AquaBiota have conducted a compilation and review of monitoring programs for offshore wind power, financed by the scientific program Vindval. The report aims to answer the project objectives regarding review and evaluation of existing monitoring programs, list the environmental impacts identified, and to make recommendations for design of future monitoring programs.
Wind farms in different regions show differences in regard to physical and geographical conditions, and the impact that needs to be monitored depends on which species or organism groups that are found within that specific area. It is important to examine and obtain information about the ecosystem components (species, habitats) that are present in the area where wind power is planned, which activities are likely to be carried out and the impact that activities may lead to for the respective ecosystem component, i e, to have a clear hypothesis. The choice of sampling design should be based on the natural variation of affected ecosystems components, the type of expected impact, and requirements for statistical power. It is essential to adapt the monitoring program to the spatial and temporal scale for which species and species groups could possibly be affected, depending on type of impact. It is also important to account for and monitor uncertainties and aspects where there is a lack of knowledge.
The results of this report contributes with new information on the environmental impacts of wind power in aquatic environments, as well as highlighting the challenges related to environmental monitoring of wind farms. The recommendations given aims to facilitate the implementation of monitoring programs and provide a basis for balanced and transparent decision within the establishment of wind farms in marine and lake environments.
Reference: Enhus, C., Bergström, H., Müller, R., Ogonowski, M., Isæus, M. 2017: Kontrollprogram för vindkraft i vatten – Sammanställning och granskning, samt förslag till rekommendationer för utformning av kontrollprogram. Naturvårdsverkets rapport 6741 från Vindval.