Wind energy is a key component of government strategy to decarbonise the Irish economy and reduce the impacts of climate change. It provides environmental benefits over other forms of energy production, including near-zero greenhouse gas emissions, reductions in air pollution, and little or no water use during electricity production. As of 2016, wind energy alone was responsible for a reduction in CO2 emissions of over 2 million tonnes per year in Ireland. However, as with all forms of energy production, poorly sited or badly designed wind energy projects can have adverse impacts on wildlife and habitats.
The initial focus of MKO Research relates to biodiversity and renewable energy, and specifically to the interactions between wildlife and wind energy.
MKO Research conducts research to advance our understanding of wind energy risks to wildlife and develop solutions to avoid, minimise and offset those impacts. Building on existing knowledge in Ireland and developing novel cutting-edge approaches, we contribute to global applied knowledge on wildlife-wind energy interactions through open-access, peer-reviewed scientific studies. MKO Research works collaboratively with conservation organisations, academic institutions, and governmental agencies in Ireland to ensure that efforts to develop wind energy are aligned with national conservation priorities.