Wind energy developments in Lincolnshire and offshore

Wind energy developmentsOffshore windfarm / Robin Cosgrove

The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust supports the use of renewable energy sources but it is firmly of the opinion that development of any form of energy, renewable or otherwise, should not compromise long-term nature conservation objectives. Developments therefore need to be sited appropriately.

 

The global context 

Human-induced climate change poses a serious long-term threat to wildlife worldwide. To reduce the impact of climate change on the natural environment we need to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions. The UK Government, through the Climate Change Act 2008, has undertaken to decrease our emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 34% by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050.

Decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions should be achieved by reducing demand and greater energy efficiency but will need to be complemented by an increase in renewable energy sources. The UK Government target is to obtain 15% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Wind currently offers one of the most market ready and economically viable technologies available, although this situation is likely to change over the next 20 years, as the other technologies are developed.
 

Concerns of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

The Trust, as an environmental organisation, supports the Government commitment to move away from polluting methods of power generation to renewable energy sources. Wind energy developments have the potential to generate a significant proportion of the UK’s electricity requirements in a sustainable manner, thereby helping to mitigate against climate change. 

However, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust recognises that both off-shore and on-shore wind energy developments are major industrial projects that may have environmental impacts and therefore need to be sited appropriately.

The main concern of the Trust is the impact wind energy developments may have on wildlife. Wind energy developments, as with any major development, have the potential to impact adversely on wildlife in a number of ways, including:

  • Direct loss of, or damage to, habitats resulting from wind turbines and associated infrastructure.
  • Disturbance to species leading to their displacement from, or avoidance of, areas in and around wind energy installations, including where wind turbines act as barriers to movement.
  • Mortality of birds and bats through collision or barotrauma.
  • Interference with natural processes, including geological or geomorphological processes, hydrological processes, coastal erosion, and sediment transport and deposition.
  • Cumulative and in-combination effects when more than one wind energy scheme is developed in an area, or where there is interaction with other forms of development.

It is therefore important that wind energy developments are sited in appropriate locations and at an appropriate scale in order to minimise their impacts on habitats and species.
 

The role of the Trust

The Trust monitors wind energy development planning applications and considers each application in order to determine the potential impacts on wildlife. Responses to consultations on wind energy developments are made in line with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s policy statement covering off-shore and on-shore wind energy developments and our statement on the provision of responses to planning and other consultations.   

 

Downloads

FilenameFile size
Wind Energy Policy81.7 KB
Statement on provision of responses to planning and other consultations143.02 KB