Danish Study shows:  

Offshore Wind Farms can benefit the Ecosystem

2012.07.26

The construction of offshore wind farms is rapidly expanding across Europe as a consequence of the increasing demand for renewable energy. A Danish study shows that these wind farms can actually be beneficial to the ecosystem.

Denmark has constructed several offshore wind farms as part of a strategy to become 100 per cent independent of fossil fuels by 2050. In order to investigate what effects these wind farms have on fish life, a study programme was established in 2009 by Orbicon and DTU Aqua.

The study concludes that offshore wind farms have a positive effect on local ecosystems, and that they are beneficial for fish communities because they create new ecological niches and exclude commercial fishing from the area, as they become marine protected areas (MPAs).

Horns Rev 1 - One of the world’s biggest offshore wind farms

In Denmark there are 12 completed offshore wind farms, including one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms - Horns Rev 1 which was selected as location for the study. Horns Rev 1 is situated in the North Sea, 14-20 km off the western cost of Denmark and comprises 80 windmills built to a depth of 20 meters.

The study shows that offshore wind farms have a positive effect on the fish community structure and many species of fish. According to the analysis, offshore wind farms may actually increase the number and diversity of fish in the North Sea by creating new habitats, as the stone foundation becomes like an artificial reef.

Denmark is world leading in offshore wind energy with a Danish fingerprint on around 90 percent of the world’s offshore wind installations.

Click to read more about the study of Horns Rev 1  or Danish wind energy.

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