Energy production, whether it’s renewable or not, should be for the benefit of communities. When large investment projects only take into consideration the benefit of the investors, we end up with abominations like we have today in Çeşme. Here is a quick look:
- Cesme is on the verge of a serious risk to undermine its natural habitat, tourism potential, well-being and health of its residents.
- The risk comes from what we should normally welcome: green wind energy.
- If it is installed in places far from human settlements and high-value lands and cities, yes we welcome wind-turbines.
- Right now, there are projects to surround the hills of Cesme (visible from every single point in town and even from the Greek island of Chios) by minimum 60 wind turbines, with a total installed capacity of just 76 MW.
- The wind turbine projects were granted an exemption from the environmental impact assessment process by the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation on the grounds that each project is below 20 MW capacity. However, the cumulative affect of the 5 proposed projects (over 100 MW capacity total) in such a small area should clearly require an environmental impact assessment.
- Turkey’s total wind power is a minuscule 2 percent in its energy mix. Cesme in this total has a negligible share and what they want to build (and this destroy Cesme’s unique standing) does not amount to any significant volume.
- Yet, the damage it will inflict on Cesme is colossal in terms of environment, economy, health, agriculture and tourism. We work hard to enhance awareness, established strong legal position but still need national attention as well as international support for the unlawful construction to be stopped.