Despite its benefits in terms of emissions reduction, offshore wind energy can have an unwanted social and environmental cost for biodiversity. This is stated by the Court of Auditors of the European Union in a report published this week, entitled Offshore Energy Renewable in the EU. “The deployment of marine renewable energy raises a series of practical, social and environmental problems that have not yet received sufficient attention,” maintains the European high court. The catalog of grievances includes: impact on water quality due to the emission of polluting elements; loss or degradation of marine habitat; changes in the migration of species due to changes in electromagnetic fields and even underwater collisions and noises.
In their audit, the members of the court held interviews with staff from the European Commission, Member States, the European Investment Bank, industry associations, environmental NGOs and experts and examined in particular the cases of Germany, Spain, France and Netherlands.
From an economic point of view, the Court is concerned about the impact that offshore wind may have on the fishing sector, with a progressive reduction in access to fishing areas, as well as the strong technological dependence (the manufacture of permanent magnets for wind turbine generators) from China.