The global shift to renewable energy is well underway, including large-scale deployment of offshore wind farms. There are already about 3,600 turbines operating along European coasts, with 14 more wind farms under development.
Even more wind energy is needed to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement — but the push to boost European offshore wind power 40-fold by 2030 will change regional ocean ecosystems in profound and unexpected ways, according to researchers studying how the turbines affect the environment.
Most of the research stems from northern Europe, where offshore turbines have been operating since 1991. Scientists say this research can help shape plans for deploying offshore wind turbines in other parts of the world.
A recent study on the Mediterranean identified wind energy and wildlife hotspots, based partly on lessons learned in northern Europe. The science is also useful in places like Japan and the United States, where…
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