Experts are urging Greek authorities to suspend the development of new wind parks on Natura-protected sites, arguing that planned facilities outside environmentally sensitive areas are more than adequate for Greece to meet its targets.
According to a new study by the University of Ioannina, existing wind farms already cover nearly half the target for 7,050 megawatts (MW) of wind energy by 2030. Most of the country’s 1,702 turbines are located outside Natura areas, whereas 705 are inside areas of high nature value.
Energy firms have submitted requests for an additional 5,514 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 15,265 MW inside Natura-protected sites. Should authorities green-light all of these projects, the experts warn, Greece will exceed its target sixfold.
The experts call upon authorities to temporarily suspend licenses for new wind parks pending the introduction of updated regulations on renewable energy projects and the protection of environmentally sensitive areas. They also urge authorities to complete the licensing process only for projects planned outside Natura sites, while giving priority to the development of infrastructure in areas of lower environmental value.
“Developing renewables is imperative,” said study leader Vassiliki Kati, a professor of biodiversity conservation. “However, properly installing them requires level-headed, multi-dimensional and scientifically substantiated arguments.”