Over the next several decades, as human populations grow and developing countries become more affluent, the demand for energy will soar. Parts of the energy sector are preparing to meet this demand by increasing renewable energy production, which is necessary to combat climate change. But many renewable energy sources have a large energy sprawl—the amount of land needed to produce energy—which can threaten biodiversity and conservation. Is it possible to meet this rise in energy demand, while still conserving natural places and species?
Joseph Kiesecker is the co-author of Energy Sprawl Solutions: Balancing Global Development and Conservation with David Naugle. Joseph Kiesecker is a Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Lands Team. In this capacity his main responsibilities include developing new tools, methods, and techniques that improve conservation. He pioneered the Conservancy’s Development by Design strategy, to improve impact mitigation through the incorporation of predictive modeling to provide solutions that benefits conservation goals and development. He also conducts his own research in areas ranging from disease ecology, to the effectiveness of new conservation tools such as conservation easements.