Documents from Europe
The United Kingdom has has taken steps to reduce the financial burden of supporting renewable energy in the country. The Government introduced its new Low Carbon Levies (LCL) framework which was designed to control the cost of supporting low carbon electricity paid by consumers on their electric bills. The plan addresses the costs of the 'Contracts for Difference' (CFD), the 'Renewable Obligation' (RO) and the 'Feed in Tariff Scheme' (FiTs). The government asserted that it will monitor the total cost of these programs and, "Until the total burden of these costs is forecast to fall in real terms over a sustained period, the Control will not allow for new low carbon electricity levies to be introduced. Based on the current forecast, ...this will rule out new levy spend until 2025." The portion of the Government document is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The new report prepared by economics professor Gordon Hughes, a former advisor to World Bank, Dr Capell Aris, a fellow of the IET, and Dr John Constable of the Global Warming Policy Forum, explains how the broad assumption that offshore wind prices are falling is not valid. Through a detailed statistical analysis of the data, covering 86 wind farms, the authors found that capital cost of offshore wind (£/MWh installed) is actually rising as a consequence of companies moving into deeper and deeper waters. The summary of the report is provided below. The full report can be downloaded from this page.
FINLAND. Aunio Group Oy from Oulu has developed a device for measuring and recording infrasound produced by wind turbines. The measurement equipment can be used to produce research data for investigating the characteristics of infrasound and where it spreads, and to analyze any health problems it may cause. The infrasound produced by wind turbines differs from infra-sounds occurring in nature; according to measurements the infrasound produced by wind turbines is a clear signal - distinguishable from ambient noise in the environment. This paper describes the method of evaluating the Anuio Group's device and the results. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
On December 24, 2015, a Vestas wind turbine collapsed in Lemnhult, Sweden. More than a year later, the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority has launched its report. The full report, in Swedish, can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. An English summary which is also provded in the report is posted below. Images of the collapsed Vestas V112 turbine can be found here.
This important research identified that migrating raptor species tend to be attracted to offshore wind turbines and that the risk of colliding with wind turbines at sea is much greater than previously assumed. The abstract and resulting discussion of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be downloaded by clinking the links on this page.
This paper argues that the methods and data used when estimating effects of offshore wind turbines on seabird population rates and the potential impacts on seabird populations are grossly inadequate. As a result, Environmental Impact Assessments cannot solely be relied on to report risks. The conclusions cited in the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This important paper appears to have identified a relationship between wind turbines and stress levels in badgers. The abstract and introduction of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Polish National Institute of Public Health has filed this opinion regarding the construction of industrial wind energy facilities in close proximity to residential areas.
The European Court of Justice has ruled against Bulgaria in a case brought by the European Commission against the country over its failure to protect unique habitats and important species in the Kaliakra special protection area at the Black Sea coast, the court announced on January 14 2016. Projects such as wind turbines, a golf course, spa and hotels have been approved and built in the area by Bulgarian authorities, despite the likelihood it would lead to significant disturbance of these protected species. As a result, the court has found Bulgaria to be breaching the EU’s Birds and Habitats Directives. A portion of the ruling is below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This decision letter issued by the United Kingdom energy secretary reports that the Mynydd y Gwynt wind energy proposal has been denied. Reasons for the denial include the secretary's inability to determine the project's impact on red kites resident at the Elenydd-Mallaen special protection area (SPA). A portion of the decision is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The project would have sited 27 turbines of between 3 MW and 3.3 MW each in Powys.
This study was undertaken to understand the landscape, visual and historic environment effects of operational wind farms in Northumberland in the United Kingdom. The report and its findings can be viewed by clicking on the links on this page. A summary of the findings excerpted from the report is provided below.
RAF pilots have reported a catalogue of near misses with wind farms in the United Kingdom. Pilots are making over 1,000 manual corrections to their charts every month to try and keep up with the changes. This document presents the reports completed by the pilots. The Light Aircraft Association (LAA) also warns there is a potential for a mid-air disaster.
This study looked at whether the visual, shadow flicker and noise impacts predicted by wind farm developers in documentation submitted with their planning applications are consistent with the impacts experienced once the wind farm is operational. Through an examination of 10 wind energy facilities, the authors concluded that in some cases the impacts described in the planning applications did not match the actual impact. A summary of the study and findings is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Scientists at the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews tracked 24 harbor seals and their behavior while offshore wind turbines were being installed on the east coast of England, in 2012. They predicted that half of the seals tracked received sound levels from pile driving that exceeded auditory damage thresholds. The results have implications for offshore industry and will be important for policymakers developing guidance for pile driving. A summary of the findings is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Poland’s President-elect Andrzej Duda declares in this statement that he would push for passing a law preventing the placement of wind energy facilities within a specified distance from homes. The original signed statement is provided on this page in Polish. The English translation is posted below and also can be accessed as an attached document.
This important study concludes that more than 250,000 bats are killed annually due to interactions with German wind turbines, and total losses may account for more than two million killed bats over the past 10 years, if mitigation measures were not practiced. The abstract to the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
In this case, the claimant, Andrew Joicey, argued six grounds for overturning the planning approval of a 100kilowatt wind turbine. Primary among the complaints was that the planning council did not provide public access to the turbine noise assessment report until a day before the hearing where approval was granted. Complaints were also issued over whether the council properly considered the cumulative impact of noise from a neighboring wind project. The count agreed with Mr. Joicey and overturned the approval. This is the third time the court overturned a planning decision approving this turbine. The decision can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The introduction of the decision is provided below.