The Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) was formed in 2003 by Bat Conservation International, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the American Wind Energy Association, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the US Department of Energy. In addition to the founding organizations, BWEC also is funded by a diversity of partners.
As the program coordinator, Michael Schirmacher, Bat Conservation International, is responsible for managing all BWEC activities, such as facilitating research to advance the mission, coordinating BWEC committee actions and recommendations, and disseminating BWEC-sponsored research.
To learn more about BWEC, read its April 2017 charter.
As concerns about climate change and increasing costs and long-term environmental impacts from the use of fossil fuels have heightened, wind has become an increasingly important sector of the energy industry. Wind-generated electricity is renewable and generally considered environmentally clean. However, the direct and indirect local impacts of wind facilities on wildlife continue to be an issue and widespread instances of fatality of birds and bats have been reported.
Unexpectedly high numbers of bat fatalities reported at wind energy sites, especially those on ridge tops in the eastern United States, have heightened the urgency to understand problems and find solutions.