Nature and biodiversity

Wind farms may raise environmental concerns in communities that live close to protected areas because of the possible adverse impacts on flora and fauna.

Nature and biodiversity protection concerns may so strongly affect community acceptance, and the WinWind project highlighted two key factors for addressing such major issues: the choice of wind farm sites and national and international regulations and guidelines.

The literature review conducted within the WinWind project, highlighted that siting of turbines close to the most sensitive and protected landscapes provokes the most negative responses to wind energy. So the distance from natural and protected areas is a factor that must be taken into account in the planning phase.

As far as regulations are concerned, it was difficult to compare them, given the different natural contexts of the WinWind countries. While in some countries (e.g. Norway and Spain), the development of wind farm is forbidden in protected areas, in other countries (e.g. Italy) there is no general prohibition.

Find out more

The WinWind project analysed how social acceptance is affected by nature and biodiversity concerns. Here below further readings:

On concepts and protected areas regulations in the six WinWind countries
Screening of technical and non-technical regulations, guidelines and recommendations, pages 13-15

On impacts on biodiversity in the 10 Best Practices Cases
Synthesis & comparative analysis of best practice case studies for promoting the social acceptance of wind energy page 61

On impacts of turbine on biodiversity and ecosystems
Technical and socio-economic conditions A literature review of social acceptance of wind energy development, and an overview of the technical, socioeconomic and regulatory starting conditions in the wind energy scarce target regions pages 22-23

WinWind has received funding from European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement Nº 764717. The sole responsibility for any errors or omissions made lies with the consortium. The content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Commission. The European Commission is also not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein