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Court says ravens no obstacle to wind power plant project

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Brno, Feb 9 (CTK) – The planned construction of wind power plants in the Lower Jesenik mountain range, north Moravia, is a project of public interest that prevails over the need to protect the raven population in the area, the Czech Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) has decided.
The court put the interest in energy generation from renewable sources above the protection of local nature and landscape, namely the common raven.
Judging by available information, the project will affect the birds only marginally, the court said.
Two local NGOs sought the abolition of an exception from the nature protection law that enabled to launch the project. The NSS, however, dismissed their complaint.
It upheld the previous decision of the Moravia-Silesia Regional Office based on an expert opinion that confirmed the occurrence of the raven in the locality concerned, but said ravens only appear there during their migratory flights and the danger of their collision with the windmills’ blades would be only theoretical.
“Of course, projects of wind energy generation imply various negative consequences, as do all other energy generation methods. However, this changes nothing about the renewable energy being a matter of public interest,” judge Karel Simka said.
The NSS made it clear that it was not indifferent to the fate of the birds, but said their massive killing or wounding by the blades is highly improbable.
“The plants’ operation will not have a significant negative impact on the common raven population. In the given case, the public interest in generating energy from renewable sources considerably contributes to the environment protection,” the court said.

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