European Commission Issues Guidelines on Wind Energy in Protected Areas
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The guidelines for wind energy development in protected areas stress the role of strategic planning and high-quality impact assessments.

29 October 2010: The European Commission has issued guidelines for wind energy development in protected areas, recognizing the potential negative impacts of poorly sited or designed wind farms on vulnerable species and habitats.

The guidelines apply to the Natura 2000 network – an EU-wide ecological network of nearly 26,000 sites covering almost 18% of the EU’s land area. Wind energy deployment is not automatically excluded from the Natura 2000 network. The guidelines highlight the importance of strategic planning and quality assessment of new developments, and contain best practice examples. Wind energy is expected to play a significant role in reaching the EU target of obtaining 20% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. [EU Press Release] [The Guidance]