Wind industry brings concerns about regional scenery

Tomáš Fránek
12. 6. 2008 8:00
Plan for 14 wind turbines causes local protests
Foto: Simona Holecová

Zlín - The plan to build fourteen wind turbines nearby Rakov, a small town between the Olomouc and Zlín in eastern Moravia, has sparked many protests. Opponents of the plan are worried that the turbines might destroy the scenery which is dominated by the Helfštýn castle and a famous pilgrimage site of Hostýn.

It is just one of many controversies spurred by the wind energy boom in the Czech Republic. Many Southern Moravians are protesting against a planned wind project because of the threat it might present to the overall landscape of the region.

In Northern Bohemia people protest against wind farms that are to be built close to the mountain of  Klínovec. The wind farm project in Rousín, close to the battlefield of Austerlitz, has been blocked, primarily due to public outcry.

The big one

Company Venturea plans to build fourteen wind turbines near Rakov, which would make it one of the biggest wind farms in the Czech Republic.

The region of Olomouc does not oppose the project since it does not intervene with the region's development plans. "The project itself does not have a negative impact on localities that are important on the European level, nor would it have a negative effect on the bird population," announced the regional autorities.

The Zlín region, which would also be affected by the wind farm, does not agree with the proposal. The officials are not sure if the wind capacity of the region has been examined thoroughly.

In their opinion, the project would also need to present a report on the influence of the farm on the bird population. Besides that, officials are also worried about the negative impact of the wind farm on the landscape.

Blocking the view, killing the birds

A local campaign "Our Common Landscape" also fears that the wind turbines might jeopardize the plan to establish a nature preserve Krásnice-Maleník. "This locality is supposed to offer relaxation. It is connected to the spa resort Lázně Teplice nad Bečvou. The natural preserve is supposed to include a forest with the deepest gorge in Central Europe, as well as unique aragonite caves," the group explains the uniqueness of the location.

Members of the campaign also believe that the wind turbines would dominate the scenery and the view of the castle Helfštýn from the 17th century. "After many centuries, the region would lose its most dominant vista point," the group claims.

The decision about the nature preserve is now in the hands of the region of Olomouc. If they do decide to establish the preserve, it would create many complications for the planned wind farm project.

The assessment of the suitability of the wind farms also stressed that the turbines might jeopardize the view from the Roman Catholic pilgrimage site Hostýn. "It is recommended to examine what impact, if any, the turbines would have on the view from the pilgrimage site," states the assessment report, which evaluated the wind farm as overall acceptable. Besides that, another wind turbine has been located near the pilgrimage site since 1994.


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