Contrary to what we may think, even wind farms can have major consequences for the survivability of species.

The global shift to renewable energy to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement pushed the world and Europe to invest in offshore wind power.

The impact of large-scale wind energy farms on marine ecosystems is diverse.
Scientists have noticed that some underwater turbines transformed into artificial reefs, attracting mollusks and other small fishes that feed plankton.

These zone have been called “de facto marine sanctuaries” because fishing is very often limited around the turbines.

Even though the negative impacts of offshore wind farms can be considered as localized and small if compared for example to the effects of fishing, however, they must be taken into consideration.

For instance, some marine species, like sharks, use electromagnetic fields to navigate and hunt food; but these animals react to electric energy coming from offshore wind installations, where the rays scuffle through the sediment in search of prey.

In some cases, the phase of construction can be extremely dangerous for marine mammals such as dolphins or whales.
Experts say that the loud sound pulses during construction can have critical impacts on species up to 20 kilometers distant.
This implies that for weeks, construction can push out marine mammals far from their natural habitat,
provoking severe damages to the marine ecosystem.

Offshore wind farms are also responsible for the so-called “illegal killing of birds” which has been reported by the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) and the Birds and Habitat European Directive (Natura 2000).

So far, we still know very little about the effects of offshore installations on the marine environment because this industry has grown so rapidly and because oceans are complex ecosystems.

It is, therefore, important to keep investing in renewable energies in a sustainable way.