Wildlife-Friendly Renewable Energy

Siting renewable energies so it is both low-carbon and sustainable for wildlife populations

Golden Eagle Photo: Nathan Rupert

Global warming is one of today’s most significant threats facing birds and people alike, and renewable energy will be a substantial part of the solution to global warming. Across the US and in California in particular, renewable energy have been rapidly developing and expanding in recent years. But with the growth of the industry must also come careful and strategic planning.

Audubon consistently advocates that new projects must be sited right. The idea behind so-called “smart siting” is that power plants and transmission lines must be located and designed using methods that avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts to the fullest extent possible. Smart-siting really follows a few simple and intuitive steps: identify and avoid important wildlife areas; within a project footprint, identify and avoid areas that will pose the greatest risk to wildlife; place power plants close to people so less transmission infrastructure is needed; and develop power plants on previously-disturbed land to protect habitat.

Audubon California and our allies have the opportunity to push renewable energy development down the right path in a state that is leading the country in setting renewable energy goals. What happens in California is being watched across the world. We can show that low-carbon energy can be developed in a way that is economical and sustainable for local wildlife and habitats.

The resources below offer a more detailed explanation of smart-siting, as well as considerations for different types of renewable energy. Further resources for Audubon chapter members can be found by visiting the Moore Charitable Foundation Energy Siting Resource Center on Audubon Works.

Renewable Energy Siting 101
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy Siting 101

A primer to wildlife-friendly renewable energy in California in 3 graphics

Read more

Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

The plan, also known as DRECP, will protect our deserts while fighting against climate change.

Read more

Energy Storage and the Electricity Grid
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy and the Electricity Grid

Our electricity grid is in need of upgrades to fully support renewable energy.

Read more

Solar Power
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

Solar Power

From rooftop panels to concentrated towers, there's more to solar than you might guess.

Read more

Wind Power
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

Wind Power

While some wind farms have earned a bad rep, wind energy can be sited to greatly minimize threats to birds.

Read more

Geothermal Power
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

Geothermal Power

The earth's energy can help fight climate and revitalize the Salton Sea area.

Read more

News & Updates

Wind Power
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

Wind Power

While some wind farms have earned a bad rep, wind energy can be sited to greatly minimize threats to birds.

Running on sunshine
Audublog

Running on sunshine

Debs Park Center hosts solar installation and maintenance workshop

Evelyn Cormier: bird protector, climate activist and general busybody
Audublog

Evelyn Cormier: bird protector, climate activist and general busybody

At 85, Cormier has no plans to let the Altamont Pass Wind Farm off the hook anytime soon

The path from eagle endangerment to protection
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

The path from eagle endangerment to protection

Duke Energy revamps bird-safety measures at Wyoming wind farm following 2013 prosecution

Solar Power
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

Solar Power

From rooftop panels to concentrated towers, there's more to solar than you might guess.

Energy Storage and the Electricity Grid
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy and the Electricity Grid

Our electricity grid is in need of upgrades to fully support renewable energy.

Following Ventura: can oil spills really be cleaned up?
Audublog

Following Ventura: can oil spills really be cleaned up?

The cleanup in Ventura is still ongoing, but statistics cast doubt on the ability of oil spill cleanups to save birds.

What is geothermal power, and how might it save the Salton Sea?
Audublog

What is geothermal power, and how might it save the Salton Sea?

Geothermal has the potential to be the renewable energy to help humans and birds in the area.

A Day in the Capitol
Audublog

A Day in the Capitol

Ever wonder how Audubon California helps get conservation legislation done in Sacramento? Join me on my day in the Capitol finding out.

How you can help, right now