WIND FARMS AND ENVIRONMENT
It is clear that, in comparison with other energy generation sources, wind farms’ impacts on the environment are much less significant. Renewable energy doesn’t cause greenhouse gases emissions and any other emissions. Moreover, it plays a central role in the fight against climate change reducing CO2 emissions, a global positive impact itself, because of its influence on all kinds of life.
In 2010, we produced 14,4 TWh which means 7,332 thousand tons of CO2 avoided.
We strongly believe that prevention is the key to avoid impacts. This is supported by the low percentage of our operative wind farms located in protected areas. Only 7.3% of EDPR sites in operation are inside any protected area, 3.1% are partially within protected areas and 3.1% are adjacent any protected areas.
The few number of our wind farms in Natura 2000 sites (ecological network of protected areas in the territory of the European Union) are limited to Spain and Portugal.
Nevertheless, it’s important to highlight that Natura 2000 protection was declared later than the wind farms’ environmental Impact Statements in 68% of these cases.
Detailed information regarding wind farms and protected areas is available on EDPR website www.edprenovaveis.com.
Identifying potential impacts as early as possible is under EDPR’s Biodiversity and Environmental Policies.
Although the location of wind farms in protected areas is not a common issue, potential impacts on biodiversity, such as fauna disturbance, vegetation loss, visual intrusion and waste generation may occur. Even so, the vast majority of the impacts which might take place during the construction and operation of wind farms are temporary and reversible.
Wind farms are environmentally respectful sites. Only a small percentage of the land leased is taken out of permanent use when the wind farms are in operation and the activity is compatible with existing land use.
“EDPR respects the rights and privileges of local landowners to operate their ranching businesses."
Monitoring plans are carried out in order to make sure no significant impacts happen. In this sense, EDPR actively monitors all the areas with operating wind farms.