Development of wind energy and territories important to biodiversity (VENBIS)
According to the National Energy Independence Strategy, Lithuania will aim to reach the target of no less than 23 % of renewable energy in final energy consumption, including no less than 20 % of renewable energy in the electricity sector by 2020. In order to reach this goal, in 2020 Lithuania will have installed wind energy (WE) power plants of 500 MW capacity. At the moment, the development of WE, particularly in the western part of Lithuania, often leads to the conflicts with territories, important to the protection of biodiversity. There is a lack of effective mechanisms for the conflict management, since the actual data on biodiversity, abundance, state of populations of the sensitive to WE development bird and bat species is still poor.
This project is aimed to evaluate the possible influence the most important areas for WE development to the biodiversity, especially to the most sensitive bird and bat species. Potential conflict areas will be detected, solutions for the conflict management, biodiversity protection and sustainable development of WE will be proposed. All available data on territories, important for the bird and bat protection, will be summarized for 53 municipalities, covering breeding, migration and wintering periods. Additional bird and bat surveys are planned for the territories where only historical data are available or no research was done before. New field research technologies will be used in order to facilitate data gathering and management. Following activities are planned: the analysis of WE development possibilities; creation of the database of bird and bat distribution, abundance and state of the populations, based on historical and recent data; analysis of the WE impact on biodiversity and Natura 200 territories; mapping. The best practice of other countries will be used during the project implementation. The database will integrate data, based on different field research methods and different sources. It will allow to search according different criteria and to present the results in relation with the WE development plans. The online tool will be developed for the evaluation of the sensitivity of potential conflict zones and conflict management. This tool will have individual access opportunities for different user groups. Expected added value is that multi-level data integration will help experts and environmental bodies quickly summarize the knowledge and take appropriate decisions. Meanwhile, representatives of WE development the outcomes of the project will help to choose the areas where the WE development would have a minimum negative impact on biodiversity. The project added value is the analysis of the bird and bat distribution, based on historical and new data, tools and techniques for the conflict management. Development perspectives of WE in different municipalities will be also evaluated.