The forest as a source of wind energy
It is a good thing that certain forests enjoy special protection in terms of wind energy development. However, forests that do not have a protection or recreational status offer opportunities for green energy that are gentle to nature. Then again, using the forest as source of wind energy is also associated with great challenges. Not only in terms of nature conservation, but also with regard to the details of logistical and technical planning. In principle, the surface roughness of contiguous forest areas slows down the wind and thus reduces the wind farm efficiency. Modern plants defy this physical hurdle and allow economical generation of wind energy, even in larger forest areas. And there are many reasons for producing wind energy in forested zones. One of these is the often greater distance to residential areas. In addition, wind turbines blend in well with the landscape and thus make it possible to open up new inland sites at an exposed position.
Nature conservation enjoys priority in the forest
As a matter of principle, we only erect wind turbines in forests with a low nature conservation value. Deciduous forests are taboo; instead, Energiequelle concentrates exclusively on conifer monocultures.
If forest areas are converted into agricultural land, for example, or used for infrastructure projects such as road construction or wind power, they are compensated for on a one-to-one basis. In addition, with our company’s commitment to transparency, the new areas are afforested with deciduous trees, in order to support the general nature conservation goal of near-natural forest development. In the case of forests with special functions, such as local recreation, more new forest area is even created than has been converted for use. In addition, reforestation of these areas will be carried out in favour of larger deciduous forests. For reforestation in projects, agricultural land is always used to ensure that nature can benefit in the long term.
As a result, no forest is lost due to the wind turbines operating in the forest, and in many cases the forest area even increases. After dismantling of the plant, i.e. normally after 20 years, the sites are also redeveloped into forests, so that in the long term there will even be significantly more forest than before the wind power was generated.
In all projects, we always endeavour to take local needs into account and propose suitable compensation measures to achieve added value for all parties involved.
For each project, we first prepare extensive expertises in order to take into account special features, such as the eyries of birds of prey, forest ant nests or endangered species. Our wind energy experts ensure that the diversity of species at the selected sites is low right from the planning stage. However, the installations help to establish new herbaceous and flower-rich margins that create a habitat for many different forest dwellers.
We deal carefully with natural resources. This is also reflected in our choice of partners. Among other, we cooperate with the manufacturer Enercon, a company which addresses the requirements of forest conservation already during the development of the plant, for example with a corresponding transport frame that allows the inclination of the rotor blades to be adjusted in a space-saving manner and with divided blades. This facilitates the transport of plants through forest areas, thus making it more environmentally friendly.