Impact on Wildlife and Europe
Previous studies have already highlighted that more than 200,000 bats are killed each year by German wind turbines. Researchers are convinced that such high mortality rates may not be sustainable ...Voigt calls for stronger legislative agreements. The large-scale development of wind farms throughout Germany may have negative consequences for even remote ecosystems in northeastern Europe.
On 12 January 2012, at the First Scientific Congress on Wind Energy and Wildlife Conservation in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, the Spanish Society of Ornithology (SEO/Birdlife) made public its estimate that, yearly, Spain's 18,000 wind turbines may be killing 6 to 18 million birds and bats.
The court has accepted the group's accusation that the regional authority was duty bound to take into account the collective environmental impact of all twelve projects as a whole once built, rather than the impact of each individual project. The remaining nine cases are pending a court verdict.
Some 1,101 new wind turbines will be built in the Sámi reindeer herding community in Lappland. That would entail the loss of 25 percent of the grazing lands. Wind power is seen as a considerable threat to the reindeer industry in Scandinavia.
In order to help local authorities decide on how to grant planning permission for wind turbines on Natura 2000 protected land, European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik has recently published (29 October 2010) new guidelines to clarify existing EU legislation on the matter.
"There's a lot of development going on in the seas of Europe that hasn't been going on before," Simmonds said.
"As people who are essentially environmentalists at heart we like renewable energy...but it's the way that these things are being constructed and fixed into the seabed, the hammering, the pile-driving, this is a very loud source of noise."
A new wind park, whose turbines have special sensors for automatic stoppage if they sense movement of birds, was opened in Algarve on May 16, by Portugal's Minister of Economy, Innovation and Development, Viera da Silva.
The district was offered 5,000 kronor ($695) per annum per turbine - a total of 5.5 million per annum, on completion of the project, but has demanded a significantly higher sum, local newspaper Piteå-Tidningen reports.
"We say no. The money is not in parity with the problems that this causes and the threat against our reindeer herding," Anders Ruth at the district told the newspaper.
An appeal has been lodged against the licences for all six wind farms that Statkraft and SCA plan to construct in Jämtland and Västernorrland - Sweden's largest ever expansion of wind power. The appeals will result in delays of about one year.
The project consists of 460 wind turbines.
Viennese wild animal experts are investigating after an imperial eagle was discovered cut to pieces close to wind turbines in Burgenland last weekend. ...The eagle was discovered by a hunter on Saturday.
A new study indicates that winds turbines could be contributing to the local extinction of an endangered vulture in southern Spain. ...The results suggest that if the number of wind turbines stays the same as it is today, the population will go extinct 10 years sooner than if there were no wind farms.
Could wind farms hasten the local extinction of an endangered vulture in southern Spain?
Massive wind turbines seem to be killing more and more migratory bats, prompting research into these neglected creatures and efforts to minimize the toll. ...The deaths have led to a flurry of research on migratory bats and their behavior. "The problem with bats and wind energy has pushed a lot of work that wouldn't have occurred otherwise," says Edward Arnett of the Austin, Texas-based nonprofit Bat Conservation International. Indeed, at a January conference in Berlin on migratory bats, wind farms were a dominant theme. Scientists are racing to figure out what brings the bats in contact with wind turbines, and what can be done to save them.
Wind farms in Italy threaten to wipe out the Golden Eagle, farmers` organisation Coldiretti and national environmental organisations said Wednesday.
A conference against wind power in Rome heard that huge numbers of birds are already being killed when they collide with the spokes of wind towers in Italy.
Plans to build an ecologically friendly wind farm in northern Poland are being scrapped, after environmentalists pointed out that it would break EU laws on bird protection.
The Debki beaches, on the Baltic coast, were set to see the construction of wind turbines but the project will not be realized as it would pose a serious risk to the region's birds.
Wind farms could be having a radical impact on North Sea wildlife, a new study warns. ...In a paper published this month in the Journal of Marine Systems, Goran Brostrom, of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, warns that generating power at sea threatens marine life.
Extracting energy from wind changes regional air currents, which can in turn affect how the nearby ocean circulates, according to Goran Brostrom of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in Oslo.
In a paper published this month in Journal of Marine Systems, Brostrom shows in a model that winds swirling at 11 to 22 miles per hour downwind of large farms are uneven. As they blow over the ocean they can roil the waters, causing upwelling. ...the effect is enough to bring nutrient-rich waters up from the depths, which marine life can thrive on.
Renomar will continue operation of the wind farms of Arriel (Vilafranca) and Folch II (Castellfort) wind farms, with 43 wind turbines, despite a closure order on the Environment, "until a final decision." The company behind the wind turbines has appealed arguing the closure order "does not conform to law nor to reality." The May 30 order demanded the stay of the two wind parks in the Wind Zone 3 of the Plan de la Comunidad Valenciana, due to the high mortality of vultures recorded. The two parks have a Declaration of Environmental Impact (DIA), which adopted its own conselleria.
The company insists it has complied with all environmental measures that have been demanded including "painting the blades of wind turbines with zebra" stripes as well as conducting several studies on the impact of birds prior to the installation of the windmills ".
The complaint claims that unique natural habitats in the north-eastern Kaliakra region have been destroyed in the process of building a wind farm. It has been backed by 12 other environmental and civil non-governmental organisations. The environmentalists believe that Kaliakra "is emblematic of how innovations and investment are used to mask criminal encroachment on bio-diversity". The complaint package includes documents, photos and maps showing the damage that the wind farm projects have done to nature.
The government wants 45% of the country's electricity to come from renewables such as wind, hydro, and solar by 2010. And that's just a start.
"This challenge will create a new industrial revolution," Portugal's economy minister, Manuel Pinho, told the BBC. ...The campaigners are torn between their concern about climate change and their love for the wildlife.
"We should have renewable power but not at any price," Joao says.