This study investigates the influences of future offshore wind energy use in the Mediterranean. The report focuses on the avoidance and mitigation of negative effects of offshore wind farms on the marine environment.
The report was prepared on behalf of WWF France and forms the basis for the WWF report “Safeguarding marine protected areas in the growing Mediterranean blue economy. Recommendations for the offshore wind energy sector”, which was published within the framework of the PHAROS4MPAs project.
To date (2022), no offshore wind farms exist in the Mediterranean region. The first one is scheduled to start operation in Italy in 2022. It is assumed however that the development of wind turbines in this region will considerably increase over the following years.
Further development also raises concerns about the – potentially harmful – influences of wind farms on the environment. An increasing number of marine protected areas have been designated in the Mediterranean partially overlapping with planned wind farms.
Based on experiences with existing wind farms in mainly Northern Europe, the BioConsult SH report summarises information about the impacts of offshore wind farms on the marine environment. It provides an overview over different installation techniques, influences on marine fauna and habitats as well as technical possibilities and legal requirements in European countries to avoid or minimise negative impacts. This information from countries experienced in offshore wind energy use is transferred to the Mediterranean and adapted to local conditions. A particular focus is on the influence of offshore wind farms on marine protected areas.
The WWF report based on this study provides guidance for the involved parties in the wind energy sector to ensure an as environmentally friendly development as possible.
You can download the study "Safeguarding marine protected areas in the growing Mediterranean blue economy. Recommendations for the offshore wind energy sector" from the website of the WWF France.