Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Wind turbines are a cleaner alternative to non-renewable energy, such as fossil fuels, and therefore help to decrease deleterious climate change. Species protection is needed to preserve biodiversity, which is important to all species. It is claimed, however, that between these interests there is a contradiction. Climate change kills birds, but so do wind turbines. According to some, the expansion of wind power is at risk, being hindered by the rules on protected birds, incorrectly interpreted in artskyddsförordningen, the Swedish counterpart to international species conventions and the EU Birds directive. The Birds directive and artskyddsförordningen prohibits activities that deliberately kill, capture or disturb migratory birds in the EU (art. 5 Birds directive and 4 § artskyddsförordningen). Mark- och miljööverdomstolen has for some years made the assessment that the establishment and operation of wind turbines may be prohibited by reason of the protection of species, even though the purpose of wind power is to produce electricity and not to kill birds. Due to the legal uncertainty, this essay seeks to find out whether wind energy can fall within artskyddsförordningens prohibitions and if so, when. This is done through a legal dogmatic method, complemented with a comparative section.
The legal situation is not clear, but after a thorough examination of the origin of the Birds directive, previous case law, new disputed ruling by Mark- och miljööverdomstolen, Danish and German case law, ECJ rulings and guidance documents from the European Commission, in total it seems that an inappropriate placement of wind farms or plants can and sometimes should be seen as a deliberate act in respect of the Birds directive and consequently artskyddsförordningen. That is, unless it is possible to undertake precautionary measures, which neutralizes the act. It also appears that artskyddsförordningen still is to be applied within chapter 2 miljöbalken, in the case of species protection.
 SOU 1999:75, s. 29 f.
 SOU 2004:37, s. 189.
 Artskyddsförordningen (2007:845).
 Directive 2009/147/EC of the European parliament and of the council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds.
 Mark- och miljööverdomstolen har klargjort att vindkraft inte innebär ett avsiktligt dödande eller störande enligt artskyddsförordningen – kommentar av Magnus Fröberg och Hedvig Ekdahl, 2015-01-23, JP Infonet.
 Se exempelvis MÖD 2013:13.
 Miljöbalken (1998:808).
2015. , 69 p.