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Aspect: Biodiversity

EN11 Land use in protected areas

An extensive supply network is necessary to ensure complete supply coverage. Approximately 25% of the surface territory of Lower Austria is designated as a protected area. In order to minimise the environmental impact on these areas, EVN places great importance on responsible network planning and construction.

Protected areas in Lower Austria

Protected areas in Bulgaria

EN12 Impact of business activities on biodiversity
EN13 Protected or restored natural habitats
EN14 Strategies and measures for the protection of biodiversity

EVN is committed to minimising the impact of its business activities on nature, in particular through a special focus on protecting the natural habitats of local flora and fauna in the areas surrounding the company’s plants and projects. For example, thermal power plant operations pay special attention to the sensitive biodiversity of the surrounding water areas by complying with administrative requirements for the intake temperatures of cooling water. This helps to reduce the negative effects on the environment.

Reservoir monitoring plays an important role in protecting the biodiversity near hydropower plants. EVN therefore holds an annual conference with the public authorities and stakeholder groups at the Ottenstein reservoir to discuss relevant issues, in particular the importance of the reservoir as a habitat for fish.

A central measure to protect biodiversity at the Ottenstein reservoir was the installation of online monitoring equipment, which was developed by DWS-Hydro-Ökologie GmbH together with EVN’s staff department for environmental protection and controlling. This equipment continuously records and controls the parameters required to evaluate the water quality. A probe can extend to the bottom of the lake from its base on a floating measurement station to measure the pH, temperature and oxygen content at various levels. The goal of this extensive data collection is to research the effects of return pumping operations and heavy rains on the water quality and algae development.

EVN’s properties in Austria in protected areas
or adjacent to protected areas1)
NumberArea (ha)
Properties in protected areas (>50 m²)679479.4
Properties in protected landscape areas (>50 m²)410369.9
Properties in Natura 2000 areas (>50 m²)526244.1
Properties directly adjacent to protected areas1924.2

EVN is also working on numerous other projects to protect biodiversity:

  • Fish bypasses at the small-scale hydropower plants in Hohenberg and Schaldorf and (since 2013/14) also in Erlauf
  • A joint project with the association for the protection of great bustards in Austria (continuation of the LIFE+ project)
  • Nest platforms for storks (endangered species of white and black storks) in Bulgaria and Macedonia
  • A joint project with the Bulgarian Association for Bird Protection to protect the imperial eagle and gyrfalcons (EU LIFE+ programme)
  • A project to protect the bird life at the Burgas lakes in Bulgaria
  • A joint project with the Macedonian Environmental Association for the Protection of Birds in the Ovce Pole region (assessment of the impact of energy grids on birds)
  • Participation in the construction of a Macedonian national environmental network MAK-NEN

As a continuing measure for the management of the impact on biodiversity, EVN works to integrate supervision based on ecological principles into its construction projects.

EU13 Biodiversity of alternative locations

In 2013/14, alternative sites totalling 77.75 ha were held for windpower plants in Lower Austria. The alternative sites for pipeline routes are published in publically accessible documents on the environment and environmental compatibility tests.



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