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Bird concern over wind farm plan near Cape Greco  

A row has broken out over the proposed site for the creation of a wind farm in the Famagusta area.

According to the Green Party, the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA) has issued a licence for the Cape Greco National Park, with CERA saying the site is actually in Ayia Napa. A Green Party statement expressed concern over CERA’s decision. “We are not opposed to wind farms and the exploitation of their energy and have for decades been requesting the promotion of renewable energy sources, including wind,” the statement read.

“However, the Cape Greco area, which is part of the EU’s Natura 2000 network, is not appropriate for the location of wind farms, with scientific studies showing that there will be severe repercussions on the migratory patterns of birds.” The Greens added that the government has constantly refused to accept their suggestion for a detailed study into the strategic consequences that the creation of wind farms will pose to the environment. But CERA hit back, with a spokesman yesterday telling the Mail: “We have issued a licence for the creation of five wind turbines in the Ayia Napa area and have not even received an application regarding Cape Greco. Green Party leader George Perdikis was not satisfied with CERA’s explanation though, saying that he has seen maps submitted, “which show that the turbines will be located within the Natura 2000 site in Cape Grecko.” Martin Hellicar is the President of BirdLife Cyprus and he said that he would like to see a proper environmental impact assessment study conducted over a period of at least one year.

“We are big supporters of renewable energy as something needs to be done to stop the phenomenon of global warming, which affects both humans and wildlife,” he explained.

“The key thing about wind farms is where the turbines are located. If they are poorly situated, there is a threat of serious mortality to birds, as well as a severe deflection effect on flight paths used for thousands of years.” He added that Cyprus is a very important stopover migration point for hundreds of thousands of birds.

“In Association with the Game Fund, we have drawn up a map, showing the main migratory corridors in Cyprus and Cape Greco is in one of these corridors.” Hellicar stated that according to the Interior Ministry, there should be no wind farms located within migratory corridors.

Cyprus currently finds itself lagging far behind its 2010 six per cent target for renewable energy and hopes are high that wind energy can bridge the gap. Currently, renewables represent 0.3 per cent of Cyprus’s total energy generation drawn mainly from solar energy, which the island has in abundance.

By Leo Leonidou

cyprus-mail.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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