16 Aug '12, 2pm

In Germany, Environmental Concerns Could Impact Offshore Wind Development

In Germany, Environmental Concerns Could Impact Offshore Wind Development

EON AG and RWE AG, the country’s two biggest utilities, are using technologies that reduce noise from driving turbines into the seabed after nature groups complained that the work damages the sonar-like hearing of porpoises. Unexploded mines from World War II also are holding up work. “A porpoise is doomed to die if its hearing is shattered,” Kim Detloff, a marine expert at German nature conservation group NABU , said in a phone interview. “The regulator must sanction developers if they repeatedly violate the noise limit.” The concerns show that wind developers are beginning to face the same scrutiny as oil companies for projects in sensitive places, a trend likely to add costs and slim profit margins that already are razor-thin. That adds another hurdle to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s effort to build up offshore wind as an alternative to atomic power, a program that may cos...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012...

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