- Reconciling Renewable Energy Production and Nature in the Alps



News: Magazine article in "Science for Environment Policy"

Fig. 2. of the cited publication shows renewable energy and the main affected ecosystem services (dark blue= primary issues; light blue= secondary issues; white= marginal issues)-
Figure 2 from the cited article 1

The European Commission´s DG Environment News Alert Science for Environment Policy 2 has issued an article on a recently published scientific publication by project partners.  Some of the project´s recommendations are taken up in the article "Methods to resolve conflicts between energy production and nature conservation 3" . 

The researchers examined several sources of renewable energy, including wind power, biomass, solar power, and geothermal energy, and described their potential impacts on ecosystem services.  The paper 4 by Richard Hastik, Stefano Basso, Clemens Geitner, Christin Haida, Aleš Poljanec, Alessia Portaccio, Borut Vrščaj, and Chris Walzer appeared in the August 2015 edition of the international journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 5.


About the project


Solar energy (Laufener Hütte, Salzburg, with solar water heater and photovoltaic system)
Biomass (wood pellets production)
Hydropower (Wildgerlostal with reservoir)
Wind power (Public Utility Munich)

The Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology is lead partner of this project, which will be implemented collaboratively by 15 partner institutions from the six Alpine countries.

The Alps have great potential for the use of renewable energy. Thereby they can make a valuable contribution to mitigating climate change. This, however, means increasing pressures on nature. What could be the impact of such changes on the habitats of animals and plants? How do they affect land use and soil quality? How much renewable energy can reasonably be used? The project brings together 15 partners to develop strategies and tools for decision-making on such issues. The analysis and comparison of the costs and benefits of renewable energy, ecosystem services, and potential trade-offs is a key component in this process. The project will last from October 2012 to June 2015 and is co-financed by the European Fund for Regional Development in the Alpine Space Programme.

The project was approved for financing under the Alpine Space Programme 10 (European Territorial Cooperation 2007 – 2013).

Duration: October 2012 – June 2015

Project partners 11 poject website (external) 12

 13 logo



EU ETC Alpine Space programme
EU European Regional Development Fund


Scientific contact at FIWI Christian Walzer, Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Vetmeduni Vienna

T. +43 (1) 25077-7180

Email Chris Walzer


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