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Renewable energies can be landscape-friendly

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Resistance to renewable energies is often fierce, as wind mills or dams are seen as having negative impacts on the landscape. A European research team involving the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) has explored strategies to combine renewable energies and landscape conservation. The results have now been published.


In response to climate change and limited fossil fuels, renewable energy is being heavily promoted throughout Europe. In Switzerland, this trend is driven by the energy strategy 2050 and the phasing-out of nuclear power. Despite general support for green energy, perceived landscape change and loss of landscape quality have featured heavily in opposition campaigns.

The COST Action «Renewable Energy and Landscape Quality» (RELY) systematically investigated the nexus between renewable energy production and landscape quality. Its aim was to analyse how landscape protection and renewable energy deployment can be reconciled to contribute to the sustainable transformation of energy systems.

This book compiles guidelines for assessing landscape suitability for, and vulnerability to, renewable energy projects together with a tool-box for landscape-aware public participation in planning. It furthermore elaborates a multilingual glossary of terms related to landscape and energy.