Adverse impacts are mainly associated with alterations of existing habitats for animals and plants through the use of land or through emissions. Power plants and energy infrastructure can also create barriers that obstruct or alter animals' natural migration patterns.
Our approach to biodiversity management includes introducing biodiversity considerations early in project and site planning, increased attention on biodiversity in permit procedures, and enhanced communication of our activities in order to increase transparency and meet the expectations of public stakeholders.
Vattenfall is active in biodiversity research, mainly in the wind and hydro power areas, with the aim of increasing knowledge in order to better conduct our operations with the smallest possible impact.
Examples of achievements 2017
- In Berlin we have provided space for bee colonies in our fenced substations in Berlin, which is helping to address the widespread problem of collapsing bee populations.
- Construction of a fish passage at the Långed hydro power station in the Upperudsälven river.
- Measures to improve hatching success for black-throated divers in a reservoir above the Midskogs hydro power plant on the Indalsälven river.
- Measures to increase passage capacity for spawning migrating salmon and sea trout in the Baggböleforsen section of the old river channel downstream from the Stornorrfors hydro power station in the Ume älv river.
- Work on establishing "Kungsådran Älvkarleby", a new nature conservation area along the Västra Dalälven river. The area features a unique natural environment where a recreation area is being developed, including an interpretive trail with information about local species (inauguration in 2018).
We are also involved in a number of knowledge-building projects that are being conducted over several years' time. Projects ongoing in 2017 included both research and pilot studies looking into the possibility to restore the natural reproduction of salmon and sea trout in the lower part of the Dalälven river. In addition, a project is continuing on the Juktån river, a tributary of the Umeälven river, where we are conducting in-depth studies of changed minimum flows. At the Älvkarleby Laboratory, our R&D experts have modelled the largest experimental flume in Europe to test how various measures can reduce the negative impacts of hydro power plants on biodiversity.
Challenges we have
Vattenfall's diversified production portfolio entails a vast number of impacts, and finding uniform ways of working across the organisation is a challenge. Another challenge involves finding acceptable ways of balancing local aspects against overarching climate targets, which may be the case with respect to renewable energy production.
Our planned activities
Vattenfall will continue its efforts to identify and develop new, voluntarily protected areas. In the Nordic market the concept of ecological compensation is being developed and spread in new projects. The biodiversity programme in the hydro power operations will continue.