On 17/12/2022 the Hellenic Mountaineering Association of Chalkida with the assistance of the Associations of Niborio and Diliso, organized an excellent conference on the topic of 'Threats and consequences of wind turbines in Evia and Skyros'. The speakers, scientists from different specialties, presented important data on the effects and legal issues of the wind turbines installation.
In summary we mention some notable points of the speakers:
The professor of acoustics at the National Technical University of Athens, I. Antoniadis, explained the characteristics of noise that propagates at different frequencies and has serious consequences for human health. The higher the power of each wind turbine, the more intense the noise becomes. Especially the huge wind turbines (180 m.) that are going to be installed near Styra and Karystos will be like entering the houses 24 hours a day.
V. Lykos, Ph.D. from the University of Crete, presented evidence that shows that wind turbines cause pollution as well as problems in energy production. The energy they produce cannot support the national system without the parallel operation of fossil fuel thermal units. The more wind turbines we put in the system, the greater the need to import fossil fuels becomes, a fact which, in combination with the energy exchange, raises consumer prices. The construction of wind turbines requires huge amounts of metals and rare earths, the extraction of which causes enormous environmental damage in other countries. Even the disposal of the fins when they become useless due to wear and tear, requires large areas for their burial because they are not recycled.
The environmentalist M. Gaitlich spoke about the negative effect of wind turbines in dealing with climate change since the interventions for their installation reduce vegetation, cause major erosions as well as the wind turbines themselves and the transport networks endanger the survival of birds of prey. The response to the climate crisis is not based only on the production of clean energy as it is one-dimensionally projected, but as a priority on the protection of biodiversity which the wind turbines and accompanying projects are rapidly degrading.
The archaeologist K. Nikolaou spoke about the reduction in the value of archaeological monuments and sites from the installation of wind turbines at close distances, as well as from the access roads. He presented examples of violations in archaeological sites and monuments of Karystia area and referred to the expected degradation of the Roman quarries in Niborio.
The geologist K. Antoniadis referred to the effects of the interventions for the wind turbines installation on the geological background in relation to the underground water. The compaction of thousands of acres and interventions in the natural relief (construction sites, roads, substations, embankments, excavations, blasting) prevents the penetration of rainwater and its underground storage that feeds the springs and wells. The result will be the reduction of available water which, in combination with reduced rainfall and snowfall, increases desertification.
Lawyers T. Kollias, P. Fokas, G. Balias and A. Kallias referred to the number of legal violations presented by the establishment of wind turbines in South Evia. All the fundamental principles of the Constitution are violated, even the provisions of the Spatial Planning of the RES (Renewable Energy Sources), while the opinion of the local communities is never taken seriously. Environmental studies unilaterally justify companies' projects and leave the environment and residents unprotected. With the new EU Directive on RES and the revision of the national Spatial Plan, it is possible that Evia will be characterized as an area of compact development of RES.
The conference was fully enlightening as to the implications and the situation we are in. The invasion of wind turbines continues and even with greater intensity. The local communities of Evia and Skyros islands are called to resist and protect the environment and their very lives from the destructive plans of the big interests.
For the Society for the Protection of the Environment of South Karystia (ΣΠΠΕΝΚ)