WWF-Canada has released a new interactive decision-making tool called Renewables for Nature which helps to identify regions with high renewable energy potential and comparatively low conflict with nature.
The tool that currently covers New Brunswick and the Bay of Fundy region overlays renewable energy and conservation data on the same map for the first time in Canada, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada informed.
The interactive mapping tool allows users to focus on a region, select an energy type and then see whether an area of high energy potential will be in low, medium, high or critical conflict with conservation and community needs.
The aim of the Renewables for Nature tool is to help renewable energy developers make informed decisions that account for wildlife, habitat, community and cultural needs from the outset, increasing the chance of a project’s success before reaching the environmental assessment stage.
David Miller, WWF-Canada president and CEO, said: “WWF-Canada’s habitat-friendly approach to identifying renewable-energy project locations accounts for the environment before significant investments are made. It will help speed the development of renewable-energy projects that are less likely to conflict with conservation and community needs. It’s a win for the environment, for communities and for industry.”
The energy layer of the tool reveals the resource potential for tidal, offshore wind, solar, hydro, and biomass across the region, while the conservation layer captures data on 728 species at risk, as well as detailed information on biodiversity, habitat and other conservation and community environmental uses for the entire area.