papers, which focus and facilitate discussion on and advance the state of understanding of global concerns within the wind community. Topics identified during the initial meeting include: adaptive management, cumulative impacts, transboundary collaboration, “green vs. green” (e.g. balancing the local effects of a wind facility on sensitive species against its global benefits such as CO2 emissions), and individual vs. population effects.

Schedule:
Year 2 - May 2013-April 2014
Begin development of a Hub for information exchange and collaboration. Information Technology (IT) Platform Development

IT Platform Development

Inventory/analysis/comparison of regulatory contexts
of participating nations

Stakeholder survey to identify common challenges and thematic areas where more work is needed

White paper development

Task 34 telephone meeting by mid-April 2014

Year 3- May 2014-April 2015

In-person meeting of the Task 34 representatives in May 2014

Inventory/analysis/comparison of regulatory contexts
of participating nations

Hub Activities

IT Platform Development

    • Hub platform identified by May 2014.
    • A work group will be formed and take initial steps to design the IT portion of the Hub, based on the need for access to information, and constrained by infrastructure capabilities of the member nations by June 2014.
    • Working version of Hub developed and access provided to Task 34 members for review by October 2014.
    • Initial establishment of links to data and metadata added to Hub by December 2014. This will include links to databases and other information sources on land-based and offshore wind energy environmental effects, impact reduction, monitoring methods, and research being conducted around the world and on monitoring practices and strategies for impact avoidance, minimization, mitigation, and compensation
    • Establish community functions of Hub (social media links, commenting ability etc.) by December 2014.
    • Quarterly blog posts begin in December 2014. These blogs will highlight new research and developments in the field of wind wildlife impact monitoring and mitigation strategies. Member nations will be asked to help identify relevant blog topics and authors.
    • Review of the Hub by member nation representatives and other experts by February 2015.
    • Revisions of the Hub to reflect reviews by April 2015.

Community Outreach

In-person meeting of WREN representatives in December, 2014

WREN Workshop

White paper development

Year 4- May 2015-April 2016

Hub Activities

IT Platform Development

  • Formal press releases about the Hub by May 2015.
  • Continued addition of links to data and metadata to the Hub (on-going).
  • Second peer review of Hub content by experts. Experts will be asked to rate the coverage of the Hub and to identify significant gaps in content and future desired functionality. Gaps identified will be filled by April 2016.
  • Quarterly blog posts.

Community Outreach

  • Bi-annual webinars to highlight research of note June and November of 2015.
  • Bi-annual newsletters released June and November of 2015.

In-person meeting of WREN representatives in March, 2015 (held in conjunction with Conference on Wind energy and Wildlife impacts)

WREN Workshop

White paper development

In-person meeting of the WREN representatives in Fall, 2015 (held in conjunction with workshop)

In-person meeting of the WREN representatives by April 2016.

QA/QC PROCESS FOR PRODUCTS

Member nation representatives will be provided with the opportunity to review and comment on all products prior to their release. The final white paper(s) will be reviewed by an additional group of scientific peer reviewers identified by the WREN members in order to ensure the accuracy and credibility of the document(s).

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