Proceedings of the Workshop “Sustainable Energy for the Future”

Proceedings of the Workshop “Sustainable Energy for the Future”
Proceedings of the
Workshop “Sustainable Energy for the Future”
Madrid, Spain
3 – 4 November 2011
European Business & Biodiversity Campaign
The European Business and Biodiversity Campaign
is supported by the Life+ programme of the European Union
Proceedings of the Workshop “Sustainable Energy for the Future”
Seagulls: © Gerry Lynch
Other photos: © Catharina Sikow-Magny/European Commission
Global Nature Fund (GNF)
Fundación Global Nature (FGN)
GNF Office Bonn
Kaiserstraße 185-197 53113 Bonn
Tel: +49-228-18486940
C/ Real 48 CP 28231
Las Tozas de Madrid
Tel: +34-917104455
© GNF 2/2012, All rights reserved
Editors: Joost Bakker, Benita Heinze, Tobias Hartmann, Amanda del Rio, Blanca Hurtado, Ernesto Aguirre,
Table of Contents
Table of Contents .............................................................................................................. 3
List of Tables ..................................................................................................................... 4
List of Figures.................................................................................................................... 4
I. Introduction: Can biodiversity and renewable energy be reconciled? .............................. 5
II. Programme................................................................................................................... 8
III. Workshop Sessions..................................................................................................... 11
Part 1: A blueprint for a sustainable energy system, existing hindrances and ways to overcome
them ...................................................................................................................................... 11
EU’s energy strategies for 2020: 20% Renewable Energy and an Integrated Transmission Network; The
Trans-European Energy Infrastructure in a nutshell.................................................................................... 11
Part 2: World Café Results ...................................................................................................... 13
World Café 1: “Legal Framework: What hindrances have you experienced, how to overcome them?“ .... 14
World Café 2: How do you increase public support? .................................................................................. 14
World Café 3: Role of NGO – Business Partnerships ................................................................................... 16
Part 3: Break-Out Sessions ...................................................................................................... 18
Break-Out Session Solar............................................................................................................................... 18
Break-Out Session Wind .............................................................................................................................. 21
Break-Out Session Hydro ............................................................................................................................. 26
Concluding Remarks for the Break-Out Sessions: The Business Case to take a proactive approach to
address environmental concerns for renewable energy projects ............................................................... 32
Part 4: Environment friendly grid extension ............................................................................ 37
Best practices and guidelines to minimise impacts and stimulate public support for grid expansion ........ 37
Plan N: Political recommendations for a socially and ecologically acceptable grid extension in Germany 38
Input Presentation I: The Example of Iberdrola .......................................................................................... 40
Input Presentation II: The Example of Red Eléctrica de España .................................................................. 41
V. Next Steps within the European B&B Campaign .......................................................... 45
VI. Literature on renewable energy and biodiversity ........................................................ 46
Annex 1: Proceedings congress “New Grids for Renewables!” 10 Nov 2011, Berlin ........... 48
List of Tables
Table 1: Energy produced from different sources per area used .............................................. 6
Table 2: Main ecological challenges and solutions when building onshore windfarms .......... 22
Table 3: Overview of the Protocol content .............................................................................. 27
Table 4: Risks and opportunities from offshore wind farms.................................................... 35
List of Figures
Figure 1: EU renewable energy potential and future electricity infrastructure needs ........... 12
Figure 2: Lieberose Solar Park (Brandenburg, Germany) - one of the largest solar parks in the
world......................................................................................................................................... 18
Figure 3: Energy demand of different buildings....................................................................... 20
Figure 4: Whitlee Windfarm (Glasgow, Scotland) .................................................................... 23
Figure 5: Moving of Golden Eagle chicks to a newly created alternative foraging habitat ..... 24
Figure 6: Eurasian curlew ......................................................................................................... 24
Figure 7: Example page of HSAP .............................................................................................. 28
Figure 8: There are around 800 known hydropower locations in the Neckar river basin, of
which many are small scale hydro plants ................................................................................ 29
Figure 9: Fish passes next to turbines ...................................................................................... 30
Figure 10: Structure of IUCN and place of the energy department ......................................... 33
Figure 11: Plan N - Recommendations for political actions ..................................................... 38
Figure 12: Overhead power lines pose a threat to birds ......................................................... 39
Figure 13: Installation of a black and white marker from helicopter ...................................... 39
Figure 14: Stork nests in electricity towers are becoming a problem for distribution network
operators. ................................................................................................................................. 40
Figure 15: Forest are often not taken care of anymore and can cause a risk to electricity
poles. ........................................................................................................................................ 41
Figure 16 Environmental impacts of grids depend on the layout and the sites determined for
the power line. ......................................................................................................................... 43
I. Introduction___________
I. Introduction: Can biodiversity and renewable energy be
(Richard Appleyard, Joost Bakker)
On November 3 and 4 2011, the Fundación Global Nature together with the Global Nature
Fund and the energy company Iberdrola invited energy producers, transmission network
operators and other companies and stakeholders from the energy sector to jointly discuss
how to reconcile European renewable energy targets (excluding biomass) with the
protection of biodiversity. This was the first of a series of workshops covering the renewable
energy sector and biodiversity and is part of the European Business and Biodiversity
Changing business paradigm
Regardless of the enthusiasm for the “Green Economy”, the corporate sector still questions
why companies should protect the environment. When it comes to renewable energies,
which is traditionally seen as a “greener” source of energy than fossil fuels, this is less often
asked. Nevertheless, the question of whether the business of business is not just business
comes up frequently. Why is biodiversity important for the corporate sector? Is complying
with the law not enough? In the end, it is important for companies that the actions taken to
protect biodiversity can serve both the financial and environmental bottom line.
Businesses become more and more aware of the ecosystem services that are provided to
them by nature. To them it becomes clear that they can not separate the financial from the
environmental bottom line. The interest for this workshop showed that the number of
businesses that are interested in impacts and dependencies on biodiversity and ecosystem
services is growing. The natural environment provides them with ecosystem services such as
fresh water, protection from erosion and climate regulation. These are signs that the old
paradigm of biodiversity, being cumbersome anti-business legislation, does not hold
A changing world, a changing Europe
An increasing world population requires an increase in energy use. At the moment, the
world population is approximately 7 billion. In 2040 the Earth will be populated by 9 billion.
Of the 7 billion people, 1 billion people currently have no access to electricity. Because of the
rapidly rising world population and their raising living standard, the world energy demand
will have risen by 45% in 2030. This is a staggering number considering that humans have
used half of the energy that was produced since the industrial revolution in the last 20 years.
In Europe, a less carbon intensive (energy) economy will drive the change in the energy
sector. It is forecasted that in the European Union, energy demand will rise by 10% and
almost all of this energy will come from renewable sources. This is in line with the EU
objective of having 20% of the energy being produced by renewables by 2020. This was
presented in the European Commission’s 2020 strategy that was launched at the end of
2010. It foresees a modernisation and extension of the grid, in addition to the mentioned
increase in production. It was recognised that the impacts on ecosystems will be significant
and that suitable precautions should be taken.
Energy production, transportation and their impact on biodiversity
From a biodiversity point of view, two aspects should be looked at when choosing an energy
strategy. First, the impact on biodiversity, and second the amount of energy that is
I. Introduction___________
generated. Although the impact of renewable energies on biodiversity is visually less
disturbing than some conventional fuel sources such as tar sands or coal mines, an impact on
the natural environment also occurs when renewable energy is generated. Even though they
do not physically destroy large areas, they do have an impact through the installation of
wind mills, PV panels or artificial lakes. Besides the direct impacts that are caused when
renewable energy plants are installed, many impacts occur during operations such as the
death of bats and birds that collide with wind mill rotors.
These impacts however, should be seen compared to the amount of energy that is
generated. Table 1: Energy produced
“The creature at your feet dismissed as a bug or a
from different sources per area used
weed is a creation in and of itself. It has a name, a
shows the energy generation per
million-year history, and a place in the world. Its
square metre for different energy
genome adapts it to a special niche in an
sources. It clearly shows that the
ecosystem. The ethical value substantiated by
productivity of energy by renewable
close examination of its biology is that the life
energies is far lower than that of
forms around us are too old, too complex, and
potentially too useful to be carelessly discarded.”
Although this table does not show
- E.O. Wilson
impacts that do only involve land
indirectly, such as water pollution, bird collisions, climate change and permanent landscape
damage, it nevertheless raises concerns about the impacts of renewable energies on the
natural environment.
Watts /
Solar PV
Table 1: Energy produced from different sources per area used
Towards sustainable energy for the future
The introduction of renewable energies is necessary to combat climate change, spur
innovation and to reduce dependencies on energy imports. But their introduction will not be
without an impact on biodiversity. However, as the introduction is still in a relatively early
stage, there is plenty of opportunity to avoid negative consequences for both biodiversity
and project development. This workshop shows how the introduction of renewable energies
and their accompanying effects on the electricity grid can contribute in a positive way to
project development and biodiversity. It provides a platform for inter-industry discussions
and gives examples of companies that overcame hurdles that involved biodiversity and their
I. Introduction___________
electricity generation and transportation activities. By doing so, it will shine some light on
the road to sustainable energy for the future.
II. Programme
II. Programme
9.30 -9.45
Welcome and Round of Introduction
Moderation: Richard Appleyard (LPR Power)
Part I
A blueprint for a sustainable energy system, existing hindrances and ways to
overcome them.
Short input presentations will be given, which will be followed by discussions of
the participants to go into more detail
9:45 – 10.15
Key Note: EU’s energy strategies for 2020 – 20% Renewable Energy and an
Integrated European Transmission Network
Speaker: Catharina Sikow-Magny (DG Energy)
10:15 – 10:30 Input Presentation I: Administrative hindrances for the expansion of renewable
energy projects and how to overcome them
Speaker: Amber Sharick (European Renewable Energies Federation)
Not able to participate
Part II: World Uniting profit and nature for a sustainable energy system
Break-out into 3 groups.
10:30 – 11:30 3 Groups:
1. What hindrances have you experienced, how do you overcome them?
2. How do you increase public support?
3. Compensation measures: NGO – business partnerships - key aspects
Moderation: Amanda del Rio (Fundación Global Nature), Tobias Hartmann (Global
Nature Fund), Blanca Hurtado (Fundación Global Nature)
11:30 – 12:00 Summary and Discussion
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
Part III: Break- Biodiversity and Solar, Wind and Hydro
Out Session
Short input presentations will be given, which will be followed by discussions of
the participants to go into more detail
13:00 - 14:30
Solar: How can biodiversity management be integrated in solar energy projects?
The example of First Solar.
Speaker: Nadine Bethge, (First Solar)
The example of Onyx Solar
Speaker: Teodosio del Caño (Onyx Solar)
II. Programme
The Whitlee Windfarm. Addressing concerns and enhancing ecosystems. The
Example of Scottish Power Renewables.
Speaker: Mandy Gloyer (Scottish Power Renewables)
The Project Good Practice Wind - how to reconcile environmental objectives and
community issues with wind energy developments
Speaker: Zarina Naseem (Scottish Government)
Promoting, improved sustainability performance through the Hydropower
Sustainability Assessment Protocol: Biodiversity, reservoir management and
downstream flow.
Speaker: Cameron Ironside (International Hydropower Association)
Development potential for hydropower from an ecological perspective
Speaker: Johannes Reiss (Büro am Fluss)
14:30 – 15:00 Concluding Remarks: The Business Case to take a proactive approach to address
environmental concerns for renewable energy projects
Speaker: Deviah Aiama (IUCN)
15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break
Part IV:
Environment friendly grid extension
Short input presentations will be given, which will be followed by discussions of
the participants to go into more detail
15.30 – 16:00 Best practices and guidelines to minimise impacts and stimulate public support for
grid expansion.
Speaker: Antonella Battaglini (Renewable Grids Initiative)
Plan N – Political recommendations for a socially and ecologically acceptable grid
extension in Germany“.
Speaker: Liv Anne Becker (Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.)
16:00 – 16:30 Grid extension to enhance biodiversity?
Input Presentation I: The Example of Iberdrola.
Speaker: Javier Goitia (Iberdrola)
Input Presentation II: The Example of Red Eléctrica de España
Speaker: Cristobal Bermúdez (Red Eléctrica de España)
16:30 – 17:00 Discussion: Is environment-friendly grid extension possible?
II. Programme
Moderation: Richard Appleyard (LPR Power)
Closing Session
17:00 – 17:30 Summary and Outlook
Udo Gattenlöhner (Global Nature Fund/European Business & Biodiversity
Richard Appleyard (LPR Power)
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 2: World Café Results__________________________________________
III. Workshop Sessions
Part 1: A blueprint for a sustainable energy system, existing
hindrances and ways to overcome them
EU’s energy strategies for 2020: 20% Renewable Energy and an Integrated
Transmission Network; The Trans-European Energy Infrastructure in a nutshell
Presentation by Catharina Sikow-Magny, European Commission, DG Energy
The Commission has adopted on the 19th October 2011 the Regulation on ”Guidelines for
trans-European energy infrastructure”, together with the Connecting Europe Facility
proposal to grant financial aid for infrastructure in transport (€ 31.7bn), energy (€ 9.12bn)
and information technology (€ 9.2bn).
The EU's energy and climate policy targets cannot be achieved without sufficient
interconnected and intelligent networks. The integration of increasing electricity from
variable renewable sources, high standards of security of supply and affordable energy
prices require huge investments in new infrastructure.
The investment need is estimated to be about € 200bn for the coming 10 years (a
doubling of the investment rate for electricity and an acceleration of about 30% for
gas transmission infrastructures compared to the past decade).
The current framework (dedicating about € 20mln per year to mostly feasibility
studies) is not up to gear anymore to support the necessary infrastructure
Investments in infrastructure are needed for enabling the completion of the Internal
Energy Market and the integration of electricity generation from renewable sources
while at the same time securing supply.
Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure
The following areas of energy infrastructure expansion have been defined:
Electricity: transmission lines, storage, smart grids at both transmission and
distribution level
Gas: high pressure pipelines, storage, liquefied natural gas/ compressed natural gas
Oil: pipelines, related pumping stations and storage facilities
CCS (carbon capture and storage): transport pipelines, dedicated liquefaction and
buffer storage facilities.
In detail, the measures that are proposed in the guidelines come down to the following:
1. Identification and implementation of projects of common interest (PCIs) - articles 3-6,
annexes I-IV
Process: Regional Groups propose regional project lists, ACER (the Agency for the
Cooperation of European Regulators) gives an opinion on the proposals, the
European Commission establishes the Union-wide list of projects of common
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 2: World Café Results__________________________________________
To become a PCI, the project must contribute to the implementation of one of the 12
following priority corridors/areas:
1. Northern Seas offshore grid
2. North-South electricity interconnections in Western Europe
3. North-South electricity interconnections in Central Eastern and South Eastern
4. Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan in electricity
5. North-South gas interconnections in Western Europe
6. North-South gas interconnections in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe
7. outhern Gas Corridor
8. Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan in gas
9. Oil supply connections in Central Eastern Europe
10. Smart grids deployment
11. Electricity highways
12. Cross-border carbon dioxide network
The project must also impact at least 2 Member States and fulfil specific criteria for
each sector. The identified projects shall be included in the national and regional 10year network development plans (TYNDPs).
As in the past, European Coordinators can be designated to assist projects in
2. Permit granting and public
participation – articles 7-11,
annex VI
Figure 1: EU renewable energy potential and future electricity
infrastructure needs
The proposal sets rules for a
European ”regime of common
interest”, under which Member
States can continue to carry out
existing procedures according to
national specificities.
Projects of common interest shall be granted highest national priority and most
preferential treatment.
Member States shall designate one competent authority to coordinate the permit
granting process and issue a final decision ("one-stop shop").
The maximum time limit is 3 years for a positive or negative final decision (not
including access to land nor appeal procedures).
The competent authority shall publish a detailed schedule for the permitting process
and a manual of procedures.
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 2: World Café Results__________________________________________
To increase transparency and improve public participation, stakeholders (general
public, landowners, NGOs, authorities etc.) shall be extensively informed and
consulted early on in the process, according to a pre-defined concept of public
NB: These measures will by no means reduce environmental standards (granted by
the respect of the relevant environmental legislation), nor limit the rights of citizens
to express opinions or file appeals. The proposal will rather improve the quality of
environmental assessments and public participation, compared to the current
situation in many Member States.
3. Regulatory treatment – articles 12-14, annex V
A harmonised energy system-wide cost-benefit analysis, based on a methodology
approved by ACER and the Commission, shall be used by the European network of
transmission system operators for electricity (ENTSO) in their TYNDPs.
Costs of a PCI shall be allocated based on the net positive impact on the different
Member States concerned and paid for by network users.
National regulatory authorities (NRAs) shall jointly approve cross-border investments
and related cost-allocation. If NRAs don't agree, ACER steps in to decide.
NRAs shall provide appropriate incentives for projects of common interest
(considering in particular the higher risks they incur), such as: allow anticipatory
investments, recognise costs before commissioning, grant additional return. ACER
shall issue corresponding guidance by end 2013.
4. Financing - article 15
The guidelines establish the eligibility criteria for Union financial aid:
Electricity and gas projects of common interest (lines, pipelines, LNG/CNG, system
equipments and storage, except pumped hydro storage) may receive grants for
works if they provide socio-economic benefits but are not commercially viable,
provided they have received a cross-border cost-allocation decision.
Carbon dioxide and smart grid projects may receive grants for works if they provide
socio-economic benefits despite the lack of commercial viability.
Electricity, gas, carbon dioxide and smart grids are eligible for grants for studies and
financial instruments.
Oil projects are excluded from any financial aid.
The presentation can be found here:
Part 2: World Café Results
The World Café is a method to establish an open and creative conversation process on a
certain topic in a business meeting or workshop. The method’s aim is to surface participant’s
collective knowledge, share ideas and insights, and gain a deeper understanding of the
subject and the issues involved. The results of the taster workshop’s World Café are
presented in this chapter.
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 2: World Café Results__________________________________________
World Café 1: “Legal Framework: What hindrances have you experienced, how
to overcome them?“
The aim of this active world café session was to gather information on where and how
regulations and legal provisions, such as the realisation of an Environmental Impact
Assessment (EIA), have hindered the implementation of an energy project and how the legal
framework can be improved.
The main aspect discussed was that many different regulations exist on different levels
making the procedures complex. A harmonisation of laws and regulations could be a good
option for improvement. An option that was discussed was if it would make sense to take
responsibility away from the local authorities and to create a new “one stop shop” authority
responsible for granting permits. However, it was countered that the impacts of energy
projects are local and that the local population needs to have their say in order to enhance
acceptance of the project.
In this matter, it was noted that the authorities on different
levels need to have a better dialogue between them; an
example was the lack of coordination between the Directorate
Generals of the European Commission. This problem however,
can be encountered on all levels of administration.
Various regulations exist
on different levels –
better communication
between authorities is
The second big issue discussed was how to improve the
regulations. Coherent permit granting procedures related to energy projects, as well as
better knowledge of the environmental impacts were highlighted as the main avenues of
improvement. It was noted that comprehensive studies on the respective impacts need to
be conducted, but the focus should not be too narrow. Difficulties also arise, for example, in
the measuring of impacts on insect populations in all project stages. The NGO community
can be of assistance in increasing the knowledge on the influences, if they widen their focus
as well and increase their scope to include more species in their work.
Lastly, the process of permit granting needs to be clear. Authorities need to have a defined
set of criteria by which the projects’ environmental impacts are evaluated. Strict deadlines
need to be given and met by both sides that allow for amendments to environmental
changes in the future. A specialized auditing framework needs to be provided for the time
after the granting of the permit.
World Café 2: How do you increase public support?
This world café looked at the public support that is needed to develop renewable energy
projects. The participants drew from their own experiences to identify problems and
solutions to problems that involved (a lack of) public support. The focus was on issues
related to biodiversity.
Most problems boiled down to a lack of acceptance, which can be caused by several reasons.
One reason is a lack of knowledge that occurs when the local communities affected by the
project do not understand the project itself. This does not mean that the community does
not like the project: there is a substantial difference between not understanding and not
liking the project. Further, communities are often only aware of the (negative) impacts of
the energy project but are not informed about the benefits such a project brings for them.
But, it is not only a lack of knowledge. Often, the agendas of different political factions are
also mixed in. This can for example be seen in the fact that some parts of the communities
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 2: World Café Results__________________________________________
are harder to convince than others, for example retired people from cities. When politics are
mixed in and competing sets of information are given, information becomes less
According to the participants of the world café, many of the complaints of communities can
be traced back to the NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) effect. This means that as long as the
impacts occur in the direct proximity of the communities, resistance will be much higher
than if they occur far away. Complaints, for instance, refer to the visual impact and the noise
coming from wind farms.
Different solutions to these problems were proposed by the participants. Project developers
should engage with the communities from the very beginning. By engaging the public from
the start, a bottom-up approach is used. Alternatively, cooperation with an NGO can be
thought of. The NGO can explain the benefits of renewable energy which makes the
message credible for the public. At such an early stage, it is essential to explain the project
before any decisions have been made. Regarding communication, two aspects are
important: transparency and objectivity.
Throughout the process, effective and clear communication is essential. When
communicating, the message should be clear and the language used should be
understandable for the public. Together, this will increase transparency for the public and
increase trust. In addition to transparent communication, objective information should be
used. One should be open about the objectives of the project and the possible alternatives.
Included should be information why this is part of a programme and the weight of this
specific project. For that purpose, education from the beginning is important. Meetings with
farmers and other stakeholders can be convened. In a more general way, information can be
given at schools. In this way awareness for renewable energy is created. Another effective
way to give objective information is by organising guided tours on factories, generators or
other company buildings.
• lack of public acceptance/ support
• some parts of the community are harder to convince (older generations)
• complaints refer to visual impacts and noise
• project developers should engage with communities from the beginning –
increases trust
• cooperation with NGOs – increases credibility
When the problem cannot be solved, projects sometimes must be rearranged (change the
trajectory of the lines for example).
When communities are sharing the burden, benefits should also be shared. This increases
their willingness to engage in the project. One example related to hydropower operators
that sell energy generated by the hydropower plant. Other innovative options include taxes
or the donation of money to schools. Lastly, many communities benefit indirectly from
renewable energy projects through job creation.
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 2: World Café Results__________________________________________
Often, solutions to reducing resistance from communities to renewable energy projects can
be found through technical solutions. Visual impacts of photovoltaic projects or wind farms
can be reduced by planting bushes in between or letting sheep graze the area.
World Café 3: Role of NGO – Business Partnerships
This world café looked into the role of NGO – business partnerships when starting renewable
energy projects. The results are a list of lessons learned and several key points that should
be kept in mind when collaboration between a company and an NGO is started.
Lessons learned
1. Trust between the different actors is the most important factor when starting a
renewable energy project.
2. Companies and NGOs have different visions but it is not an obstacle to collaborate
3. NGOs can be mediators in compromising or conflict situations.
4. NGOs and Business can work together to achieve a better regulatory framework.
5. It is beneficial to establish the partnership before starting a compromising project.
6. Thematic dialogue tables are used to facilitate developments, agreements and
7. Both companies and NGOs give more value to direct contact with the other party than
the use of certification and external guidelines.
8. Attitude components (bias, openness, flexibility, sensitivity) emerge as a key before
planning (scheduling, systematizing, protocols).
9. A higher degree of interaction seems to give more “sense of benefits” for both parties
and project opportunities.
Key points
1. Common goals or shared values
If there are no common goals or shared values, or when no results can be measured, it does
not make sense to start a relationship, even though there is a good personal relationship
between the parties. A joined vision can also be developed jointly by NGOs and the business
For a partnership to work on the local level (e.g. for a specific project), it is necessary to give
the floor to the local communities.
2. Escaping from stereotypes and promoting dialogue
Many NGOs tend to generalise when talking about companies and vice versa. In order for a
partnership to work, many common stereotypes have to be avoided. Examples include
“NGOs are not professional” or “companies want to clean up their image by working with
NGOs”. Further, it needs to be understood that not every NGO has the same vision (e.g. on
local/ global levels). To enable partnerships, NGOs should therefore further focus on
developing and promoting solutions instead of focusing on the problems. At the same time,
realising that differences exist and that they will not go away overnight can be an important
It is also necessary to seek a personal approach that goes beyond reports and paperwork.
During these conversations, it is important to share a common language. These are all
methods to overcome the great lack of confidence that currently exists in both enterprises
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 2: World Café Results__________________________________________
and NGOs when it comes to NGO-company cooperation. Through this dialogue, companies
do not have the feeling of being machines that make reports and become certified to
compensate for their activities.
3. CSR Reports and consistency
CSR Reports are considered by the NGO sector as a marketing tool. The corporate sector
however considers them as a tool to give visibility to the social responsibility actions they
take. The CSR reports and other certifications such as FTSE4Good, Dow Jones Sustainability
Index, etc, are tools that help to reflect internally the actions taken and provide visibility. It
remains important that whatever the actions are, they must be consistent with day to day
Both Business and NGOs have to check their reputation before deciding to form a
partnership as risks exist on both sides. NGOs have to avoid being used for “Green Washing“
activities as this would undermine their credibility.
4. Professionalism/ rigor
5. Personal Relationships
Values are shared among people, not between companies and NGOs. This does not mean
that if a person disappears, the agreement disappears. Organisations must have the profile
of this job very clear and should be able to replace the person if necessary. When there is
harmony and empathy on a personal level, it is easier to start some kind of collaboration.
6. Other factors
• Transparency (communication, expectations, limits, etc.)
• Durability of relations
• Credibility and sincerity of approach, mutual respect
• Innovation
• Willingness and organisational support
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 3: Break-Out Sessions__________________________________________
Part 3: Break-Out Sessions
In three parallel sessions practical examples of biodiversity protection in the renewable
energy sector were presented.
Break-Out Session Solar
How can biodiversity management be integrated in solar energy projects? The example of
First Solar
Presentation by Nadine Bethge, First Solar
The presentation “Solar Parks – Opportunities for Biodiversity” provides an overview of
possibilities how solar parks can positively impact on biodiversity, shows best practice
examples by describing two projects of First Solar and gives operational guidelines.
Promoting biodiversity reflects the mission of First Solar to create enduring value by
enabling a world powered by clean, affordable solar electricity. We know about the
importance of sustainability and nature conservation and we are convinced that solar parks
are essential for a sustainable energy mix towards a low carbon society. Free field
installations produce clean energy without any emission of carbon dioxide or use of water.
The environment benefits directly from re-naturalization and minimal land use footprint. By
2015, 100 GW of solar energy will be installed in Europe, of which 20 % will be on groundmount areas. That is 1/14,000 of the available area in the EU, a footprint which is far less
significant than often presented in public discussions. Because of the dependency on land,
especially for the solar industry, there is an increased need to avoid or minimize impacts on
biodiversity through responsible project development and to take the opportunity to
improve biodiversity by changing the use of the land, e.g. agriculturally used or sealed land
and conversion land involving decontamination.
One of First Solar’s best practice examples is the proposed 550 MW PV Topaz Solar Farm in
San Luis Obispo County (US) which is located on approx. 1,400 ha of optioned private land.
The Topaz Solar Farm provides energy for approximately 160,000 Californian homes and
displaces 377,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. First Solar works close with multiple
species experts and in close consultation with San Luis Obispo County, wildlife agencies and
environmental stakeholders, has undertaken a comprehensive three year program of
biological surveys on existing conditions, resource avoidance through layout optimisation,
and preparation of a mitigation package designed to fully mitigate any impacts to species on
site. In this process, 46,500 hours of film
material was recorded on a project study
area of more than 9,700 acres.
Another example is the Lieberose Solar
Park, which was built in 2009 and is located
in the federal state of Brandenburg,
Germany. With 53 MW, Lieberose is one of
the largest parks in the world using 700,000
thin-film modules. It is sited on 164 ha of Figure 2: Lieberose Solar Park (Brandenburg, Germany)
- one of the largest solar parks in the world
land that is part of a former military training
ground. 35,000 metric tons of CO2 are displaced per year, the equivalent of providing energy
to 15,000 local homes. This solar park successfully combines climate protection, high
technology and active environmental conservation by producing clean and affordable energy
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 3: Break-Out Sessions__________________________________________
for more than 20 years and enhancing biodiversity through removal of dangerous munitions
from the ground.
This makes clear that solar parks can support biodiversity. Certain nature conservation
measures just need to be considered while planning, building and operating a solar park. The
site selection for example should take local conditions into account. In the building stage,
the ecological project planning and monitoring should lead to the avoidance of barrier
affects caused by fencing. And finally, while operating the solar park, knowledge can be
gained through further monitoring.
In conclusion, solar parks are the key to ensure growth of PV in coming years. It is important
to raise and agree on this among all stakeholders. The land use for solar power plants needs
to be done in a responsible and accepted way; therefore local communities should be
empowered to identify suitable land that promotes climate and nature protection. Similar to
the wind industry, guidelines could help to foster case by case decisions. It is also essential to
identify opportunities for biodiversity and avoid missing these due to automatic exclusion,
e.g. from NATURA 2000 areas in Germany. The PV industry, nature protection organisations
and political decision-makers should enter into a dialogue about ecologically responsible
solar power plants and anticipate potential conflicts, propose solutions and help to raise
acceptance for the further expansion of PV as an energy source. There is also a need for
additional third party studies on the impacts/benefits on biodiversity from solar projects,
these are necessary for the collection of more quantitative data.
But this needs to be developed responsibly. We should balance impacts to the land with
benefits of renewable energy, find possible partners and consider the development of
guidelines or criteria for responsible solar power plant management.
The presentation can be found here:
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 3: Break-Out Sessions__________________________________________
2. The example of Onyx Solar
Presentation by Teodosio del Caño, Onyx Solar
Due to the current development of
• 70% of greenhouse gases are produced in
societies and the limited capacity of
the planet, the world is already
• buildings are responsible for nearly 40% of
facing the consequences of limited
the total energetic consumption
resources, greenhouse emission,
etc. If everyone in the world for
• Most of the energy is generated in
example lived like the people in
facilities located far away from the
developed countries we would need
five planets to live on. As most of
• 15%
of theinenergy
is lost
the people live in cities, most of the resources
are used
the cities.
of all greenhouse
gases for instance are produced in cities. In the cities, the buildings are responsible for
almost 40% of the total energetic consumption worldwide. The energy that is produced
originates often far away from the people that use it. However, in the distribution, 15% of all
energy is lost.
This shows that energy production and consumption nowadays play a vital role, whereby
energy from renewable sources becomes more and more indispensable. Therefore, the
commitment of all governments, organisations and stakeholders is needed to encourage the
use of renewable energies and energy efficiency, especially in buildings.
The EU objective for 2020 is to lower the energy demand to 70 kWh/m2. At the moment,
most buildings are too inefficient as is shown in Figure 3. Clearly, the demand of bioclimatic
buildings is much lower compared to conventional buildings.
Figure 3: Energy demand of different buildings
The strategy to achieve these goals is “distributed generation”, which encompasses a variety
of PV solutions being integrated into public buildings. The main idea behind this concept is to
install PV plants where most energy is needed, namely in the buildings of cities. This “active”
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 3: Break-Out Sessions__________________________________________
solution has to be combined with the “passive” solution to create more energy efficient
houses because the current energy efficiency of buildings as well as the materials used, are
no viable options for a sustainable future. Part of this can be formed by multifunctional PV
windows. These windows at the same time pass through light and create energy from it. The
PV panels can be installed as part of a wall, a terrace or a roof. These buildings can achieve
up to 40% energy reduction. The distributed energy sources would offer sustainable options
for development, with minimum impact.
Examples of finished projects include the San Anton Market in Madrid (Spain) and the Bart
Station in San Francisco (USA) among many others. Finally, it has to be noted that the Onyx
Solar model is not based on a feed-in-tariff mechanism because the company does not
believe in this mechanism.
The presentation can be found here:
Break-Out Session Wind
The Whitlee Windfarm. Addressing concerns and enhancing ecosystems. The
example of Scottish Power Renewables
Presentation by Mandy Gloyer, Policy Manager (Environment) Scottish Power Renewables
Scottish Power Renewables is the UK’s largest onshore developer with over 1,000 MW
installed and much more in the pipeline. Ambitious plans for wave and tidal, including the
first consented demonstration tidal array in the world exist. UK offshore wind projects
comprise: West of Duddon Sands 500 MW; Argyll Array up to 1800 MW; East Anglia up to
7200 MW.
SPR develop, own and operate assets, so our approach is characterised by long term
involvement over the lifetime of the wind farm project (25 years). Fostering a good
reputation therefore makes sound business sense, as getting stakeholders and the public on
side early can reduce opposition to projects during the formal planning stage. This is
evidenced by the fact that SPR’s success rate for planning consents is industry leading. SPR
has published policies on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development, and
makes significant investment in habitat management (around £800,000 a year) and
community benefits (over £1 million a year).
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Damage to protected species
Licensing and legislation
Collision risk for birds and bats
Collision risk modelling, monitoring/ siting
Habitat loss and disturbance
Planning Conditions
Effects on habitats themselves e.g. peat Habitat Management Plans
soils, woodlands
Effects on species e.g. loss of nesting/
breeding/ foraging areas
Table 2: Main ecological challenges and solutions when building onshore windfarms
Scottish Power Renewables addresses these ecosystem and biodiversity issues in the
following ways:
Minimising risk by avoiding highly sensitive areas
Developing solutions to obstacles – such as Habitat Management Plans
Applying our experience & knowledge to future sites
Developing relations with regulators and conservation bodies
Gathering vital information to benefit future sites
Habitat Management Plans:
SPR now has over 8,000 hectares under habitat management
Combination of mitigation and enhancement
Can be required by planning condition or legal agreement
Often steered by Habitat Management Group
Incorporating regulators, landowners, NGOs, local councils
Each one is site-specific
Can cover whole wind farm site, part of it, or a separate area
Involve landowners
Include tailored monitoring and management prescriptions
Last for the duration of the wind farm (25 years)
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The Example of Whitelee Windfarm
Whitelee wind farm, near Glasgow
in Scotland, is Europe’s largest wind
farm, with 140 turbines and 322
MW- enough to power 200,000
homes. Whitelee has a 25km2
Habitat Management Area, half of
the total wind farm area of 50km2.
The Habitat Management Plan
(HMP) is steered by a Habitat
Natural Heritage, Royal Society for
the Protection of Birds (RSPB),
Water, 8 landowners, 3 Local Figure 4: Whitlee Windfarm (Glasgow, Scotland)
Authorities) which meets annually.
The four key objectives are blanket bog restoration from forestry, moorland management,
increasing black and red grouse, and encouraging Merlin to nest away from turbines. There
is an integrated monitoring and research programme in place.
An example of management prescriptions for the aim of encouraging Merlin to occupy areas
located further away from the turbine locations, thereby reducing the likelihood of
displacement and collision effects includes:
Fell approx 308.5 ha of forest
Dam suitable areas for blanket bog restoration
Implement grassland/moorland measures
Erect stock fencing and restrict grazing
Remove regenerating conifers
After the habitat management plan has been implemented in 2007, the first conclusions can
be drawn:
Some indications of early success, e.g. regeneration of bog species like sphagnum
Good learning exercise- some deforested sites need more intervention than at first
Merlin and hen harrier seem relatively unaffected by turbine presence
Good opportunity to trial new methods at large scale, including different ground
treatments on site
In addition to the ecological work at Whitelee, SPR has been involved in community/ social
aspects in relation to the development. There is an annual payment to the community of
£1000 per MW index linked for 25 years (currently over £340,000 p.a.). An access strategy
with 70km of tracks used by walkers, runners, mountain bikers has been developed. The
wind farm contains a Visitor Centre wholly funded by SPR, which now has around 10,000
visitors a month. There is also an outreach programme to community groups and schools.
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Examples of habitat management on other SPR wind farm sites
1. Beinn an Tuirc (2001)
2. Black Law (2006)
Creation of alternative foraging habitat for
Golden Eagle away from turbine area.
Breeding success, 2 chicks hatched each in
2008 and 2010. Monthly monitoring shows
no adverse effect from turbines.
Figure 6: Moving of Golden Eagle chicks to a newly
created alternative foraging habitat
Previous open cast coal mine successfully
restored to woodland/wetland mosaic
habitat created for breeding waders,
showing increase in some species, including
curlew, also beneficial for otter and water
Figure 5: Eurasian curlew
Areas of improvement in relation to habitat management on wind farms
Finally, recommendations regarding the habitat management plans (HMPs) can be given:
There is a need to recognise that different parties will want different things from HMP
Very complex HMPs are harder to deliver
Conflicting environmental policies are not helpful
We are all learning together especially on blanket bog restoration
Realistic expectations are needed from regulators about what is possible in short
Early engagement with stakeholders is very important
The presentation can be found here:
4. The Project Good Practice Wind - how to reconcile environmental objectives and
community issues with wind energy developments
Presentation by Zarina Naseem, Scottish Government
The Scottish Government is leading this high profile, collaborative EU project that will serve
as an enabler to the achievement of 2020 emission reduction targets in Scotland and across
Europe. There are 16 other partners involved from 8 countries (Scotland, Ireland, Spain,
Greece, Italy, Norway, Belgium and Malta). Partners include developers, regional and local
authorities, NGOs and environmental agencies who are working together collaboratively to
achieve the project's aims.
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The project's long term aim is to increase the consenting rate for on- and offshore wind
projects across Europe and to build evidence based support for the design, planning and
implementation of projects which are sensitive to environmental and community concerns.
This will, in turn, facilitate quicker, more transparent and less costly deployment of wind
energy across Europe.
GP WIND will demonstrate and disseminate good practice from individual countries to target
audiences across Europe, providing tools which can be used by industry, developers,
European, national and local policy makers, regulatory authorities, environmental agencies
and groups and local communities to improve the policy, guidance, process and practice of
dealing with applications for new renewable energy projects. We are aiming to secure
endorsement of the project outputs across Europe and an undertaking to incorporate the
project's recommendations within relevant policy and development guidance. These outputs
will contribute to the achievement of Europe's 2020 carbon emissions reduction targets.
There has been much activity on GP WIND since the project passed its halfway point in
August 2011. On 25 October, an international workshop took place in Brussels. This brought
together around 45 partners and stakeholders from a range of European countries. The
workshop was useful in helping to finalise and refine the content of the 16 thematic case
studies that had been developed as an evidence base for the project’s final outputs. The
workshop was also an opportunity to involve important stakeholders who had not previously
Key Findings:
Mapping – avoidance, where possible, of sites which have high impact on
communities or the environment
Early, meaningful, transparent engagement with communities and
stakeholders with avoidance of stereotyping
Clear direction regarding Environmental Impact Assessments
given input. We are keen for this involvement to continue over the coming period. The final
iterations of the thematic case studies can be accessed on our website.
Although there are often apparent conflicts, evidence shows that the development of wind
farms doesn’t necessarily pose a serious threat to biodiversity. It is important to remember
that the threat of climate change is a concern for human populations and wildlife alike.
Despite representing apparently opposing priorities, the tension between the need to
protect against local environmental impacts and the need for sustainable energy sources
actually provides an opportunity for environmental organisations, planning authorities and
developers to work together proactively to manage conflicting interests. Conflicts are
common: windfarm proposals often face resistance from local communities due to their
visual and landscape impact, or due to noise concerns; they may also be shown to have a
potential impact on certain species, for example eagles or other rare birds; or might impact
on other commercial interests, for example fishing or shipping for offshore developments.
By collaborating with other stakeholders, exploring issues and embracing the need to
understand them, the industry can nurture a long term future, advisory bodies can move
away from the precautionary principle and consenting authorities have the best chance of
reconciling renewable energy ambitions with the need to protect immediate environmental
concerns and achieve community buy-in.
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The workshop also gave partners and stakeholders an opportunity to hear initial thoughts on
the good practice guidance and tool kit and to contribute to the development of those ideas.
These ideas are currently being further developed, based on feedback, and, once the design
is agreed, this will be tested with stakeholders.
The project is driving home the point that embracing good practice is the only way to
reconcile growing cumulative impacts onshore with speeding up the development of
offshore windfarms and meeting our ambitious targets.
The presentation can be found here:
Break-Out Session Hydro
1. Promoting improved sustainability performance through the Hydropower
Sustainability Assessment Protocol: Biodiversity, reservoir management and
downstream flow
Presentation by Cameron Ironside, International Hydropower Association
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) was the result of the
Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum. This Forum, where NGOs (Oxfam, The Nature
Conservancy, Transparency International, WWF) governments (China, Germany, Iceland,
Norway, Zambia a.o.), commercial and development banks (Equator Principles Financial
Institutions Group, The World Bank) and the hydropower sector (through the International
Hydropower Association, IHA) are represented, drafted the Protocol. For this purpose, it
held 20 trials of the draft protocol involving 18 hydropower companies on 6 continents that
have projects of all types, sizes and in all life cycle stages. There was a large stakeholder
engagement with almost 25 countries involved, more than 1250 stakeholders attending
engagement activities and almost 4000 stakeholders receiving regular updates on the
process. Because of the broad stakeholder engagement, the project was praised by
governments, NGOs and banks alike.
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) was founded in 1995 under the auspices of
UNESCO. The association has its central office is in London, a regional office in Brazil and a
national office in China. Three years after the association was founded, the World
Commission on Dams was established by the World Bank and IUCN. This commission issued
the World Commissions on Dams Report in 2000, which increased awareness of
sustainability issues in the hydropower sector. In 2003, the International Hydropower
Association released its Sustainability Guidelines. Those were then followed by the Initial
Sustainability Assessment Protocol in 2006. This was refined by the Hydropower
Sustainability Assessment Forum between 2008 and 2010. The final Hydropower
Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) was launched in Brazil in 2011. Currently, the IHA
is looking for partner organisations to improve and implement the HSAP.
The HSAP was not built from scratch. It incorporates several existing policies such as the
International Finance Corporation Performance Standards, the World Bank Safeguard
Policies, the Equator Principles and the World Commission on Dams’ Criteria and Guidelines.
The HSAP does not replace these policies but rather complements them.
The HSAP consists of five documents. The first part is a background document which is
followed by four documents that can be applied in four different project phases: early stage
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 3: Break-Out Sessions__________________________________________
(before the commencement of the hydropower project preparation), the preparation
(before the award of the construction contracts), the implementation (before the project
commissioning) and the operation phase.
A short overview of the different topics that are covered by the HSAP is given in Table 3.
Protocol topic
Economic &
need & strategic
Social impact
Siting & design
Communications Downstream
& consultation
Project affected
communities &
& social issues
Erosion &
Water quality
Biodiversity &
invasive species
Waste, noise &
air quality
Public health
planning, filling
Asset reliability
& efficiency
Labour &
Scoring criteria
Cross-cutting issues
Stakeholder support
Human rights
Conformance and
Climate change
Transboundary issues
Table 3: Overview of the Protocol content
In the HSAP, every topic is given a general description and a scoring. This scoring describes
what should be done to get the scoring, with a score of 3 being awarded to standard best
practice, 5 to proven best practice and 1 when significant gaps relative to basic best practice
Although scores are given, the HSAP is not designed as a standard. Every applicant makes its
own decision about the score it is looking to achieve. Neither is it thought of as a mechanism
to provide a ”sustainable hydropower”. Rather, it is thought of as a valuable tool to measure
and improve the sustainability of hydropower projects. As such, it complements local
regulatory requirements instead of replacing them. This means that environmental impact
assessments (EIA) or environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA) still have to be
done. However, it does provide a series of assessment tools applicable to all stages of
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 3: Break-Out Sessions__________________________________________
hydropower development in a global context. Because it has been developed and it is
governed by a multi-stakeholder, consensus based structure has a strong backing of a wide
spectrum of stakeholders.
To make the HSAP meaningful, quality control is assured. For example, the same training is
given to assessors from different countries. Assessors are also required to have prior
experience in using the protocol. Although the HSAP can be used by companies to measure
the sustainability of their project, only assessors are qualified to provide Official
Assessments. In addition, the IHA looks for Sustainability Partnerships. In these partnerships,
organisations are taught how to use the Protocol. They are then qualified to perform
Unofficial Assessments. In the final stage, they can give official assessments. These activities
ensure that wherever the HSAP is used, it is applied in the same manner, by appropriately
trained individuals, at a level standard.
The potential of the HSAP was also recognised by other stakeholders, such as the European
Union. Through the ‘Hydro4LIFE’ project that is worth €1.2 million, the application of the
Protocol in Europe is promoted. The EU LIFE programme provides half of the money, while
the other half is provided by the IHA. Next to the application of the HSAP, training materials
are being developed, presentations are given and communication measures including a
website and a database are being set up.
Figure 7: Example page of HSAP
The presentation can be found here:
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 3: Break-Out Sessions__________________________________________
2. Development potential for hydropower from an ecological perspective
Presentation by Johannes Reiss, Büro am Fluss
The information given is based on the hydropower potential study for the Neckar River basin
which was contracted by the Ministry of the environment, climate protection and the energy
sector of the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in 2009.
The study was done in cooperation with Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG, Dr. Stephan Heimerl, and
“Büro Gewässer und Fisch Uwe Dußling”.
Figure 8: There are around 800 known hydropower locations in the Neckar river basin, of which many are small
scale hydro plants
The Hydropower Potential Study for the Neckar river basin
Geographical context
The Neckar river basin is located in southern Germany in the centre of continental Europe.
1/3 of its rivers have a catchment of at least 10 km² and are therefore under consideration
of the European water framework directive. There are around 800 known hydropower
locations in the Neckar river basin, of which only 6 have a power capacity of more than 1,000
kW. The majority of the existing hydropower plants were constructed decades ago. Based on
old approval documents, which do not have an expiration date, many of them do not have a
modern fish pass and most of them do not leave a sufficient amount of residual water flow
in the main channel. So they exert a significant impact on the ecological status of rivers and
Ecological status of rivers and streams in the Neckar river basin
According to Annex V of the European water framework directive (WFD), the Neckar River
basin is divided into 55 water bodies. Because of the highly sophisticated level of waste
water treatment in the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, almost all water bodies achieve a
good chemical status according to WFD. But most of the medium sized and larger rivers and
tributaries of the Neckar River are characterised by a moderate to bad hydro-morphological
condition. This is caused by:
A multitude of transverse structures built for different purposes, interrupting fish
migration and sediment transport. Currently, 16 % of all transverse structures are used
to generate electricity from hydropower.
Most rivers and streams have lost their natural river banks and flooding areas. Most
river banks are fixed by riprap, the natural processes of erosion and sedimentation can
no longer occur. Most habitats of fish and invertebrate organisms are lost.
Because of these almost ubiquitous pressures, most water bodies in the Neckar river basin
fail to achieve a good ecological status. Baden-Wuerttemberg has decided so far not to
declare most water bodies as heavily modified. Therefore, a good ecological status has to be
achieved in most rivers and streams by 2027 the latest.
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Objectives of the hydropower potential study
The study consisted in the assessment of the hydropower potential of all the existing
transverse structures. That includes the potential for development at existing hydropower
plants and the potential for new construction at transverse structures that are currently not
used for hydropower.
The objectives of the WFD had to be included in the assessment process. For the Neckar
river basin this means:
To account for the requirements of migrating fish for river continuity
To provide an ecologically sufficient minimum water flow at diversion hydropower
Finally we assessed the economically attractiveness of the identified potentials.
Methods and scenarios
At first, all locations with a hydropower potential of less than 8 kW and all transverse
structures with a head of less than 0.30 m were excluded from further consideration.
Two scenarios were devised to include the previously mentioned ecological objectives and
impacts of hydropower on stream ecology:
Scenario 1:
Minimum water flows were calculated using the orientation values of the
hydropower ordinance of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. For example, 1/3 MNQ
(average minimum annual discharge of the river) were reserved for ecological
purposes at all diversion plant locations and 1/6 MNQ were reserved at all run-ofthe-river locations.
Scenario 2:
Minimum water flows were calculated according to specific ecological requirements
under the hydropower ordinance of Baden-Wuerttemberg. For example, up to 2/3
MNQ were reserved for ecological purposes.
Figure 9: Fish passes next to turbines
Results of the potential study and ecological implications of realizing the potential
After excluding all locations with a head of <0.30 m, the hydropower potential was assessed
at 1,493 transverse structures. According to scenario 1, the local potentials add up to 27 MW
of additional power equal to an additional annual energy capability of 121 GWh. Using the
ecological restrictions of scenario 2, the potential is reduced to 25 MW of additional power
and 103 GWh additional annual energy capability. 69 % of the potential can be realised by
developing existing hydropower plants and only 31 % are located at transverse structures
currently not used for hydropower.
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If all the local potentials could be realised, it would mean a formidable improvement of river
continuity, because modern fish passes would be constructed at all sites and the residual
water conditions would be improved at many diversion plants. At the same time the impact
of reduced water flow upstream of weirs would be unchanged, and because no fish pass has
an efficiency of 100 % (there are always some migrating fish failing to find or use the fish
pass), the absolute number of hydropower locations in rivers where diadromous fish species
(for example Atlantic Salmon) live, has to be limited. In spite of restoring the possibility to
pass the main channel at diversion plants, a residual water flow of 1/3 MNQ often leaves
many ecological conditions of the stream bed altered.
Economic feasibility of the potential
According to the German Renewable Energy Resources Act (EEG), there is a remuneration
rate of € 12.6 ct/kWh for electricity from newly constructed or modernized hydropower
plants from January 1, 2012. In the context of the potential study we assessed a measure of
the dynamic generation cost, the amount of investment needed to generate 1 kWh of
electricity. The lion’s share of the potential needs > € 17.5 ct/kWh to generate 1 kWh, so
only a small part of the potential seems to be economically feasible under current
Best practice examples
There are only a few examples of best practice examples where the construction or
development of hydropower could be combined optimally with an improvement of aquatic
biodiversity. The most famous example is located at the city of Horb am Neckar in the Black
Forest Mountains.
In Horb, an old diversion plant was replaced by a modern and more powerful turbine at the
diversion weir. At the same time a modern fish pass was constructed immediately adjacent
to the new turbine. So after the commissioning of the new turbine, the weir becomes
passable for fish, the main channel formerly often being almost dry gets the biggest part of
the river discharge, and the mean annual energy capability of the hydropower location could
be almost quadrupled. The pivotal condition for this best practice example was the fact that
the head of the diversion weir was only slightly smaller than the head of the old diversion
Hydropower potential and activities of responsible authorities
After the potential study for the Neckar river basin was finalised, the contracting authority
(Ministry for the environment, climate protection and the energy sector BadenWuerttemberg) published the study on the internet ( in German) and instructed the local water authorities
(the so-called “Landkreise”) about the results of the study. So far there are no additional
measures by the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg to realise the potential. BadenWuerttemberg’s hydropower ordinance is to be amended by the new state government
aiming at simplifying the procedure to approve new hydropower operations.
Small hydropower – activities of stakeholders and NGOs
The important NGOs of Baden-Wuerttemberg are divided over the future of small
hydropower. Some of them emphasise the ecological impacts small hydropower operations
have on river ecology. The fishing associations even demand a reduction of the number of
small hydropower locations, especially in natural habitats where Atlantic Salmon should be
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 3: Break-Out Sessions__________________________________________
reintroduced. Other NGOs see climate change as the single most important challenge of
society in the 21st century and propose to ease the current restrictions on hydropower
development and construction in German water law.
The regional association of the operators of small hydropower plants contents huge
potentials of hydropower based on historic mill sites and theoretical gross hydropower
potentials. They deny any significant impact of hydropower on stream ecology.
Authorised by the federal environmental agency (UBA) some basic studies regarding
measures to mitigate the impacts of hydropower on river ecology were conducted recently.
Their results can be downloaded from the internet at (mostly in German).
The presentation can be found here:
Concluding Remarks for the Break-Out Sessions: The Business Case to take a
proactive approach to address environmental concerns for renewable energy
Presentation by Deviah Aiama, IUCN
What is IUCN
IUCN stands for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a nature
conservation organisation with members from civil society and governments. In Spain IUCN
has the following members:
24 national NGOs
1 international NGO
2 affiliates
1 state member
10 government agencies
IUCN has several thematic programmes and energy is one of the cross cutting programmes.
This is shown in Figure 10.
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Figure 10: Structure of IUCN and place of the energy department
It can not be denied that energy projects have an impact on the environment. However, this
should not lead to ecosystems services constraining energy systems. Rather, one should
move away from this vicious cycle towards a virtuous cycle where energy systems are
enhancing ecosystems and ecosystems are enabling energy systems. That is why IUCN wants
to provide tools and knowledge to enable the transition towards a virtuous cycle to ensure
the renewable energy future is truly sustainable.
The renewable energy reality
Although the reasons often differ, ambitious targets and scenarios for renewable energy
have been adopted by more than 85 countries. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (2011) renewable energy could contribute up to 80% of primary energy
demand in 2050, provided the right policy conditions are created and a large increase in
energy conservation and efficiency measures are accomplished. To give an idea, when 100%
renewable energy is to be used in 2030 the following power generation capacity will be
3,800,000 (5 MW) wind turbines
49,000 (300 MW) concentrated solar plants
40,000 (300 MW) solar PV power plants
1.7 billion (3 kW) rooftop PV systems
5350 (100 MW) geothermal power plants
270 new (1300 MW) hydroelectric power plants
720,000 (0.75 MW) wave devices and 490,000 (1 MW) tidal turbines
Regardless of the techniques used, society takes an increasingly critical stance towards the
impacts of energy production.
(Jacobson et al (2010) Providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power, Part I: Technologies,
energy resources, quantities and areas of infrastructure, and materials, Energy Policy)
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With a growing energy demand it is of course inevitable that impacts occur. The question
then remains on how to minimise these impacts. The best way to approach this is by using
the mitigation hierarchy. When following the hierarchy negative impacts on biodiversity are
first avoided. The impacts that cannot be avoided should be mitigated. The negative effects
that still occur after taking these precautions need to be restored. Some damages cannot be
restored. According to the mitigation hierarchy they should be offset. Like this, no net loss of
biodiversity occurs. These measures can be accompanied by additional measure to
accomplish a net gain of biodiversity.
For the different stages of the mitigation hierarchy different tools are available. For the first
three stages (avoidance, mitigation, restoration), standard tools such as strategic
environmental assessments, environmental impact assessments and planning approaches
are available. To manage the residual impact on biodiversity, standards and certification can
be used. Additional conservation actions can be guided by no net loss and net positive
impact approaches. Of all these instruments, only the standards, certification and the
environmental impact assessments are used by business.
Proactive approaches in different renewable energy options: biofuels
With regard to biofuels IUCN uses its expertise and tools to lessen the biodiversity impact.
They can especially be used in the following domains:
Land use planning & change
Invasive species
Sustainability standards
In line with two resolutions on biofuels approved in Barcelona, IUCN has been active in the
biofuels policy and standards setting agenda, aiming to ensure that adequate environmental
and social safeguards are established and implemented in international and regional key
fora, including the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels and the European Commission.
Our work on standards has illustrated that businesses can only do so much to improve their
sustainability, dependent on the production site. It really depends on where the initial site
has been allocated. In some cases, where biofuel feedstock is produced on existing
agriculture land, agriculture can be displaced to other areas, so-called indirect land use
change (ILUC). The video on IUCN’s biofuel webpages on ILUC explains this. The key to more
sustainable biofuels is good government planning to ensure biofuels complements not
competes with other uses and needs (including nature protection) in a given landscape, plus
best practice from business in the management of their site.
Proactive approaches in different renewable energy options: wind energy
Similarly, IUCN undertook a well-received study with E.ON (Wilhemsson et al., 2010), see
literature, to understand the real potential risks and opportunities of offshore wind energy.
It was based on a review of more than 1000 scientific publications, but was developed to
meet the technical needs of the industry, and was therefore organised around the project
lifecycle from planning, construction, operation and decommissioning. Furthermore, a short
synthesis of the report is summarised in part A, with links to relevant sections in the detail in
part B. This report provides a table with key environmental issues of wind offshore industry
and their scale of impact. The issues range from to impacts on the different animals such as
birds, fish and benthos, to hydrology. It also shows the scale of the impact and the duration
and the likelihood that the impacts take place.
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 3: Break-Out Sessions__________________________________________
The main risks and opportunities are summarised in Table 4. Risks marked with an asterisk
can be avoided through strategic planning.
Piling noise (dependent on foundation type
and soils)
Artificial hard bottom habitats created
Electromagnetic disturbance
Fish Aggregation Devices created
Potential collisions with wind turbines *
Limitations of fishing in the wind farms
Deviation of the migratory routes of birds
and whales *
Development of “marine protected areas”
Navigational hazards for ships *
Table 4: Risks and opportunities from offshore wind farms (Wilhelmsson et al., 2010)
The main finding of the study is that with proper planning and management of offshore wind
farms, it can be ensured that the population size and structure of marine life is not
significantly disturbed and can potentially enhance levels of marine biodiversity. This means
that there will be some impact, but as long as the mitigation hierarchy is followed, the
projects can still be environmentally sustainable.
Proactive approaches in different renewable energy options: hydropower
Hydropower is perhaps the most controversial of all potentially renewable energy options.
More than 10 years ago, IUCN was involved in the World Commission on Dams (WCD). The
recommendations from this important piece of work have been adapted by the International
Hydropower Association and their protocol for sustainable hydropower (as presented
IUCN specifically has developed a tool in response to the WCD recommendations: river flows
should be allocated through negotiation by stakeholders within the limits of availability.
Stakeholder engagement is required to allocate the flows accordingly and therefore achieve
multiple goals. Recognising that built infrastructure has a complementary role to natural
infrastructure such as wetlands and rivers, environmental flows are a tool for integrated
decision-making to meet multiple goals, for:
Sustainability of water infrastructure
Strengthen water, food and energy security
Increase resilience to climate change
Recommendations to proactively safeguard against biodiversity and ecosystem impacts
There are several recommendations for business and governments when it comes to
planning renewable energy projects. Businesses should avoid ecologically significant and
sensitive sites. On the other sites, they should use approaches, designs and tools at project
concept that are proven to minimise risks to biodiversity and ecosystems. This will help them
to identify business risks and opportunities in the value chain such as habitat banking and
“paying for ecosystem services”. For the latter, tools such as the Ecosystem Services Review
(ESR) and Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV) can be used. Finally, business can consider
offsetting residual impacts by using no net loss (NNL) and net positive impact (NPI)
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 3: Break-Out Sessions__________________________________________
For governments, it is recommended to use strategic environmental assessments effectively.
In addition, they can also design new policies that incentivise ‘no net loss’ approaches.
Finally they can enable research and development (R&D) for nascent renewable energy tech
and design.
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 4: Environment friendly grid extension____________________________
Part 4: Environment friendly grid extension
Best practices and guidelines to minimise impacts and stimulate public
support for grid expansion
Presentation by Antonella Battaglini, Renewable Grids Initiative
Lack of public acceptance is the core problem for the grid expansion. In the past,
environmental NGOs and Transmission System Operators (TSOs) lacked a common objective.
Now, with the promotion of renewable energies and their necessary integration in the grids,
a common goal and a basis of collaboration have been created.
For the public, the expansion of grids comes with various issues. With regards to
technologies, the most important matter is the choice and deployment of technologies,
followed by the fear of a decrease in security and reliability of the electricity grid. For
financial issues, a fair allocation of costs is the core issue. Here, however, one also sees the
need for transparent regulations. Authorities cannot decide without public support.
Communication is the key to establish acceptance for grid expansion, transparency needs to
be ensured and impartial, and comprehensive information has to be made available to the
With regard to the environment, the public is especially concerned about the impacts on
ecosystems. Other, less altruistic issues such as social and economic impacts (e.g. tourism)
and land use competition play a major role as well. Health impacts of grid extension further
need to be addressed.
In order to address the main issues, the Renewable Grids Initiative will therefore publish a
declaration on electricity network development and nature conservation in Europe. The
declaration includes various issues that will help to achieve the reconciliation of biodiversity
conservation and expansion of renewable energies. Sustained cooperation in and open
dialogue and a suitable regulatory framework can lead to development of joint solutions.
Monitoring and learning from the experiences made will enhance the knowledge of impacts
and solutions.
Public acceptability is as mentioned before, a core issue. Transparency needs to be created
and the public has to be involved early on. Support for the funding and regulatory
acceptance of additional financial cost to minimise environmental impacts is necessary as
Tools to be employed are strategic spatial planning and strategic environmental assessments
(SEA). A hierarchy of priorities in infrastructure development should be as follows: (1) build
only infrastructure that is needed (2) minimise new development; (3) mitigate impacts; (4)
compensate for unavoidable impacts. This should be accompanied with the commitment for
transparency on the need for infrastructure development and pre-application measures to
expedite planning procedures. Further, biodiversity can be protected by upholding legal
provisions and international agreements.
The presentation can be found here:
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 4: Environment friendly grid extension____________________________
Plan N: Political recommendations for a socially and ecologically acceptable
grid extension in Germany
Presentation by Liv Anne Becker, Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.
The German Environment Aid (Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.) is a German environmental NGO
founded in 1975. Its areas of work include nature and species protection, recycling,
sustainable energy and the transformation of the energy system, as well as consumer
protection issues. In 2008 the German Environment Aid initiated, and since then moderates
the “Forum for Integration of Renewable Energy”, which aims at supporting and promoting
the socially and ecologically acceptable transformation of the power grid for a system of
100% renewable energy. The “Forum” is a platform for discussion among different
stakeholders. The project-team of the Forum organises workshops, conferences and local
dialogue events and develops together with the steering committee recommendations for
political action. The steering committee advises the Forum and consists of representatives
from the energy industry, TSOs, associations, NGOs and Citizens initiatives.
The “Plan N – recommendations for political action” is the result of an intensive discussion
lasting for more than two years. It is a political strategy paper that shows ways of
accelerating grid extension and achieving greater public acceptance for it in Germany. Plan N
was signed in November 2010 by about 70 companies, organisations and private persons.
Three of the four German TSOs provided a letter stating their support for the work of the
Forum for Integration of Renewable Energy and the Plan N and providing some additional
discussion points.
The aims of Plan N include all aspects of the power grid-transformation: system optimisation
(e.g. issues of “Smart Grids”, load management, storage, etc.), optimisation of grid extension
(e.g. bundling of infrastructures, technical innovations, etc.), planning procedures,
acceptance and nature conservation. Plan N (in German and in English) is available for free
download from:
In the following, the focus is on recommendations and key
demands of Plan N concerning nature conservation.
Figure 11: Plan N Recommendations for
political actions
In short, the legal framework concerning grid extension projects
and nature conservation in Germany is as follows: The
construction of new power lines always has an impact on nature
and landscapes and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is
mandatory during planning procedures in Germany. Also, new
power lines are subject to commitment to minimise the adverse
environmental impacts, caused by e.g. use of sites or the
impairment of ecosystem functions. The German Nature
Conservation Act (BNatSchG) provides access prohibitions to
specific areas (e.g. NATURA 2000 sites), as well as regulations
concerning bird protection measures on power lines.
The planning, review and approval procedures for new extra high
voltage lines (≥ 220kV) are managed by the individual German
Federal States on quite different bases. Still, since this summer there are new regulations
concerning lines of national importance that are in the future supervised by the German
Federal Grid Regulator (BNetzA).
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Key demands concerning issues of nature protection of Plan N
With regard to nature protection, Plan N gives several recommendations on how grid
extension and nature protection can be harmonised:
The criteria applicable for new overhead lines or underground cabling need to be
standardised in all German Federal States
Areas of high importance for nature
conservation (protected sites, national parks,
natural monuments, etc.) must be considered
on an individual basis during planning
If there are no regional planning alternatives,
power lines should be laid underground
(Exception: sensitive areas, e.g. moorlands)
monitoring along power line routes.
pose aa threat
Key demands of Plan N concerning bird protection
One of the most important and most discussed issues in nature conservation is the
protection of birds. Overhead power lines endanger birds in various ways: there is a risk of
collision with the often poorly visible ground wire, there is an electrocution risk for larger
birds with the medium voltage power (1-60kV) lines and there is a risk of burns or shock
when birds land on lines with temperatures above 80°C.
The key demands listed in Plan N are:
Priority for underground cabling (low, medium and
high voltage level)
Implementation of bird protection markers on
ground wires
New pylons: prefer single level pylons (collision risk
for birds appears to be reduced)
Some of the TSOs in Germany take efforts to manage
their power lines in ecological terms. This holds true
e.g. for the TSO Amprion. One best practice example
Figure 13: Installation of a black and
that should be mentioned here is an EU project
white marker from helicopter
conducted on behalf of the TSO 50Hertz. This project,
with the title “Ecological corridor management”, aims at optimising overhead power line
routes in ecological terms. It developed guidelines for an optimal design of overhead lines,
including aspects of planning, maintenance and promotion of acceptance. The developed
approach is based on a modular system and is in principal applicable to all German and EU
Finally, some current developments concerning grid projects nature conservation in
Germany should be named:
August 2011: The German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information
Technologies (VDE) published binding guidelines for bird protection measures in the
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 4: Environment friendly grid extension____________________________
medium voltage grid (1-60kV)
Summer 2011: The Conference of the State Environment Ministers established a workinggroup to develop consistent criteria for nature protection in planning procedures for new
power lines; results are expected in summer 2012.
The presentation can be found here:
Input Presentation I: The Example of Iberdrola
Presentation by Javier Goitia, Iberdrola
Iberdrola Distribution is a “Regulated Business Company” that belongs to the Iberdrola
Group, having the responsibility of the Distribution of electricity in about a half of the
Spanish territory.
In the technical area, its network is large and diverse. Because of the size, its “footprint” that
includes ¼ million kilometre lines and about 1000 main and 90,000 secondary sub-stations, is
very difficult to manage. In addition, the network is placed in a country with a very rich
biodiversity due to its location between Europe and Africa and because of its wide range of
Assessment of environmental impacts
The response of Iberdrola to such richness and to problems that managing a network in such
a place causes has been a clear decision to develop skills in two ways: firstly to create
Systems to manage the size and diversity of data (for example, SAP software and Geographic
Information Systems), and secondly, training our almost 900 linemen to be able to
understand and manage a wide short of information they can find along the lines every day.
To give an idea of the events they can encounter, the seven basic types of accidents that
Iberdrola has classified encompass almost 80 accidents. This assessment provides Iberdrola
with good knowledge of the effects of their electricity distribution network. This enables
Iberdrola to not only to reduce the environmental impact of the exisisting installations but
also to improve the designs and operation of construction workers and engineering
It is also being valued by governments,
certification agencies and other organisations
that give Iberdrola more easily allowances to
work with wild fauna. The incidents related to
birds are best known by the public because they
are the most common but it is not the only kind
of accident. Iberdrola has for example a project
to prevent white storks nesting in the electricity
Figure 14: Stork nests in electricity towers are
becoming a problem for distribution network
Impacts on flora and fauna
White stork nesting has become a prime problem
because the bird population increased and
pruning, waste and other nesting by-products
filled the fields. Twelve years ago, Iberdrola
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 4: Environment friendly grid extension____________________________
started a project that involved removing stork chicks from their nests. The method
succeeded and Iberdrola was able to “disconnect” parents and chicks of their dependence
about poles and towers. However, there is still a need to further cut down on the
electrocution of storks because they also cause reduce blackouts.
Another, although smaller, problem is that of snakes that mistake isolators for birds and
become electrocuted. Snakes hibernate, but the last week before they go into hibernation
and directly afterwards, they frequently climb electricity towers and bite into isolators that
they mistake for birds. This results in dead animals, energy cuts and sometimes fire.
Together with the University of Salamanca, Iberdrola works at methods to prevent the
snakes from climbing into the electricity towers. The laboratory experiments will be tested
outdoors during the spring of 2012.
In addition to snakes, small carnivores are prone to get electrocuted by the biting on
isolators. These animals are being kept away by using electric fencing, pheromone fragrance
but the best results were acquired with traps. According to Iberdrola, the biggest obstacles
are now posed by the administration that does not let them manage endangered animals.
Next to animals, plants also pose a risk to
electricity lines. Due to a diminished timber price,
forests are not taken care of anymore and can
cause dangerous situations. With Geographic
Information Systems a risk map is made to identify
areas electricity cables vulnerable to tree
However, even more important than the short
term impacts are the long term impacts. For that
purpose Iberdrola is working to include the
environment knowledge (that relates to
biodiversity and goes beyond waste management)
Figure 15: Forest are often not taken care of
as an important factor in long term business anymore and can cause a risk to electricity poles.
The presentation can be found here:
Input Presentation II: The Example of Red Eléctrica de España
Presentation by Cristobal Bermúdez, Red Eléctrica de España
Red Eléctrica de España (REE) is the responsible for the technical management of the
Spanish electricity system. They are the owners of the Spanish high voltage electricity
transmission grid and the only company in Spain specialised in the activity of electrical
energy transmission.
In 2010 Red Eléctrica de España (REE) approved a new edition of the environmental policy. It
explicitly combines Red Eléctrica’s firm commitment to significantly contribute to the
achievement of a more sustainable energy model with a greater presence of energies
originating from renewable technologies. Finally, it signals the clear intention to advance in
the fight against climate change, with energy efficiency as a fundamental pillar.
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 4: Environment friendly grid extension____________________________
Another highlight for Red Eléctrica de España (REE) was the approval of their biodiversity
strategy that is structured along five main axes and defines the stages and action criteria to
follow to integrate biological diversity conservation into business management.
Respect for the natural environment and the conservation of biodiversity are key principles
of their business management. For this reason, all their activities are carried out in
accordance with strict environmental criteria, in line with the principles assumed in their
environmental policy. An overview of all REE activities that are related to biodiversity can be
found here:
Red Eléctrica has always given solid support to sustainable development, being commitment
to being one of the companies that best integrate environmental protection into the day-today activities. This commitment has led Red Eléctrica to define and introduce a series of
indicators that make it possible to measure the company's environmental commitment. An
overview of the indicators can be found here:
REE is committed to integrate environmental protection in the day to day tasks and
activities. It identifies and assesses all those aspects derived from its activities which could
interact with the environment and cause any type of impact. The main effects are linked to
the presence of the facilities (electricity cables and sub-stations), as well as to their
construction and maintenance works. Thanks to the application of preventive measures and
to the use of environmental best practices during construction work, the potential and real
impacts are reduced. In those cases when impacts on the environment occur, the most
adequate measures are applied with the purpose of mitigating or compensating for them.
The grid planning stage
Red Eléctrica collaborates with the MITYC (Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism) in the
process of strategic environmental evaluation of the electricity planning. In addition, Red
Eléctrica collaborates with several autonomous communities on the development of
regional electricity infrastructure plans.
The project stage
Red Eléctrica goes beyond its legal obligations by carrying out environmental impact studies
on all of the projects of new installations which it commissions and constructs, as well as on
the projects of new installations commenced by companies that do not belong to Red
Eléctrica but that may require it to construct these installations. These environmental
studies are submitted to the competent body in environmental matters for their approval
and formalisation.
These studies help to significantly reduce possible impacts on the natural and social
environment. The reason is that most of the potential impacts of electrical power lines
mainly depend on the layout and sites determined for the power cable. This can be seen in
Figure 16.
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 4: Environment friendly grid extension____________________________
Figure 16 Environmental impacts of grids depend on the layout and the sites determined for the power line.
The construction phase
To ensure the compliance with environmental requirements and to verify the effectiveness
of the corrective and preventive measures, Red Eléctrica supervises the environmental
aspects of all construction works for new lines and sub-stations that are carried out by
The maintenance stage
During the maintenance phase REE systematically carries out periodic reviews and audits on
the facilities in service which allows them to define and implement preventive and corrective
measures, detect potential environmental incidents and verify the effectiveness of the
measures put in place during the construction phase.
Red Eléctrica adopts preventive measures specifically designed to prevent or minimise the
negative interactions of the installations with their environment. In environmental research,
development and innovation, Red Eléctrica works with research teams to attain goals and
results that give an added value to the activity performed.
REE performed the following studies in the domain of forest fire fighting and prevention and
the protection of flora:
Project Vulcano (2008-2011): this project, which ended in 2011, is aimed at the
prevention of forest fires, by developing an assessment methodology to prevent conflicts
between electricity cables and railway networks with their surroundings throughout
their life cycle. More info in the webpage for the VULCANO
"Modelling of the growth of forest masses" project (2010-2013): the work is carried out
jointly with Altran Technologies and the School of Engineering and Mountain Science of
the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. The objective of the project is to obtain a
simulation model for forest growth to prevent possible incidents with high voltage lines
by keeping at least the safety distance between the trees and the cables.
With regard to the protection of avifauna REE conducts research in the following areas:
Reduction of the risk birds collide with power lines by marking the ground cables with
III. Workshop Sessions- Part 4: Environment friendly grid extension____________________________
bird-saver spirals.
Prevention of bird nesting on cables and sub-stations, transfer of nests from conflicting
points of support to artificial platforms, installation of nesting dissuaders at conflict
points of support, installation in support of artificial nesting platforms for birds of prey
and the use of sub-stations as resting points for birds of prey.
In 2010, the studies centered mainly on:
Collision detector: this project carried out in collaboration with the Migres Foundation
and the Research Foundation of the University of Seville. Its objective is the design of a
detection system for possible impacts. The system will be installed on grounding cables
and would allow for real-time detection of possible collisions and their location in order
to act swiftly in the event of accidents.
Assessement of birdlife migratory routes in autonomous communities: its objective is to
identify the more frequented routes and migration routes used by birds which are prone
to collide with the lines.
Testing a model of nesting deterrent for storks (Ciconia ciconia): design of a prototype
device that deters the White Stork species from nesting on the electricity line towers.
Improvements in the habitat of Steppe birds in Andalucía.
The presentation can be found here:
VI. Literature________________________________________________________________
V. Next Steps within the European B&B Campaign
With the European campaign "Business and Biodiversity” the Global Nature Fund (GNF) and
six partners from Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands inform companies from a variety of
economic sectors about the issues of biodiversity and the loss of habitats and species
diversity. The campaign is supported by the LIFE+ programme of the European Union and
includes events such as the workshop in Madrid, a biodiversity check for businesses, and an
extensive website with background information under
As stated before, the workshop in Madrid was used to gather insight on the most pressing
issues related to energy and biodiversity. Two more information seminars will be organised
in 2012 to address these topics in more detail in specialised workshops. A first follow up
workshop was held on November 10/11 in Berlin as part of the congress “New Grids for
Renewables” organised by the German Environmental Aid. During this congress, the GNF
hosted an expert forum entitled “Grid extension and nature conservation - Examples from
Spain and Germany” with speakers from Amprion and RED Electrica participating. For more
information on this expert forum, please refer to Annex 1. The concrete dates and topics of
the other two information seminars have not been set yet, but will be published soon on the
website of the B&B Campaign.
Besides the information seminars, the next steps of the EBBC for the energy sector include
the following activities:
Private Sector can showcase its commitment towards biodiversity by uploading profiles
of the company and case studies at the European B&B Campaign’s webpage.
Biodiversity Checks for companies from the tourism industry are implemented by GNF
and its Campaign partners. The Biodiversity Checks will provide an overview of a
company’s impacts on ecosystems and interdependence with biodiversity.
Organisations present at the Madrid Workshop have in the meantime been pushing their
agenda forward as well. The GP WIND Project is currently finalising its theme studies on
social and ecological impacts and its best practice guide for wind farms. The Renewable
Grids Initiative on November 10 launched its “European Grid Declaration on Electricity
Network Development and Nature Conservation in Europe” to foster the collaboration of
grid operators and environmental organisations to achieve a sustainable modernization of
electricity grids.
Recent developments have again highlighted the importance of reconciling nature
conservation with expanding energy projects. The extension of the Lieberose solar park in
Eastern Germany had to be cancelled due to protests against the clearing of forests that
would have been necessary; at the same time the Belgian grid operator started a project,
funded by the EU’s environment program to work on the ecological management of its
power line corridors. A lot of work thus lies ahead.
VI. Literature________________________________________________________________
VI. Literature on renewable energy and biodiversity
Legislative framework:
EU Commission (2010). Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond – A Blueprint for an integrated
European energy network. Brussels, from: (last
accessed 3/1/12)
EU Commission (2009). Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending
and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC. Official Journal of the European
Union, from:
(last accessed 3/1/12)
EU Commission (2009). Comission Staff Working document – Impact Assessment. Brussels: EU Commission,
from: (last
accessed 3/1/12)
Boehlert, G.W., & Gill, A.B. (2010). Environmental and Ecological Effects of Ocean Renewable Energy
Development – A Current Synthesis. Oceanography, 23(2), pp. 68-61.
Hoen, B., Wiser, R., Cappers, P., & Thayer, M. (2011). An Analysis of the Effects of Residential Photovoltaic
Energy Systems on Home Sales Price in California. Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Ernest
Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, from: (last accessed 3/1/12)
Kjaer, J., Larsen, J.K., Boesen, C., Corlin, H.H., Andersen, S., Nielsen, S., Ragborg, A.G., & Christensen, K.M.
(2006). Danish Offshore Wind – Key Environmental Issues. Dong Energy, Many authors (2011). GP Wind
– Thematic Case Studies
Solar Parks – Opportunities for Biodiversity (2010). Renewable Energies Agency, (Issue 45), from: (last accessed 3/1/12)
DONG Energy, Vattenfall, The Danish Energy Authority, The Danish and Forest and Nature Agency (2006).
Danish Off shore Wind – Key Environmental Issues.
EU Guidance Document – Wind Energy Developments and Natura 2000, from: (last
accessed 3/1/12)
Hötker, H., Thomsen, K-M., Jeromin, H. (2005). Impacts on biodiversity of exploitation of renewable energy
sources: the example of birds and bats. Norderstedt: Books on Demand.
Lindeboom, H.J., Louwenhoven, H.J., Bergman, M.J.N., Bouma, S., Brasseur, S., Daan, R., Fijn, R.C., de Haan, D.,
Dirksen, S., van Hal, R., Hille Ris Lambers, R., ter Hofstede, R., Krijgsveld, K.L., Leopold, M., & Scheidat,
M. (2011). Short-term ecological effects of an offshore windfarm in the Dutch coastal zone; a
compilation. Environmental Research Letters, 6(3)
Wilhelmsson, D., Malm, T., Thompson, R., Tchou, J., Sarantakos, G., McCormick, N., Luitjens, S., Gullström, M.,
Patterson Edwards, J.K., Amir, O., & Dubi, A (Eds.) (2010). Greening Blue Energy: Identifying and
managing the biodiversity risks and opportunities of offshore renewable energy. Gland: IUCN
Wind Turbines in Denmark, Danish Energy Agency, from: (last accessed 3/1/12)
Association of German hydropower operators: (last accessed 3/1/12)
Deutsche Umwelthilfe (2006). Lebendige Flüsse & Kleine Wasserkraft – Konflikt ohne Lösung? Berlin: DUH,
from: (last accessed 3/1/12)
VI. Literature________________________________________________________________
Hydropower in the German State of Baden-Wuerttemberg:
Implementation of the water framework directive in the German State of Baden-Wuerttemberg:
International Hydropower Association (2010). Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, from: (last accessed 3/1/12)
International Hydropower Association: (last accessed 3/1/12)
Reiss, J., Dußling, D., & Heimerl, S. (2011). Potentiale der Wasserkraft im Neckar-Einzugsgebiet. Ministerium für
Umwelt, Naturschutz und Verkehr Baden-Württemberg
Electricity grid:
Bernshausen, F., Kreuzinger, J., Uther, D., & Wahl, M. (2007). Hochspannungsfreileitungen und Vogelschutz:
Minimierung des Kollisionsrisikos. Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung, 39(1).
DUH (2010). Plan N – Handlungsempfehlungen an die Politik, from: (last accessed 3/1/12)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2011). The future of the electricity grid; an Interdisciplinary MIT Study,
from: (last accessed 3/1/12)
Schumacher, A. (2002). Die Berücksichtigung des Vogelschutzes an Energiefreileitungen im novellierten
Bundesnaturschutzgesetz. Naturschutzrecht, Heft 1
Siemers, M., & Uther, D. (2002). Nachhaltige Entwicklung in der Stromübertragung am Beispiel der
Trassenpflege. VWEW Energieverlag, 101(21-22), pp. 54-58.
Renewables 2011 Global Status Report, Ren21, from: (last accessed 3/1/12)
Annex 1: Proceedings congress “New Grids for Renewables!” 10 Nov 2011, Berlin
See also:
Global Nature Fund
An international foundation
for the protection of nature and the environment
Partners of the European Business & Biodiversity Campaign
IUCN Regional Office for Pan Europe
Triple E
The largest global environmental network
dedicated to nature conservation.
A centre of expertise specialising in the
relationship between economy and ecology.
Fundación Global Nature
A non-profit organisation committed to
nature conservation in Spain.
A consultancy that advises companies on
CSR communications, strategy and
An international NGO that fosters sustainable
economy in the wider Lake Constance region.
A publishing and media company that
promotes sustainable solutions.
The European Business and Biodiversity Campaign is supported under EU LIFE+
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