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Business urges not to create additional regulations for wind generation

01/ 06/ 2021
  On June 2, the Verkhovna Rada Ecocommittee will consider draft law №5342 on the protection of wild animals. The document requires mandatory installment of special devices on turbines of wind power plants to prevent the death of wild animals – avian radar systems and ultrasonic bat deterrent systems. The European Business Association shares the aspiration of the state to preserve biodiversity, however, it draws attention to the critical provisions of the draft law, which need to be thoroughly revised. First, for wind farm construction projects (with 2 or more turbines or turbines with a height of 50 meters or more), it is required to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure. In the framework of the EIA, the study/inspection of the environmental impact of the operation of a certain wind farm is carried out to establish the fact of potential damage from wind farms to wild birds/bats; the fact of the presence or absence of migratory routes of birds, as well as the study of the level of danger and/or harm to wild animals from the operation of a particular wind turbine, etc. Thus, it would be economically and environmentally feasible to impose obligations on the installation of radar and ultrasound systems only if a significant negative impact on birds and bats from the operation of a particular wind farm is identified during the EIA. Secondly, the draft law proposes to ban the placement of wind power plants closer than 500 meters to forest plantations and residential buildings, as well as on the migration routes of birds. In fact, such a proposal contradicts the current requirements of national standards of Ukraine, which in 2015 were harmonized with interstate standards. Thus, according to DSTU 8339: 2015 “Wind energy. Wind power plants. Environmental Impact Assessment of Wind farms», a wind farm can be located at a distance of 400 to 800 m depending on its characteristics. Third, the draft law proposes to ban the operation of wind farms without these devices and forcibly disconnect them from the grid. This practice is not used in the EU and it contradicts several regulations governing the procedure, conditions, terms, and cases of actual disconnection of electrical installations from the electricity grid. Therefore, there is a risk of violation of the technological integrity of the grid, as well as emergency power outages of the connected users/consumers. It should be noted that in 2020 the share of wind farms in the structure of electricity production was 2%, and the installed capacity increased to 1.11 GW (about + 8% compared to 2019). These indicators will continue to grow, as Ukraines Energy Strategy for 2035 plans to increase the share of electricity from renewable sources (in particular, electricity from wind farms) in the structure of the total primary energy supply to 25%. Thus, the adoption of the draft Law in its current version may have a significant negative impact on Ukraines further aspirations to create a carbon-neutral economy. Meanwhile, international experience of such kind of regulation is based on a three-step approach - to prevent, minimize and compensate for the impact of wind farms on fauna. In practice, this means pre-selecting the correct location of the wind farm, as well as cooperating with environmental organizations and government agencies that can provide clear information on the species of animals living in a particular area. Therefore, the business hopes that the draft law will be revised and the comments of the business community will be taken into account.   Be the first to learn about the latest EBA news with our Telegram-channel – EBAUkraine.

On June 2, the Verkhovna Rada Ecocommittee will consider draft law №5342 on the protection of wild animals.

The document requires mandatory installment of special devices on turbines of wind power plants to prevent the death of wild animals – avian radar systems and ultrasonic bat deterrent systems.

The European Business Association shares the aspiration of the state to preserve biodiversity, however, it draws attention to the critical provisions of the draft law, which need to be thoroughly revised.

First, for wind farm construction projects (with 2 or more turbines or turbines with a height of 50 meters or more), it is required to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure. In the framework of the EIA, the study/inspection of the environmental impact of the operation of a certain wind farm is carried out to establish the fact of potential damage from wind farms to wild birds/bats; the fact of the presence or absence of migratory routes of birds, as well as the study of the level of danger and/or harm to wild animals from the operation of a particular wind turbine, etc. Thus, it would be economically and environmentally feasible to impose obligations on the installation of radar and ultrasound systems only if a significant negative impact on birds and bats from the operation of a particular wind farm is identified during the EIA.

Secondly, the draft law proposes to ban the placement of wind power plants closer than 500 meters to forest plantations and residential buildings, as well as on the migration routes of birds. In fact, such a proposal contradicts the current requirements of national standards of Ukraine, which in 2015 were harmonized with interstate standards. Thus, according to DSTU 8339: 2015 “Wind energy. Wind power plants. Environmental Impact Assessment of Wind farms», a wind farm can be located at a distance of 400 to 800 m depending on its characteristics.

Third, the draft law proposes to ban the operation of wind farms without these devices and forcibly disconnect them from the grid. This practice is not used in the EU and it contradicts several regulations governing the procedure, conditions, terms, and cases of actual disconnection of electrical installations from the electricity grid. Therefore, there is a risk of violation of the technological integrity of the grid, as well as emergency power outages of the connected users/consumers.

It should be noted that in 2020 the share of wind farms in the structure of electricity production was 2%, and the installed capacity increased to 1.11 GW (about + 8% compared to 2019). These indicators will continue to grow, as Ukraine’s Energy Strategy for 2035 plans to increase the share of electricity from renewable sources (in particular, electricity from wind farms) in the structure of the total primary energy supply to 25%. Thus, the adoption of the draft Law in its current version may have a significant negative impact on Ukraine’s further aspirations to create a carbon-neutral economy.

Meanwhile, international experience of such kind of regulation is based on a three-step approach – to prevent, minimize and compensate for the impact of wind farms on fauna. In practice, this means pre-selecting the correct location of the wind farm, as well as cooperating with environmental organizations and government agencies that can provide clear information on the species of animals living in a particular area.

Therefore, the business hopes that the draft law will be revised and the comments of the business community will be taken into account.

 

Be the first to learn about the latest EBA news with our Telegram-channel EBAUkraine.

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