In June, over 40 individuals from various European public and private entities came together in Lisbon to discuss how impacts on biodiversity by wind energy projects could be decreased. The result is a series of presentations regarding, “Wind Power and Biodiversity: Tools to Measure, Avoid and Compensate Impacts.” The workshop, organized by EDP, Bio3 and the Fundacion Global Nature, demonstrated to participants practical solutions to real world wind energy problems.
As wind energy gains momentum, so have concerns about its environmental impacts. Experts explained that by following the mitigation hierarchy, environmental aspects can be measured properly and realistically taken into account. The workshop was moderated by António Sá da Costa, president of APREN (Portuguese Renewable Energy Association). Throughout the day, there were 12 presentations and three working groups for a “World Café” discussion session.
Key discussions included:
- What instruments can be used to measure and quantify impacts on flora and fauna during operation in a cost-effective way? A site and species-specific methodology is needed.
- How to avoid and minimize the negative effects: Selecting the best location and conducting a proper environmental impact assessment (EIA).
- When and how can unavoidable impacts be compensated: EIA as an open process.
- What offset measures can be applied to compensate the negative impacts? How to select target-species, how to conduct habitat management and how to manage prey populations recovery.
The workshop was just one of many initiatives of the European Business and Biodiversity Campaign.