Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy 101

Generating clean, renewable electricity from sun, wind and geothermal sources is one of the best ways to slow down global climate change—one of the leading threats facing wildlife today. Defenders of Wildlife is helping guide our nation’s transition to clean energy in a way that protects wildlife and habitats by ensuring renewable energy projects are built “smart from the start.”

What Is Smart from the Start?

To minimize the impact on wildlife, renewable energy projects should:

  • Be subject to a comprehensive environmental review, based on thorough analyses of the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of proposed projects
  • Be built near cities and big energy users and give priority to using existing transmission lines and roads
  • To the extent possible, be located in areas with little habitat value such as already degraded lands, former industrial sites, or abandoned agricultural lands to reduce the impact on sensitive wildlife habitat and other important natural and cultural resources
  • Incorporate measures that protect or restore similar habitat and ecosystems to compensate for any unavoidable impacts on wildlife

What Defenders Is Doing to Help

Defenders is working with federal and state agencies to help shape policies for renewable energy development. We also partner with non-government organizations and project developers to develop strategies and plans that help accelerate renewable energy development, while protecting wildlife and wild places. Defenders also provides guidance on individual renewable energy projects, with a particular emphasis on avoiding, minimizing and mitigating impacts on wildlife and habitats.

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Polar bear, © Tom Schneider
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