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Good practice in reconciling onshore and offshore wind with environmental objectives (GPWIND)

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GP WIND addressed barriers to the development of onshore and offshore wind generation, specifically by developing good practice in reconciling objectives on renewable energy with wider environmental objectives and actively involving communities in development and implementation. By bringing together developers, government bodies, environmental agencies and NGOs, GP WIND has developed a Good Practice Guide and a Toolkit, which can be used to facilitate deployment of renewable energy in support of the 2020 targets. These outputs were based on 16 thematic case studies covering environmental and community related issues.  The key added European value of GP WIND is to demonstrate and disseminate good practice from individual countries to target audiences from across the EU.


  • The project has identified and described good practice case studies relevant to reconciling renewable energy generation with environmental concerns and achieving social and community acceptance. The resulting outputs have relevance across Europe.
  • There is clear evidence -from feedback and written statements of commitment- of the adoption of the Good Practice Guide’s recommendations reducing barriers and delays to the deployment of wind energy in Europe, and helping to ensure that projects are taken forward in ways which protect the environment and which are sensitive to the needs of communities.
  • The evidence so far points to improved adoption of best practices and policy recommendations. This will influence future policy, guidelines and procedures at European, national, regional and local level, specifically in terms of dealing with applications for the development of wind farms and the implementation of environmental directives.
  • The adoption of early and meaningful engagement with communities will help shape suitable developments which have a better chance of timely consent, improving public perceptions. There is already evidence of strengthening procedures in socio-economics. Offshore: the guidance and collation of experience and practices from around Europe will help reduce uncertainty, particularly around best procedures for offshore development and permitting.
  • The project has developed a set of guides based on good practices across Europe for the development of onshore and offshore wind farms with a strong consideration for environmental impacts and an increased public acceptance.

Lessons learned

  • By carrying out detailed case studies, GP WIND identified market barriers and ways to address these across regions and technologies. By successfully drawing on the experience of a wide range of partners from across the EU, it was possible to ensure the cross-fertilisation of ideas and much data was collected that can now be applied in other countries. The GP WIND good practice approach could help to standardise processes throughout the partner countries.
  • Having partners from different cultures dealing with similar problems but using different application processes has generated new ideas that can be replicated across diverse locations in the EU. The Good Practice Guidance is a powerful influence on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) practices around Europe which can work in tandem with the EU’s workstreams to amend EIA practices through legislative change, and which should be considered in the direction being adopted in these changes.
  • The good practice set ensures a strengthened and inclusive approach to community engagement and a robust and streamlined approach to environmental regulation. By setting out a clear framework for decision-making, the project builds confidence that regulators will take a timely and proportionate approach. The project sets out a clear approach to help improve the assessment of socio-economic impact, which should help strengthen the benefits of wind energy for the EU's low carbon economic approach.

Partners and coordinator

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The Scottish Government
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Zarina Naseem
0032 (0)2 2828 334


Key documents

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In brief

01/08/2010 to 31/10/2012
Contract number: 

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