Balancing nature and renewable energy

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    Abstract

    Expanding renewable energy production is an environmentally desirable goal to pursue until it threatens biodiversity. These conflicts between different environmental objectives not only create difficult challenges for decision-makers and sometimes odd alliances among those campaigning for or against particular developments but also lead to tensions in the law. Whatever technology is used, there will be added environmental disruption during the construction phase. The requirement to carry out an EIA is fundamental to taking account of biodiversity issues, ensuring that these cannot be overlooked in the way that they were for the older schemes. This is emphasized in the text of the revised Directive, recently approved, which elevates biodiversity to a separate factor to be considered in the assessment, as opposed to being in the general category of ?human beings, fauna and flora'. If a natural site is to be affected, then an appropriate assessment must be carried out to identify the likely impact on the site. Licenses authorizing disturbance can be issued for marine environments, but only so long as the actions will not be detrimental to maintenance of the population at favorable conservation status.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)100-104
    Number of pages5
    JournalEnvironmental Law and Management
    Volume26
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2014

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