(The majority of the report is in Norwegian. However, there is an abstract in English.)
Even though many wind power projects have been applied for in Norway, only a limited number of these are currently technically realizable, based on existing capacity in the main grid and planned investments in the network. Given the plans for the development of wind power in Norway, the environmental authorities have set focus on the potential cumulative environmental impacts of multiple wind-power plants, both onshore and offshore. In order to assess the overall impact wind power development has on birds, it is necessary to define a common approach to impact studies for all planned and existing wind-power plants. This definition will be used to set the standard for the focal bird species, as well as the pre- and post-monitoring to be undertaken in connection with the establishment of individual plants. A common approach is needed to enable the assessment of the cumulative impacts of wind power development. Within the project’s context the cumulative impact is therefore defined as the cumulative effect of several wind-power plant impacts on bird species within a given geographical area.
To enable a detailed account of the cumulative impact the establishment of standard methodology for pre- and post-construction surveys for a range of vulnerable bird species are an important tool. The report proposes the general conditions and criteria for identification of vulnerable bird species in relation to wind power, as well as bird migration, during the impact assessment phase. Thereafter general conditions for the minimum requirements (methodology, duration, scope and frequency) are proposed which should be applied for the monitoring of selected species in the pre- and post-construction surveys to detect any cumulative impact of several wind-power plants. Collected data– both the collected raw data and documented effects– should be arranged/stored in a national ViltVind-database to provide insight into the cumulative impact.
A complete overview of all possible Norwegian bird species which are expected to be vulnerable to wind power development can standardize identification. This list should present for each species a vulnerability index adapted to Norway, where it is indicated how vulnerable the species is for wind power development given various relevant parameters. In addition, it is recommended to adapt the recommended disturbance distances and maximum displacement distances used for the definition of the buffer area around a development (i.e. the actual project area and the influenced area) to Norwegian conditions and include a number of Norwegian species affected by wind power development (including seabirds, ducks and geese).