Wind Energy

Wind energy generation can play an important role in the reduction in the use of fossil fuels for energy production and therefore their associated greenhouse and toxic gas emissions and land use issues. Wind Energy is likely to play a vital role in the region and in the shift to more climate friendly and sustainable sources of energy. However wind energy developments require substantial infrastructure to be placed across a landscape and where these turbines are inappropriately placed they may have a negative effect on birds. There is a need to balance the risks and benefits and to minimise any adverse environmental effects.

Adrian S Jones


Currently, wind energy comprises about 0.5 % of global energy production, but is anticipated to increase significantly in response to concerns over the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat anthropogenic climate change. It has been suggested by 2030 that wind energy may be responsible for 5 – 30 % of global energy production meaning a drastic increase in the amount of turbines worldwide. Investments in wind energy in the region are increasing, leading to a large number of ambitious large scale development plans. As part of it renewable energy commitment Egypt has a target of 12% of energy being generated by wind by 2020, and 650 km2 of land adjacent to the Red Sea  has been identified for wind farm development.

Wind energy developments may impact on birds and bird populations in three different ways

  • Collision: with turbines and blades leading to death or injury
  • Displacement/Barrier: from habitats or along preferred migratory routes
  • Habitat impacts: fragmentation of landscape, or site specific damage

The MSB project has developed a set of guidance material which is targeted at  key audiences  involved within the wind energy sector.  These materials are tailored toward  and provide a framework in which to integrate bird and biodiversity concerns throughout the life cycle of a project and reduce any adverse impacts that may potentially occur.

The most important consideration is location, location, location. Inappropriately located or designed farms will have an negative impact but strategically planned and designed developments will have little adverse affect.

The documents are designed to be used by each stakeholder group but can also be used by organisations when approaching the differing stakeholder groups for advocacy purposes, for instance a local community can refer to both to the civil society guidance, while also approaching a developer with the developer guidance.

Alongside the guidance material we have produced a series of case studies which relate to the impact of wind energy developments and references to mitigation actions which are being used within the region and around the world.  We have also provided links to external resources which provide valuable background information and advice.

The sensitivity mapping tool which is being developed and constantly refined can also be found and utilised. It provides a valuable resource and tool which can aid in identifying areas where there is a high risk of vulnerability for birds and important bird areas across the region.



Governments play an important role in setting the standards and legislative environment in which development of wind farms is delivered. By providing the appropriate legislative and regulatory environment governments can ensure birds and biodiversity impacts or reduced. The MSB project has provided a guidance document tailored towards governments in the region which will inform governments of actions which should be carried out to reduce the adverse impacts on birds and biodiversity


Development Banks and Donors

Institution lending and investment banks often provide the necessary capital to invest in the infrastructure and planning needed for wind farm developments. These investments must ensure that the activities which take place as do not negatively impact on the environment. By ensuring that bird and biodiversity concerns are mainstreamed in project proposals and contracts will have a positive impact on wind farm developments. This can help guarantee that the energy needs of the region are met while bird and biodiversity issues have been integrated into planning and design, and across governments and sectors.


Developers and Consultants

Developers have an integral role to play in delivering wind farms and also in their operation.  They are a key stakeholder in delivering projects which if bird and biodiversity concerns are integrated will have little impacts on birds and biodiversity.  By following the guidance developed by BirdLife for the region, developers can tailor their operations ensuring that potential negative and adverse impacts are avoided.


Partners/Civil Society

The guidance documents above provide information relevant to specific stakeholders involved in the development of wind farms.  Each stakeholder has an extremely important role to play. These documents can be used as an advocacy and information tool. We urge you when talking to specific stakeholders to refer to the documents relevant.  We have also developed a broad information sheet and document which provides some general information and guidance. This document can be shared with other stakeholder groups and can be used to generate alliances which can input into any consultation which national authorities may have



  • MSB Guidance shutdown on demand

    Review and guidance on use of “shutdown-on-demand” for wind turbines to conserve migrating soaring birds in the Rift Valley/Red Sea Flyway


  • MSB Guidance Wind Energy - Donors
    MSB Project Guidance fact-sheet for Wind Energy and the birds for development banks and financiers

    English | Arabic

  • MSB Guidance Wind Energy - Partners
    MSB Project Guidance fact-sheet for Wind Energy and the birds for BirdLife Partners and Civil Society

    English | Arabic

  • MSB Guidance Wind Energy - Governments
    MSB Project Guidance fact-sheet for Wind Energy and the birds for governments

    English | Arabic

  • MSB Guidance Wind Energy - Developers
    MSB Project Guidance fact-sheet for Wind Energy and the birds for developers and consultants

    English | Arabic