We need to work hard to ensure that any renewable energy development is sited in the right place with minimal impact to the environment.
In January 2010, Eneco, a Dutch energy company, was successful in securing exclusive rights from the Crown Estate to develop an offshore wind park off the Dorset coast.
In April 2012 Eneco was joined by French energy company EDF in promoting this scheme who bought a 50 per cent stake in the project. The area of seabed lies approximately 8.9 miles south east of Durlston Head on the Isle of Purbeck and 10.7 miles south west of Scratchell's Bay on the Isle of Wight.
The project, known as Navitus Bay Wind Park, if built will generate a maximum of 970MW. According to Eneco/EDF this is enough energy to power some 710,000 homes.
Generating energy from renewable resources is of crucial importance in the fight to stave off the worst excesses of climate change. The south west is blessed with a geography and climate which should be able to support a vibrant renewable energy industry. Offshore wind farms are part of the mix. However, while there is a great prize to be won here in terms of renewable energy generation, we need to work hard to ensure any renewable energy developments are sited in the right places.
Birds do collide with wind turbines, much in the way they collide with a variety of other man-made objects. While collision mortality rarely causes detrimental effects to bird populations we are keen to ensure as best we can that wind farms do not cause significant additional pressure. As well as collision risk we also consider impacts such as disturbance and cumulative effects as a consequence of construction, operation and decommissioning of wind farms.