Offshore wind and birds: seeking sustainability

Pullan, Daniel
June 2005
Ecos - A Review of Conservation;2005, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p89
The article considers ways to avoid the potential conflicts that offshore wind development can have with nature conservation interests, specifically birds. The British government sees climate disruption as one of the most significant long term threats to the country. There is also widespread agreement amongst ecologists that it is also the most important threat to biodiversity. The government has a target to generate 15% of energy from renewable sources by 2015. As part of a program to enable Great Britain to meet this target, the government has sought to kick-start the renewable energy industry in offshore waters, which hold a very large wind, tidal and wave resource. Current developments have focused on wind as the only market ready technology capable of producing sufficient power to make a significant contribution to the government's target. Offshore wind developments have the same potential hazards to birds as those onshore, namely, disturbance, which can include displacement and barriers to movement; collision mortality; and loss or damage to habitat from turbines and their associated infrastructure.


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