Environmental Research -
Terrestrial Resources and Energy

California is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world and supports more unique plants and animals than any other state in the U.S. The Energy Commission strives to maintain a reliable, efficient, and affordable energy system in a manner that protects the state's biodiversity. Energy regulators and stakeholders benefit from having sufficient scientific information and tools to facilitate the permitting process while reducing biological impacts

montage of terrestrial energy issues

The Terrestrial Resources focus area of PIER-EA promotes research in the following areas:

  • Reducing wildlife interactions with utility structures and wind turbines.
  • Reducing environmental impacts of renewable energy.
  • Energy facility siting support.

This research aims to:

  • Guide the energy siting and development process.
  • Test innovative mitigation and management strategies.
  • Study environmental impacts and protect the state's biodiversity.

See Final Reports and Publications

See Fact Sheets for ongoing and recent projects

Featured Research Issues and Publications:

Reducing wildlife interactions with utility structures and wind turbines

Wildlife interactions with utility structures and wind turbines can result in electrocutions and collisions. Such interactions can result in negative impacts to birds and bats, costly power outages, permitting delays, and violations of state and federal laws.

Reducing environmental impacts of renewable energy

Attaining California's renewable energy and bioenergy goals can have serious implications to biodiversity due to habitat type conversion, forest thinning, and large land requirements, particularly in sensitive habitats such as desert environments.

Energy facility siting support

Research to develop guidelines, best management practices, and tools to facilitate analysis and mitigation related to siting various types of energy facilities is needed to help regulators and decision makers conduct balanced environmental analyses and make informed decisions.