Abstract

The deployment of thousands of wind energy facilities required to meet various renewable energy targets will bring changes to the nation’s landscapes, communities, and economies. Identifying and reconciling the trade-offs that inevitably arise from projects such as locating wind energy facilities is a major challenge to successfully meeting renewable energy targets. These complex challenges span scientific disciplines, involve multiple scales, lack well-defined solutions, and involve public values. Integrated assessment has been used effectively to address a number of complex challenges, ranging from climate change to “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico. The intent of this integrated assessment project, and this paper in particular, is to comprehensively analyze the challenges to siting on- and offshore wind turbines in one particular region of coastal West Michigan, including Oceana, Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan counties. By combining science and public participation, our integrated assessment will empower citizens and local governments to make informed decisions about wind energy facilities in their communities. Our project will enhance capacity to find locally appropriate solutions regarding wind energy development, and will help Michigan achieve its ten-percent renewable energy target in a manner that is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable.

Keywords

wind energy, renewable resources, wind power, renewable energy sources

Disciplines

Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Oil, Gas, and Energy