Accepted Paper:

Acceptability of wind power landscape  


Sari Janhunen (Lappeenranta University of Technology)

Paper short abstract:

The acceptability of wind power is studied empirically by testing the landscape preferences and attitudes of wind power siting. The data is collected among Finnish university students whose emotional bonds to Finnish landscapes including wind power constructions is studied.

Paper long abstract:

Visual impacts are one of the major concerns when assessing the siting of renewable energy production, like wind power. People may value the natural landscape, or "wildscape", and in that case wind turbines can represent industrial elements which ruin these landscape values. On the other hand, environments with strong man-made characteristics have visual values as well. These may be traditional landscapes where new technology seems to be in a wrong place. Disruptions in urban landscapes are created when a wind power project threat the identity of people with strong place attachment.

This study rests on previous wind power attitude research where we studied wind power plans and both rural Finnish summer cottage culture and urban environment. In this study, we empirically test the different meanings for wind power landscape. The data was collected among students of a technological university in Finland. The aim was to study their attitudes of wind power. This study identifies the emotional bonds to certain Finnish landscapes. We are testing the landscape preferences of these young people; which kind of landscapes they feel favorable, are these landscapes part of their identity? The connection between personally valuable landscape and wind power siting is revealed: where is wind power accepted? In the future, these young people could be leading experts and decision-makers in energy business, not to mention their role as everyday energy consumers. The meaning of experienced landscape values in formation of wind power acceptability is discussed.

Panel P078
Ubiquitous energy: everyday energy rhythms, practices and experiences