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Tuesday, 02 November 2010

Guidelines to reconcile wind energy and biodiversity

While in general terms wind energy does not represent a threat to wildlife, poorly sited or designed wind farms can have a negative impact on vulnerable species and habitats. That's why the European Commission has published today guidelines for wind energy development in protected natural areas. The guidelines apply to the Natura 2000 network, a cornerstone of EU biodiversity policy and a key tool to achieve the EU target of halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2020. Wind energy has an important role to play in meeting the EU target of 20% renewable energy in Europe’s total energy consumption by 2020, and its deployment in Natura 2000 areas is not automatically excluded. But such developments need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment said: “These new guidelines will give Member States and industry clarity regarding the undertaking of wind energy development activities in accordance with Natura 2000 requirements. There is no change of legislation or policy, but merely guidance on existing law. Our aim is to ensure that renewable energy targets are met while fully respecting EU law on species protection."

Source: European Commission

 

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