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Visual preferences for wind turbines: Location, numbers and respondent characteristics

Author

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  • Molnarova, Kristina
  • Sklenicka, Petr
  • Stiborek, Jiri
  • Svobodova, Kamila
  • Salek, Miroslav
  • Brabec, Elizabeth

Abstract

There is a dichotomy in the view of wind farms among members of the public: on one hand, there is a desire for renewable energy sources, and on the other hand, there is a major concern about the visual impact of wind turbines used for power production. This concern for visual impact is a major factor in the reaction of the public to the development of new wind farms. Our study aims to objectify this influence and to establish the factors that determine how people evaluate these structures. We tested the visual quality of landscapes in which these structures are to be placed, the number of structures and their distance from the viewer, and various characteristics of our respondents. We found that the physical attributes of the landscape and wind turbines influenced the respondents’ reactions far more than socio-demographic and attitudinal factors. One of the most important results of our study is the sensitivity of respondents to the placement of wind turbines in landscapes of high aesthetic quality, and, on the other hand, a relatively high level of acceptance of these structures in unattractive landscapes. Wind turbines also receive better acceptance if the number of turbines in a landscape is limited, and if the structures are kept away from observation points, such as settlements, transportation infrastructure and viewpoints. The most important characteristic of the respondents that influenced their evaluation was their attitude to wind power. On the basis of these results, recommendations are presented for placing wind turbines and for protecting the character of the landscape within the planning and policy making processes.

Suggested Citation

  • Molnarova, Kristina & Sklenicka, Petr & Stiborek, Jiri & Svobodova, Kamila & Salek, Miroslav & Brabec, Elizabeth, 2012. "Visual preferences for wind turbines: Location, numbers and respondent characteristics," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 269-278.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:92:y:2012:i:c:p:269-278
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2011.11.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McKenna, R. & Hollnaicher, S. & Fichtner, W., 2014. "Cost-potential curves for onshore wind energy: A high-resolution analysis for Germany," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 103-115.
    2. Hildingsson, Roger & Johansson, Bengt, 2016. "Governing low-carbon energy transitions in sustainable ways: Potential synergies and conflicts between climate and environmental policy objectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 245-252.
    3. Jäger, Tobias & McKenna, Russell & Fichtner, Wolf, 2015. "Onshore wind energy in Baden-Württemberg: a bottom-up economic assessment of the socio-technical potential," Working Paper Series in Production and Energy 7, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Industrial Production (IIP).
    4. Betakova, Vendula & Vojar, Jiri & Sklenicka, Petr, 2015. "Wind turbines location: How many and how far?," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 23-31.
    5. Mariel, Petr & Meyerhoff, Jürgen & Hess, Stephane, 2015. "Heterogeneous preferences toward landscape externalities of wind turbines – combining choices and attitudes in a hybrid model," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 647-657.
    6. Yang, Jinshui & Peng, Chaoyi & Xiao, Jiayu & Zeng, Jingcheng & Yuan, Yun, 2012. "Application of videometric technique to deformation measurement for large-scale composite wind turbine blade," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 292-300.
    7. Huesca-Pérez, María Elena & Sheinbaum-Pardo, Claudia & Köppel, Johann, 2016. "Social implications of siting wind energy in a disadvantaged region – The case of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 952-965.
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    9. Wolsink, Maarten, 2012. "Undesired reinforcement of harmful ‘self-evident truths’ concerning the implementation of wind power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 83-87.
    10. Cartelle Barros, Juan José & Lara Coira, Manuel & de la Cruz López, María Pilar & del Caño Gochi, Alfredo, 2015. "Assessing the global sustainability of different electricity generation systems," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 473-489.
    11. repec:eee:ecolec:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:245-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Liu, Wenling & Wang, Can & Mol, Arthur P.J., 2013. "Rural public acceptance of renewable energy deployment: The case of Shandong in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 1187-1196.
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    14. Baharoon, Dhyia Aidroos & Rahman, Hasimah Abdul & Fadhl, Saeed Obaid, 2016. "Personal and psychological factors affecting the successful development of solar energy use in Yemen power sector: A case study," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 516-535.
    15. McKenna, R. & Ostman v.d. Leye, P. & Fichtner, W., 2016. "Key challenges and prospects for large wind turbines," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1212-1221.
    16. repec:eee:appene:v:204:y:2017:i:c:p:1422-1430 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Broekel, Tom & Alfken, Christoph, 2015. "Gone with the wind? The impact of wind turbines on tourism demand," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 506-519.
    18. Ladenburg, Jacob & Termansen, Mette & Hasler, Berit, 2013. "Assessing acceptability of two onshore wind power development schemes: A test of viewshed effects and the cumulative effects of wind turbines," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 45-54.
    19. Griffin, Robert & Chaumont, Nicolas & Denu, Douglas & Guerry, Anne & Kim, Choong-Ki & Ruckelshaus, Mary, 2015. "Incorporating the visibility of coastal energy infrastructure into multi-criteria siting decisions," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 218-223.
    20. Zerrahn, Alexander & Krekel, Christian, 2015. "Sowing the Wind and Reaping the Whirlwind? The Effect of Wind Turbines on Residential Well-Being," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112956, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    21. Wróżyński, Rafał & Sojka, Mariusz & Pyszny, Krzysztof, 2016. "The application of GIS and 3D graphic software to visual impact assessment of wind turbines," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 96(PA), pages 625-635.
    22. Kontogianni, A. & Tourkolias, Ch. & Skourtos, M. & Damigos, D., 2014. "Planning globally, protesting locally: Patterns in community perceptions towards the installation of wind farms," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 170-177.
    23. Vanja WESTERBERG & Jette BREDAHL JACOBSEN & Robert LIFRAN, 2012. "The Multi-faceted Nature of Preferences for Offshore Wind Farm Siting," Working Papers 12-22, LAMETA, Universitiy of Montpellier, revised Jul 2012.

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