Seminar on the ecological impacts of offshore wind energy

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A meeting on the theme of the use of energy Offshore wind turbine and 45 involving experts from regional and federal ministries, the competent authorities and research institutes took place on April 14 2005 at the university of Lüneburg (Lower Saxony).

Wind farms must be built in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), ie in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea outside the 12 area. In this capacity, and at the request of the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU), a research team works under the leadership of Mr Schomerus, the University of Luneburg, Mr Runge, the Oecos Umweltplannung in Hamburg and Mr Nehls of Bio Consult Schleswig Holstein, on a research project entitled "Strategic review and prediction of the ecological impact of offshore wind energy use in the EEZ".

The seminar held in Lüneburg was an opportunity to present the first results is a specialized public. The theme has attracted strong attention for hearings concerning regional planning in the EEZ will begin shortly in Hamburg. D'after the government's objectives, the Offshore wind power should cover by 2025 15% of energy needs in Germany. This represents a total of 25.000 megawatts, that is to say 5.000 wind turbines should be built in in the North Sea.

The representatives of the Federal Office of Hydrography and Maritime Navigation (BSH - Bundesamt fur und Hydrography Seeschifffahrt) of Hamburg are particularly interested watches by the research results.

All kinds of legal issues were discussed initially, but also very practical issues such as the consequences of wind turbines installations in the path of birds and porpoises. The effects on the environment does not always prove negative: for example, industrial fishing in the wind farms will not be possible, thus creating effective nature reserves for fish.

TOPICS A central issue was the cumulative effects resulting from the sum of various influences. This assessment can not be limited to the national level, it must be effected in cooperation with the other states of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The various participants agreed on the fact that parallel to official procedures, particularly research into the cumulative effects must be intensified. The use of wind energy is still in its infancy.

contacts:
- Henning Zühlsdorff - University of Lüneburg - tel: + 49 4131 78 1007, fax
: + 49 4131 78 1097 - email: zuehlsdorff@uni-lueneburg.de
Sources: Depeche idw, Press release of the University of Lüneburg
Editor: Nicolas Condette, nicolas.condette@diplomatie.gouv.fr

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