Department of Geography and the Environment

Colloquium: Dr. Michael Slattery

Fri, September 6, 2013 | CLA 0.128

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Colloquium: Dr. Michael Slattery

The Department of Geography and the Environment is pleased to present visiting speaker Dr. Michael Slattery for our Fall 2013 Colloquium series.

Key Issues Facing the Development of Large-scale Wind Energy

Summary:  Wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of power generation in the world. In the U.S., wind has grown 25%-50% per year between 2005 and 2010 and now supplies approximately 2.5% of annual U.S. electricity consumption. However, the dramatic growth in wind power development has raised a number of challenges for the industry. These include concerns over potential impacts to wildlife, particularly birds and bats, visual and noise impacts on communities, issues relating to siting, and the ability to more clearly identify the system-wide environmental and emissions impacts from wind energy. This talk presents major findings from the first four years of work on the TCU-Oxford-Nextera Wind Initiative, a multi-year, multi-institutional research collaboration between several universities. Several key questions have emerged from the research, including:

  1. Can wind power coexist with thriving bird and bat populations? Specifically, can we predict when and where high fatality bird and bat events will occur and what can we do to mitigate against them?
  2. What are the relative roles of various environmental impacts from wind turbines on public attitudes?
  3. What natural and social conditions influence public attitudes and what role (if any) does proximity have in influencing public attitudes?
  4. What are the life-cycle emissions from clean generation technologies such as wind relative to other generation technologies?

We address these questions in the two most important states for wind development in the U.S., Texas and Iowa. The overall goal of this initiative is to better understand the ecological impacts of, and public reactions to, large-scale wind developments as a step toward more widespread use of renewable energy resources.

This event is open to the public. For more information call (512)232-1595 or email Madeline Enos at

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