Radar technology – advanced methods of tracking birds and bats as part of the development of wind farm projects

October 20, 2021 – today, on Brijuni Islands, the workshop “Radar technology – advanced methods of monitoring birds and bats in the development of wind farms” was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.
Organized by OIKON – Institute of Applied Ecology, Robin Radar Systems, Supernatural and the Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia, it was the first workshop of its kind.
It included a presentation of advanced methods of protecting wildlife using radar technology. The technology has not yet been used for this purpose in Croatia, although it is widespread in countries with a developed renewable energy sources sector.
Workshop participants – including representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, nature protection experts, developers and investors in renewable energy sources, licensed environmental consulting companies and specialized NGOs – discussed the development challenges of wind farm projects in Croatia. Measures to mitigate adverse effects on wildlife, namely the use of radar technology, were also discussed.  
When speaking about the planned development in the energy sector of the Republic of Croatia, Sanja Ivelj, Head of Sector for Energy Market Development and Infrastructure, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, emphasized the goals of energy policies.  That achieving a green transition needed the cooperation of all stakeholders, and this would result in a rapid shift towards low-carbon goals and economic growth.
Maja Pokrovac, director of the association “Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia”, added that Croatia has exceptional potential in the development of renewable energy sources. She said: “For the first time at this conference, we join the green goals of Croatia and the EU and the need to protect the environment and nature. The technology that we presented for the first time in Croatia today does just that, and enables us to make the synergy better.”
Aljoša Duplić emphasized that our task is not only to preserve but to improve nature and biodiversity. The Director of the Institute for Environment and Nature at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said: “We, as a society, must respond to the challenge of transformation into, not just a low-carbon society, but a climate-neutral society. The European Commission has set clear and rather ambitious goals and we as a continent want to be global leaders on the road to carbon and climate neutrality. One of the answers to this quest is renewable energy sources”.
The main challenge in the development and operation of wind farms is the possible loss of birds and bats when they collide with rotating wind turbine blades. Therefore, smart planning and effective measures to mitigate the impact of wind farms on birds and bats are key to the environmental sustainability of the production of this type of green energy.

Traditionally, the monitoring of birds in the project area is carried out by periodic observation of their movement, via several methods. The activity of bats is monitored by recording their sound and sometimes the movement.
“The complete solution lies in combining traditional monitoring methods with new tools and advanced data analysis, which results in much better environmental impact assessment. It also means more effective control and implementation of mitigation measures,” explained Dalibor Hatić, director of Oikon – Institute of Applied Ecology. “The use of radar technology will enable better planning and use of Croatia’s wind energy potential, providing greater economic benefits and stability of green energy supply while protecting nature more effectively.”
This application of radar technology was presented by experts from Dutch company Robin Radar Systems. Robin has carefully developed this technology, but experts from Finland and Denmark shared their experiences of using it in practice.
Barbara Vodarić Šurija from the State Hydrometeorological Institute spoke about the importance of meteorological radars in monitoring biological elements.
As part of the radar presentation, targeted research on birds and bats was carried out on the Brijuni Islands, and an upgrade of the bat research system was made. This had not been sufficiently developed so far.
“We managed to determine the species of bats that move in the area and their flight patterns – this is very valuable data – important not only for this area and for Croatia, but also for the development of the entire system,” said Mirna Mazija, CEO of Supernatural. “I believe that this will be a global idea that we will continue to develop.”
Sibylle Giraud from Robin Radar Systems concluded with: “I am extremely pleased to be able to come here today, to this beautiful island, and present the possibilities of this new technology. Technology, that helps find solutions in achieving green energy and protecting nature at the same time.”
Oikon d.o.o.
Oikon d.o.o.