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Resource Documents: Germany (66 items)


Unless indicated otherwise, documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are shared here to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate. • The copyrights reside with the sources indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations.

Date added:  July 23, 2022
Germany, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Activity of forest specialist bats decreases towards wind turbines at forest sites

Author:  Ellerbrok, Julia; Delius, Anna; Peter, Franziska; Farwig, Nina; and Voigt, Christian


Worldwide, wind turbines are increasingly being built at forest sites to meet the goals of national climate strategies. Yet, the impact on biodiversity is barely understood. Bats may be heavily affected by wind turbines in forests, because many species depend on forest ecosystems for roosting and hunting and can experience high fatality rates at wind turbines.

We performed acoustic surveys in 24 temperate forests in the low mountain ranges of Central Germany to monitor changes in the acoustic activity of bats in relation to wind turbine proximity, rotor size, vegetation structure and season. Call sequences were identified and assigned to one of three functional guilds: open-space, edge-space and narrow-space foragers, the latter being mainly forest specialists.

Based on the response behaviour of bats towards wind turbines in open landscapes, we predicted decreasing bat activity towards wind turbines at forest sites, especially for narrow-space foragers.

Vertical vegetation heterogeneity had a strong positive effect on all bats, yet responses to wind turbines in forests varied across foraging guilds. Activity of narrow-space foragers decreased towards turbines over distances of several hundred metres, especially towards turbines with large rotors and during mid-summer months. The activity of edge-space foragers did not change with distance to turbines or season, whereas the activity of open-space foragers increased close to turbines in late summer.

Synthesis and applications. Forest specialist bats avoid wind turbines in forests over distances of several hundred metres. This avoidance was most apparent towards turbines with large rotors. Since forests are an important habitat for these bats, we advise to exclude forests with diverse vegetation structure as potential wind turbine sites and to consider compensation measures to account for habitat degradation associated with the operation of wind turbines in forests.

Julia S. Ellerbrok, Conservation Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Marburg, and Evolutionary Ecology, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany

Anna Delius, Conservation Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Marburg, Germany

Franziska Peter, Natural Resource Conservation, University Kiel, Germany

Nina Farwig, Conservation Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Marburg, Germany

Christian C. Voigt, Evolutionary Ecology, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany

Journal of Applied Biology: 09 July 2022, doi:10.1111/1365-2664.14249

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Date added:  June 5, 2022
Europe, Germany, Law, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbines without curtailment produce large numbers of bat fatalities throughout their lifetime: A call against ignorance and neglect

Author:  Voigt, Christian, et al.

Abstract – Bats are protected by national and international legislation in European countries, yet many species, particularly migratory aerial insectivores, collide with wind turbines which counteracts conservation efforts. Within the European Union it is legally required to curtail the operation of wind turbines at periods of high bat activity, yet this is not practiced at old wind turbines. Based on data from the national carcass repository in Germany and from our own carcass searches at a wind park with three turbines west of Berlin, we evaluated the magnitude of bat casualties at old, potentially poor-sited wind turbines operating without curtailment. We report 88 documented bat carcasses collected by various searchers over the 20-year operation period of this wind park from 2001 to 2021. Common noctule bats (Nyctalus noctula) and common pipistrelles (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) were most often found dead at these turbines. Our search campaign in August and September 2021 yielded a total of 18 carcasses. We estimated that at least 209 bats were likely killed during our field survey, yielding more than 70 casualties/wind turbine or 39 casualties/MW in two months. Since our campaign covered only part of the migration season, we consider this value as an underestimate. The 20-year period of the wind park emphasises the substantial impact old turbines may have on bat individuals and populations when operating without curtailments. We call for reconsidering the operation procedures of old wind turbines to stop the continuous loss of bats in Germany and other countries where turbine curtailments are even less practiced than in Germany.

Christian C. Voigt, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany
Klara Kaiser, Samantha Look, Freie Universitäat Berlin, Germany
Kristin Scharnweber, Carolin Scholz, Universität Potsdam, Germany

Global Ecology and Conservation, Volume 37, September 2022, e02149

Download original document: “Wind turbines without curtailment produce large numbers of bat fatalities throughout their lifetime: A call against ignorance and neglect

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Date added:  March 8, 2022
Germany, Photos, Technology, VideosPrint storyE-mail story

Beton und Stahl für den Windrad-Bau in der Wilstermarsch [Concrete and steel for wind turbine foundations]

Author:  Schleswig-Holstein Magazin

Die Arbeiten am Fundament dauern noch bis Ende des Jahres. Im Hintergrund der Ankerkorb für das 122 Meter hohe Windrad. © NDR, Foto: Sven Jachmann

Der Beton kommt über eine meterhohe Pumpe. © NDR, Foto: Sven Jachmann

Für die Fundamente wird er über den Ausleger der Betonpumpe verteilt. © NDR, Foto: Sven Jachmann

51 Pfeiler wurden für das Windrad-Fundament in den Boden gerammt. © NDR, Foto: Sven Jachmann

Auf diesen sogenannten Ankerkorb wird später der Mast der Windanleger montiert. Vorher wird der Bereich der Stahlstreben bis zum oberen Rand des Korbs mit Beton ausgegossen. © NDR, Foto: Sven Jachmann

Der geflochtene Ankerkorb bildet das Fundament der Windkraftanlage. © Siemens GAMESA

06.12.2021 | Schleswig-Holstein Magazin

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Date added:  December 14, 2021
Germany, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

High vulnerability of juvenile Nathusius’ pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus nathusii) at wind turbines

Author:  Kruszynski, Cecilia; Bailey, Liam; Bach, Lothar; Bach, Petra; Fritze, Marcus; Lindecke, Oliver; Teige, Tobias; and Voigt, Christian

[abstract] Large numbers of bats are killed by wind turbines globally, yet the specific demographic consequences of wind turbine mortality are still unclear. In this study, we compared characteristics of Nathusius’ pipistrelles (Pipistrellus nathusii) killed at wind turbines (N = 119) to those observed within the live population (N = 524) during the summer migration period in Germany. We used generalised linear mixed effects modelling to identify demographic groups most vulnerable to wind turbine mortality, including sex, age (adult or juvenile), and geographic origin (regional or long-distance migrant; depicted by fur stable hydrogen isotope ratios). Juveniles contributed with a higher proportion of carcasses at wind turbines than expected given their frequency in the live population suggesting that juvenile bats may be particularly vulnerable to wind turbine mortality. This effect varied with wind turbine density. Specifically, at low wind turbine densities, representing mostly inland areas with water bodies and forests where Nathusius’ pipistrelles breed, juveniles were found more often dead beneath turbines than expected based on their abundance in the live population. At high wind turbine densities, representing mostly coastal areas where Nathusius’ pipistrelles migrate, adults and juveniles were equally vulnerable. We found no evidence of increased vulnerability to wind turbines in either sex, yet we observed a higher proportion of females than males among carcasses as well as the live population, which may reflect a female bias in the live population most likely caused by females migrating from their north-eastern breeding areas migrating into Germany. A high mortality of females is conservation concern for this migratory bat species because it affects the annual reproduction rate of populations. A distant origin did not influence the likelihood of getting killed at wind turbines. A disproportionately high vulnerability of juveniles to wind turbine mortality may reduce juvenile recruitment, which may limit the resilience of Nathusius’ pipistrelles to environmental stressors such as climate change or habitat loss. Schemes to mitigate wind turbine mortality, such as elevated cut-in speeds, should be implemented throughout Europe to prevent population declines of Nathusius’ pipistrelles and other migratory bats.

Cecilia Kruszynski, Liam D. Bailey, Lothar Bach, Petra Bach, Marcus Fritze, Oliver Lindecke, Tobias Teige, Christian C. Voigt

Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin; Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin; Bach Freilandforschung, zoologische Gutachten, Bremen; Büro für faunistische Fachgutachten, Berlin, Germany

Ecological Applications. Published online December 7, 2021. doi: 10.1002/eap.2513

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