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Wind Power: Environmental Impact Assessment

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what environmental impact assessment regarding wildlife is required for wind turbines, with particular reference to bats. (242049)

For projects over 50 MW, which are considered under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 or under the Transport and Works Act 1992, wind farm developers are required when seeking development consent to consider all environmental aspects of wind energy projects and produce an environmental impact assessment (EIA) which is available to the public. This includes the possible effects on flora and fauna, including bats. For projects of 50 MW or less, which are considered under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the local planning authority may request an ELA is completed.

In addition, DECC have commissioned numerous research projects in order to assess possible environmental impacts from wind turbines. In particular, DECC are funding research into the development of techniques that may reduce the risk of bats interacting with wind turbines. The results of this research should be published next year.