Development of a desktop tool for the assessment of the potential environmental risks and impacts of wind energy power plants in South Africa

Dokumentart: Bachelor Thesis
Institut: Department Umwelttechnik
Sprache: Deutsch
Erstellungsjahr: 2012
SWD-Schlagwörter: Desktop , Entwicklung , Windkraftwerk , Südafrika
DDC-Sachgruppe: Ingenieurwissenschaften und Maschinenbau

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

The aim of this study was to create a desktop based tool which allows any user, regardless of the level of experience or expertise in the field of potential environmental impact of wind energy power plants in South Africa, to run a simple and quick environmental risk assessment along specific impact categories for any planned wind farm project or anticipated future wind farm site at any development stage it finds itself, countrywide. The main challenge was to collect available expert knowledge and common practice methodology for each impact category and simplify the complex processes into a clear and efficient model which applies this expertise through a clear and simple interface. The outcome of this work is the release of a commercially usable Environmental Pre-feasibility Assessment Tool (EPAT). During the course of this work the scope to assess 8 impact categories such as birds, bats, fauna etc. as initially set could not be fulfilled and had to be limited to 2, general and flora; reasons being the underestimated work volume per impact category and the limited available local expertise. Out of all categories general and flora were chosen which define a very important part of direct and measurable impact and cover a major part of the environmental challenges faced during the wind farm development process. These challenges were faced with three separate tools which were created to fulfil three different purposes, each covering specific development stages from pre- to post-scouting of a project. This leads to a determination of potential environmental project threatening risks by the developer at an early stage when using the EPAT appropriately; potentially avoiding enormous cost and bearing powerful strategy implications. The detailed tests of the EPAT undertaken for a chosen wind farm project did not only meet the challenging requirements set as standard for this tool, but also resulted in matching the outcome of several state of the art specialist assessments of the South African environmental practitioners industry. The EPAT is a powerful instrument ready to be implemented into the project development framework of any wind farm developer in South Africa; G7 is prepared to use the tool for its vision of a pro-active ecological and economic development future.

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