Solar Energy, Wildlife, and Related Natural Resources

Aurora, ENEL

Solar power is estimated to grow up to five-fold in the next decade. REWI is building a solar program that evaluates wildlife, natural resource, and ecosystem interactions with solar energy.

Research Priorities

REWI has worked with a diverse range of experts to identify key areas of research where we will focus in 2023 through 2025 to achieve crucial outcomes for solar energy development and wildlife and related natural resources conservation.


Building on the 2021 Solar Power and Wildlife/Natural Resources Symposium, REWI developed a National Solar Wildlife Research Plan to highlight national priorities, as well as establish REWI priorities to address in the near term. The Plan clarifies the state of the science and encompasses the full mitigation hierarchy to inform avoiding, minimizing, and compensating for impacts, including best practices for when impacts are unavoidable. In the Plan, REWI describes a strategy for evaluating interactions between large-scale PV solar facilities and wildlife by considering solar energy developments as ecosystems within the larger landscape. Viewing PV facilities as ecosystems provides a heuristic approach to organizing research and unites concerns about impacts on species, habitat loss, and species interactions with the growing interest in ecosystem function and services of solar facilities.

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