The European Commission has published guidance to help avoid conflict between wind power and nature conservation objectives.
The guidelines apply to the 26,000 Natura 2000 sites protected under the Birds and Habitats Directives, which cover almost a fifth of EU territory. These wild, scenic and often windswept areas can be attractive locations to build wind farms.
Wind power will play a major role in meeting the EU’s target to supply 20% of its energy demand from renewable sources by 2020 and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But the industry’s expansion could conflict with the separate target to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by the same date.
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