Bureau Waardenburg
Varkensmarkt 9
4101 CK Culemborg
the Netherlands
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Wind turbines and bats

The prevention of bat casualties is a component of the development plan for Dutch wind farms.

The Dutch Mammal Society and Bureau Waardenburg conducted research into the effects of wind farms on bats. This study was commissioned by the Dutch Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland) with co-funding by Eneco and Nuon. The reports are available for download.

Prediction model for the effects of wind turbines on bats 

The Netherlands aims to generate 14% of its electricity through renewable energy by 2020. Much of the focus is on the development of onshore and offshore wind energy. The Dutch government is looking to maintain a good balance between the various interests involved during the development of plans for wind farms. The environment and its flora and fauna remain important and the prevention of  casualties among bats is a key issue. In 2011, a project was commissioned to develop a prediction model to assess the effects of wind turbines on bats.

Evidence-based predictions

Based on new field research at five Dutch wind farms, a prediction model (based on German research) has been developed for the Dutch situation. This allows the number of potential bat casualties at a wind farm to be predicted. This model has proved reliable, but for more accurate predictions field research should always be undertaken. Furthermore, research protocols have been developed that aim to ensure that data are collected in a consistent manor. This will ensure that future studies remain comparable and will allow data to be shared. This is important to provide a good overview from a range of situations. 

Research into bats at wind farms

Research into bats was undertaken at five wind farms in open landscapes in the west of the Netherlands. Bat activity was measured throughout August and September using automated acoustic detection devices at hub-height and closer to the ground. The area surrounding the turbines was intensively searched three-times a week for signs of collision victims. A total of two bats were found as collision victim. Experiments looking into the disappearance rates of collision victims and finding probabilities were carried out. This was essential for informing the models and for estimating the numbers of collision victims, which happened to be fairly low for the wind farms investigated.

Download the reports

The Research report and protocols are available in English on the website of the Dutch Government's Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland).

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