Environmental opportunities exist for both those coming from an ecological background and those entering the sector with qualifications in environmental engineering. Basically, the roles are divided between the ecologists and biological scientists who must be capable of auditing the present state of the environment, and from then monitor and suggest industry targets. Their counterparts in industry are charged with cleaning up business practices and reducing the exposure to financial cost and increased risk associated with environmental damage.
There are a large number of government and NGO departments concerned with environmental protection, both in the preparation of legislation and its subsequent enforcement. Most companies have specialist environmental engineers both to monitor existing methods and design new improved systems which offer reduced emissions and lowered risk of environmental accidents.
Environmental Impact Assessments
A rigorous requirement for full Environmental Impact Assessments is becoming normal in many areas as part of the planning process for RE installations. Ecologists with local species and habitat knowledge are required to audit the local biodiversity and rank its environmental importance before any EIA or SEAs can be prepared.
Wind Farm EIAs
The specific environmental issues surrounding wind farms such as noise impacts and shadow flicker require particular specialised expertise to ensure the provision of satisfactory assessments. Specialist computing modelling skills in bespoke wind energy software packages are now aiding this task.
Knowledge of local and national environmental legislation is valued by many operators within Renewable Energy. There is a vast array of legislation already in operation which must be negotiated by those charged with achieving consents. To match the multitude of local environmental concerns and the ever growing list of national wildlife conservation acts, there is the larger impact of international agreements which bring forth treaties such as the recently endorsed Kyoto Protocol.
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