What can wind turbines do for wildlife?

Wind power can even have local positive effects on biodiversity, and offers an opportunity to practice ecological restoration both onshore and offshore, such as creation of new vegetation and animal habitats, improved fish stocks and other marine life. A two-year study (2011) at the Dutch offshore wind farm Egmond aan Zee revealed that marine life can benefit from the presence of offshore wind turbines, with a higher biodiversity of organisms recorded.

Wind farms are popular with farmers, since their land can continue to be used for growing crops or grazing livestock. Sheep, cows and horses are not disturbed by wind turbines. While the construction of an offshore farm can result in habitat displacement or direct loss of habitat (temporary or permanent), an offshore farm can also protect fish from large scale commercial fishing activities and provide new marine reserves.

Want to learn more about wind power and the environment? If you’re an EWEA member you can check out our Environmental Impact Information Tool!