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ENERGYSCAPE: Landscape strategy for renewable energy systems

 

Securing the energy turnaround requires the successful implementation of renewable energy infrastructures in our landscape. It is known that providing legal planning certainty increases confidence and social acceptance of planned changes. In Switzerland, concepts and sectoral plans allow coordinating spatially relevant tasks among institutions and exist for transmission lines and for wind energy (concept). Current planning practice is however usually done for one type of energy system in a site-specific manner: There is no Swiss-wide and cross-sectoral weighting of interests and a spatial coordination of tasks for a mix of renewable energy infrastructures and their prioritization in the various landscape types in Switzerland is missing. While we know that perceptual impacts caused by renewable energy systems on a specific landscape type are one of the most important factors in explaining opposition or support for such infrastructures, knowledge about the judgment of landscape effects of a mix of such infrastructures in various landscape contexts is missing.

Goal

This project focuses thus on assessing public judgments of the landscape effects stimulated by a mix of renewable energy systems in Swiss landscapes. The ultimate goal is the formulation of recommendations for a prioritization of such systems in the different Swiss landscapes, as a basis for a landscape strategy with renewable energy systems.

Methods

Using state-of-the-art virtual visual-acoustic simulations of the renewable energy system developments in the various landscapes, we will give participants the opportunity to develop judgments for or against potential changes. Physiological and cognitive measurements including a set of indicators to be considered for landscape quality assessment will be used to assess the preferences for the presented developments.

Recommendations will then be developed in an iterative process with the institutions and practice. Contributing herewith to fast implementation procedures will secure competiveness of Swiss energy providers. Furthermore, as an input to a sectoral energy plan, the results will help break down barriers and potential (often landscape-related) opposition in early planning phases.