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Visual impact assessment of offshore wind farms and prior experience

Authors
Journal
Applied Energy
0306-2619
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
86
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2008.05.005
Keywords
  • Offshore Wind Farms
  • Visual Impacts
  • Perceptions
  • Prior Experience
Disciplines
  • Ecology

Abstract

Abstract 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.

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