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Visual impact assessment of offshore wind farms and prior experience


  • Ladenburg, Jacob


Energy planners have shifted their attention towards offshore wind power generation and the decision is supported by the public in general, which in the literature has a positive attitude towards offshore wind generation. However, globally only a few offshore wind farms are operating. As more wind farms start operating and more people become experienced with especially the visual impacts from offshore wind farms, the public positive attitude could change if the experienced impacts are different from the initially perceived visual interference. Using a binary logit model, the present paper investigates the relation between different levels of prior experience with visual disamenities from offshore wind farms and perception of visual impacts from offshore wind farms. The differences in prior experience are systematically controlled for sampling respondents living in the areas close to the large scale offshore wind farms Nysted and Horns Rev and by sampling the a group of respondents representing the Danish population, which has little experience with offshore wind farms. Compared to previous results in the literature, the present paper finds that perception of wind power generation is influenced by prior experience. More specifically, the results show that people with experience from offshore wind farms located far from the coast have a significant more positive perception of the visual impacts from offshore wind farms than people with experience from wind farms located closer to the coast. These results are noteworthy on two levels. First of all, the results show that perceptions of offshore wind generation are systematically significantly influenced by prior experience with offshore wind farms. Secondly, and in a policy context, the results indicate that the future acceptance of future offshore wind farms is not independent of the location of existing and new offshore wind farms. This poses for caution in relation to locating offshore wind farms too close to the coast.

Suggested Citation

  • Ladenburg, Jacob, 2009. "Visual impact assessment of offshore wind farms and prior experience," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 380-387, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:86:y:2009:i:3:p:380-387

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wolsink, Maarten, 2007. "Wind power implementation: The nature of public attitudes: Equity and fairness instead of 'backyard motives'," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 1188-1207, August.
    2. Blomquist, Glenn C. & Whitehead, John C., 1998. "Resource quality information and validity of willingness to pay in contingent valuation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 179-196, June.
    3. Wolsink, Maarten, 2007. "Planning of renewables schemes: Deliberative and fair decision-making on landscape issues instead of reproachful accusations of non-cooperation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2692-2704, May.
    4. Bishop, Ian D. & Miller, David R., 2007. "Visual assessment of off-shore wind turbines: The influence of distance, contrast, movement and social variables," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 814-831.
    5. Krohn, Søren & Damborg, Steffen, 1999. "On public attitudes towards wind power," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 954-960.
    6. Ladenburg, Jacob, 2008. "Attitudes towards on-land and offshore wind power development in Denmark; choice of development strategy," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 111-118.
    7. Ladenburg, Jacob & Dubgaard, Alex, 2007. "Willingness to pay for reduced visual disamenities from offshore wind farms in Denmark," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 4059-4071, August.
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