When is enough, enough? Identifying predictors of capacity estimates for onshore wind-power development in a region of the UK
The level of 'wind-prospecting' presently occurring in the UK is increasing the likelihood that new wind-power developments will conflict with other existing and/or proposed schemes. This study reports multiple-regression analyses performed on survey data obtained in a region of the UK (i.e. Humberhead Levels, near Doncaster) simultaneously subject to nine wind-farm proposals (September 2008). The aim of the analysis was to identify which survey-items were predictors of respondents' estimates of the number of wind turbines they believed the region could reasonably support (i.e. capacity estimates). The results revealed that the majority of respondents would endorse some local development; however, there was substantial variability in the upper level that was considered acceptable. Prominent predictors included general attitude, perceived knowledge of wind power, community attachment, environmental values, visual attractiveness of wind turbines, and issues relating to perceived fairness and equity. The results have implications for Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA) - and in particular the assessment of Cumulative Landscape and Visual Impacts (CLVI) - and support calls for greater community involvement in decisions regarding proposed schemes.
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