A man sits in front of a screen showing different aerial photos and maps

How nature-friendly is the energy transition? "EE-Monitor" gives first answers

Is the number of wind energy and bioenergy plants in protected areas increasing? Are ground-mounted solar plants increasingly being erected on agriculturally valuable land? In a research project funded by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) has investigated these questions and has now published a web application that shows the temporal and spatial development of the expansion of renewable energies in the electricity sector.

The German federal government is planning a massive expansion of renewable energies. At the same time, there are European and international obligations to promote, protect and conserve biodiversity, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the EU Regulation on the Restoration of Nature. The decline in biodiversity and habitats should thus be halted. When implementing energy policy goals, it is therefore necessary to ensure that expansion is compatible with nature.

In the UFZ's web application "EE-Monitor", 41 indicators can be used to track the nature compatibility of the expansion of wind energy, solar energy, bioenergy or hydropower on a supraregional and region-specific basis. High-resolution site data and key figures are provided, which can be sorted by technology and generally cover the period from 1990 to 2020.

The Web-apllication is abvailable in English and German.

Web-Application EE-Monitor

Monitoring report (indicators, regional level)

RE-plant locations 

Project website

Press release UFZ (in German only)

Source: BfN, 15.02.2023