In Germany, environmental concerns could impact offshore wind development
The concerns show that wind developers are beginning to face the same scrutiny as oil companies for projects in sensitive places, a trend likely to add costs and slim profit margins that already are razor-thin. That adds another hurdle to Chancellor Angela Merkel's effort to build up offshore wind as an alternative to atomic power.
August 16, 2012
by Stefan Nicola
in Bloomberg News
BERLIN -- Porpoises and bombs left by Adolf Hitler's forces six decades ago are adding millions of dollars to costs for wind-turbine developers in waters off Germany, delaying the nation's shift from nuclear energy.
EON AG and RWE AG, the country's two biggest utilities, are using technologies that reduce noise from driving turbines into the seabed after nature groups complained that the work damages the sonar-like hearing of porpoises. Unexploded mines from World War II also are holding up work.
"A porpoise is doomed to die if its hearing is shattered," Kim Detloff, a marine expert at German... [continue via Web link]