The development of renewable energy sources is crucial for achieving EU energy and climate change goals and it is likely to expand, especially offshore. At the same time such developments may give rise to conflicts with EU biodiversity goals, especially those related to nature conservation.
DG Environment carried out a project to identify the possible impacts of different renewable energy developments on protected species and habitats under the EU nature legislation and to suggest mitigation measures that can be applied for the minimization of these impacts especially in Natura 2000 sites. The project has covered wind, solar, geothermal, ocean (tidal and waves) energy and bioenergy and produced the following outputs:
Update of the guidance document on wind energy developments and EU nature legislation
Report on the potential impacts of solar, geothermal and ocean energy on habitats and species protected under the Birds and Habitats Directives
Report on the possible impacts of bioenergy on protected species and habitats and mitigation measures
Manual for the preparation of wildlife sensitivity maps
These are expected to help overcome obstacles that often appear during the permitting procedures of renewable energy developments in MS, arising from insufficient scientific knowledge of the impacts as well as of the available mitigation measures so that renewable energy development can be promoted while safeguarding EU biodiversity objectives.