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Greece Goaded to Keep Wind Farms Away from Environmental Areas

Ευρωκίνηση

The Nickel smelting factory in Larymna, Phthiotis. (Photo by Eurokinissi, FILE)

As the number of wind farms using giant turbines has spread across Greece, environmental analysts want the New Democracy government not to allow more in areas considered environmentally-friendly.

Experts urged authorities to suspend the development of new wind parks on Natura-protected sites, arguing that planned facilities in areas that could suffer environmental damage should be exempted, said Kathimerini.

A study by the University of Ioannina found 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, which would exceed the target by 600 percent, the report said.

Developing renewables is imperative,” study leader Vassiliki Kati, a Professor of Biodiversity Conservation told the paper. “However, properly installing them requires level-headed, multi-dimensional and scientifically substantiated arguments,” she said.

Experts want the government 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, said the paper.