Is It Possible to Balance Energy Development with Biodiversity Protection?

June 15, 2017

The New Book – Energy Sprawl Solutions: Balancing Global Development and Conservation, Provides a Roadmap For an Energy Future That Conserves Functional and Connected Ecosystems

Joe Kiesecker, Lead Scientist for the Global Lands Team, The Nature Conservancy

(Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 15, 2017) – While essential to combat climate change, the transition to renewable energy risks trading one crisis for another: climate change for energy sprawl—the amount of land needed to produce energy. A growing energy footprint requires careful thought about our world’s energy mix, but even a renewable energy future is not necessarily a green one. Many renewable energy sources have a large footprint which can threaten biodiversity and conservation. With rising energy demands around the world expected to convert one-fifth of remaining natural lands, is it possible to balance energy development with biodiversity protection?

Energy Sprawl Solutions: Balancing Global Development and Conservation provides a roadmap for an energy future that conserves functional and connected ecosystems. The key to success, it shows, is identifying the right energy mix and where to place it. This common sense solution involves identifying and preemptively setting aside land where biodiversity should be protected, while consolidating energy development in areas with lower conservation value.

Illustrated with maps, charts, and tables, Energy Sprawl Solutions is an indispensable guide for elected officials, industry representatives, natural resource managers, environmental groups, and more. We already have the tools necessary to forecast where and how energy development should take place to protect natural spaces.

Informed by experts in diverse fields such as conservation, ecology, ecosystem services, landscape planning, energy, economics, finance, and more, this contributed volume calls for a collaborative approach that engages industry, the environmental community, national governments, and international agencies. After laying out the challenges of balancing conservation with energy security, case studies show best practices for sustainable energy development. 

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