A position statement from BCT
BCT has concerns about the impacts of climate change and climate unpredictability on bats and on the wider environment. We therefore welcome measures that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and proposals to make the installation of microgeneration technologies easier for owner/occupiers. However, owner/occupiers wishing to install microgeneration technologies will need to consider bats if they are to avoid potential crimes from being committed under the Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations 2010.
The potential impact on bats can arise from either:
(a) the installation of equipment and materials that passes through a roof void where a bat roost is located within the development. This applies to the installation of any fixtures to the roof or alterations to the roof such as might be required for solar panels; or,
(b) operationally where there is a risk for bat strike against moving turbine blades where a micro-turbine is in the vicinity of a bat roost or along flight lines. This maybe within the development or nearby.
The size and roosting behaviour of bats mean that the presence of roosts can often go un-noticed. BCT would therefore advise that owner/occupiers, installers and manufacturers seek the advice of an ecological consultant prior to installing a microgeneration scheme where bats are or are likely to be impacted.