Wind Energy - Mitigating Potential Environmental Challenges
Background: Global wind energy facility development is increasing. An Energy Information Administration (EIA) projection expects this trend to continue. While wind energy provides environmental benefits, including lower atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions during electricity generation than from energy sources like fossil fuels, the scale-up in deployment of wind energy facilities could increase the scale of environmental challenges associated with these facilities. For example, the increase in wind energy facilities could result in increased use of natural resources like balsa wood and steel, decommissioning and recycling difficulties, and ecological effects such as wildlife harm. Some current and emerging technologies or approaches may help mitigate these challenges, and federal agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of the Interior (Interior), and Marine Mammal Commission may play a role in the use of these mitigations. Key Questions: 1) What technologies or approaches might help mitigate the potential environmental challenges related to the manufacture, construction, operation, and decommission of utility-scale wind energy facilities? 2) What obstacles might hinder implementation of those mitigation technologies or approaches? 3) What policy options might help address obstacles to the implementation of mitigation technologies or approaches, and what are the opportunities and considerations of these policy options?
Short title:
Wind Energy - Mitigating Potential Environmental Challenges
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Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics team of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) (STAA)
United States of America