Via EUREC Member, CRES
In Greece, despite the continuously increase of the installed wind farms, the wind energy capacity will have to increase significantly in order to reach the target of 7.5 GW by 2020 set by the National Renewable Energy Action Plan. At the end of 2017 the total installed capacity of wind farms in Greece was about 2.65 GW, meaning that for the period of 2018-2020 more than 3.5 GW new wind farms should be realized.
Wind energy’s ability to produce electricity without carbon emissions is expected to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous effects to wildlife from the climate change as well as to offer several environmental benefits, such as substantially reduction of water withdrawals and consumption, and decreased emissions of mercury and other sources of water and air pollution associated with the burning of fossil fuels. Despite the benefits of wind energy, the siting and operation of wind farms, mainly in sensitive ecological areas (protected areas), continues to be a source of concern for the biodiversity. The extent and severity of the impacts of wind farms on the biodiversity on protected areas, greatly depends on the proper wind farm sitting, on the relevant environmental permits, on the mitigation measures adopted, and in extreme cases on the effectiveness of compensation measures applied.
The project "Demonstration of good practices to minimize impacts of wind farms on biodiversity in Greece, LIFE12BIO/GR/000554", targets at the demonstrative implementation of integrated approaches for the mitigation of impacts on the biodiversity during the operation of wind farms in accordance with the EU guidance document "Wind energy development and Natura 2000”, and on the basis of available novel and modern methods and technologies. The assessment of the extent to which the use of modern methods and technologies can reduce the impacts on biodiversity, whilst maintaining the power output of wind farms, has examined and important outcomes have been achieved.
Modern technologies and best practices can help to avoid and/or to reduce to a tolerable level the impacts of the wind farms on the biodiversity during their design, construction and operation. An important issue during the operation of the wind farms is the use of the so called "early warning systems”, such as ornithological radars, video surveillance systems, thermal cameras and bio-acoustic monitoring systems (e.g bat detectors). These systems along with traditional methods of data collection (e.g optical observations), and the information on the responses of birds to wind turbines, can help to reduce the impact on birds and biodiversity during the operation stage, as well as significantly improve the biodiversity data on the space use within a planned wind farm site during the planning stage.
|View of a Bat detector microphone
View of the video surveillance system
|View of radar demonstration actions
The work that is implemented within the LIFE project will contribute in the successful growth of the wind farms and on the minimization of their impacts on biodiversity in Greece and in other countries. We kindly invite you to visit our site, www.windfarms-wildlife.gr, for more information.
The project LIFE Wind farms & Wildlife (LIFE12BIO/GR/000554) is implemented by the Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving, CRES in collaboration with the NCC Ltd, with the financial support of the European Union LIFE Instrument and the Hellenic Green Fund.
Eftihia Tzen, CEng MIMechE
Mechanical Engineer B.Sc, M.Sc.
CENTRE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES & SAVING, CRES
Wind Energy Department
19th klm Marathonos Ave, 19009 Pikermi, GREECE