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Natura 2000 blows away wind farm

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.

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.

Environmental officials claim that the turbines would break directives of Natura 2000, a European Union ecological network set up in 1992 extending the so-called Birds Directive of 1979.

The campaig against the wind farm in Debki started in 2008 and has been supported by celebrities such as actors Marian Opania and Malgorzata Braunek and composers Krzysztof Penderecki and Elzbieta Sikora, who are known to holiday in the region.

The wind farm was planned to be built five kilometres from the coastline, but campaigners claimed that it will be an eyesore and would endanger some of the unique birdlife in the area.

"We are not against wind turbines in principle but not in this place, so close to the coast," says Braunek.

The Regional Director for Environmental Protection in Gdansk informed Wiatrpol, a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

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.

Environmental officials claim that the turbines would break directives of Natura 2000, a European Union ecological network set up in 1992 extending the so-called Birds Directive of 1979.

The campaig against the wind farm in Debki started in 2008 and has been supported by celebrities such as actors Marian Opania and Malgorzata Braunek and composers Krzysztof Penderecki and Elzbieta Sikora, who are known to holiday in the region.

The wind farm was planned to be built five kilometres from the coastline, but campaigners claimed that it will be an eyesore and would endanger some of the unique birdlife in the area.

"We are not against wind turbines in principle but not in this place, so close to the coast," says Braunek.

The Regional Director for Environmental Protection in Gdansk informed Wiatrpol, a Gdansk-based company with Danish investors, that the wind farm will not be built, saying that the 33 turbines at a height of 150 metres would present a fatal hazard to the region's birds.

"Natura 2000 does not mean one cannot build anything," says Hanna Dzikowska, director of the Regional Repartment for Environmental Protection. "It is possible but it is first necessary to check the impact of the investment on endangered species and look for alternative locations," added the director.

In its defense, Wiatrpol presented a report showing that in the area where the turbines were to be built, there are less birds (around 29 per square kilometer) than the average for the region - 111 birds per square kilometer. However, authorities were not given specific information as to the dates of the research and were uncertain as to whether or not the data was collected at a time of high bird migration.

Preliminary reports have provided an alternative location of one kilometer from the coastline. "Maybe it is a more expensive option, but it is not acceptable that the turbines are built wherever is in the best interest of a corporation," claims Dzikowska.

"I am in the process of analyzing the decision and I will not comment on it. For now, I do know that we will not cancel the project," claims Artur Szulc, managing director of Wiatrpol.

Under EU directives, Poland has committed itself to produce 15 percent of its energy needs from renewable such as wind power by 2020, at a cost of 1 billion euros.


Source: http://www.polskieradio.pl/...

JUN 16 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/20663-natura-2000-blows-away-wind-farm
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