|Cooperating for biodiversity-friendly wind power in France
The French national programme on wind energy and biodiversity, ‘Éolien– Biodiversité’, was created in 2006 with the aim to develop biodiversity friendly wind farms in France. It is coordinated by LPO/BirdLife France and supported by a steering committee including the energy and environmental management agency (ADEME), the Ministry of the Environment (MEDDA), and renewable energy professionals (SER-FEE).
The programme is based on a set of quality criteria, such as:
- respect for the ecological sensitivity of development sites, using spatial planning
- preservation of biodiversity when building, aiming for no net loss of biodiversity
- ecological monitoring for birds and bats during operation, and reduction of impacts found during monitoring
- rehabilitation of the site, taking into account biodiversity.
The programme includes, for example, the compilation of an up-to-date bibliography, a dedicated web resource area, online advice, accurate guidelines on the implementation of Environmental Impact Assessments and specific surveys, expert advice on specific projects (eg, R&D, spatial planning, surveys), financial support and environmental NGO networking and capacity building.
The programme also supports regional authorities to prepare regional wind energy schemes, defining zones within which a feed-in tarif will be available. Biodiversity sensitivity maps are used to determine the best locations from a biodiversity point of view, and to minimize cumulative harmful effects. The data needed for mapping is linked with accurate knowledge on bird diversity, quantity, location and potential sensitivity to wind turbines. The map below is an example of one of the regional maps produced through compilation of this data.
Example of a bird sensitivity map used in regional spatial planning in France (Pays de la Loire region). Credits: Fotolia_© Martin Lehotkay
BirdLife Europe (2011) Meeting Europe’s Renewable Energy Targets in Harmony with Nature (eds Scrase I. and Gove B). The RSPB, Sandy, UK.
LPO (BirdLife partner in France)
Yann Andre, yann.andre(at)lpo.fr