WIT Press

Environmental Concerns Related To The Construction Of Offshore Wind Parks: Baltic Sea Case


Free (open access)





Page Range

131 - 140




369 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


L. Rostin, G. Martin & K. Herkül


Wind energy is considered to be one of the most promising sources of renewable energy in the future. Planning and construction of offshore wind parks is very active in the Northern Europe and Baltic Sea area. Currently, numbers of largescale projects are under development in the Baltic Sea area and, in most cases, the information on proper environmental impact assessment (EIA) of this activity is missing. There are a number of environmental concerns that are well documented from terrestrial environment (e.g. effects on bird migration) but the marine environment creates some additional possible impacts and threats. Some of them are already well studied, but many aspects remain unclear. The Baltic Sea, being a unique ecosystem, is considered to be vulnerable to many pressures which can be caused by large construction activities. These harmful effects can be destruction and modification of habitat characteristics during the construction phase, noise pollution during construction and low frequency vibration during operation, modification of migration routes, formation of artificial substrate and favourable conditions for alien species invasion etc. Besides harmful impacts, also some positive effects on local biodiversity are usually mentioned, such as the so-called \“reef effect”. In the current paper we analyse existing information on the known effects of the construction of offshore wind parks in the Baltic Sea area and illustrate the negative and positive effects of the construction activities on local biodiversity based on a study performed in the framework of EIA of offshore wind park development project in the north-eastern Baltic Sea (Neugrund bank, Gulf of Finland). Results are generalized for the whole Baltic Sea area and recommendations are drawn for EIA studies of future development projects. Keywords: Baltic Sea, North Sea, offshore wind park, marine biota, marine ecosystem, reef effect, renewable energy.


Baltic Sea, North Sea, offshore wind park, marine biota, marine ecosystem, reef effect, renewable energy.