Renewable energy deployment, biodiversity and local communities

At a time when renewable energy sources are a one-way street, it is necessary to find solutions for their development while ensuring the preservation of nature and the participation of society. With this message, Ioli Christopoulou participated in the workshop on increasing social acceptance of wind energy and the role of public authorities, organised by the project Wind4Bio.

In her presentation, Ioli Christopoulou first presented the proven impacts of renewable energy development on biodiversity, and explained how this has intensified the search for practices that mitigate these impacts, which have been reflected in a series of guidelines and texts. However, in the country’s public debate, controversies remain and even lead to the formulation of extreme opinions and polarisation that do not allow the necessary exchange to identify common ground and solutions.

In her speech she gave the example of the online dialogue co-organised by The Green Tank and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung – Thessaloniki in 2021 on “Renewable energy, biodiversity and local communities” where representatives of various relevant fields – energy, nature protection, environmental organizations, local government and citizens’ movements – reflected on similar questions.  The aim of this action was to encourage the discussion among different actors. In particular, she presented the dialogue on the main reasons for the citizens’ opposition to the installation of renewables and proposals to address them.

In view of the revision of the spatial planning for renewables, Ioli Christopoulou concluded that in order to find a common ground, it is necessary to ensure dialogue among all stakeholders, as well as sufficient time for consultation so that renewables can be developed and biodiversity can be preserved and restored.

The workshop was held online, on November 20, 2023.

Other participants included:

Vasilis Kokkinos, Department of Computer Engineering & Informatics

Andreas Vlamakis, ELETAEN

Tania Demirtzioglou, PROMEA

Eirini Stergiou, Department of Computer Engineering & Informatics

Athina Grizi / Dionysis Karvelis, Region of Western Greece, BIOWIND

More information is available at