Acceptance

Acceptance of offshore wind power utilization

To increase the share of renewable energy in the electricity supply mix, an increase of offshore wind power up to 7,000 – 10,000 MW is planned. To reach this goal, public support is a must. In order to learn of expectancies and experiences before and after building offshore wind farms, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature, Conservation and Nuclear Safety is funding the interdisciplinary project `Acceptance of offshore wind power utilization´. The consortium consists of experts from the areas of environmental/social psychology, marketing/ tourism, and architecture and landscape planning

To assess offshore wind acceptance, surveys are being conducted in four coastal regions on the North Sea and Baltic Sea. In each case two regions with and without offshore parks are being investigated. Residents, tourists, and local experts are being interviewed using standardized questionnaires. The first survey started in July 2009, and the second is planned in June 2011.

For example, it is of interest whether offshore wind power affects tourism, what the public believe to be the effects on the marine environment, and whether this plays a key role in the acceptance of offshore wind farms. Wind farms modify the landscape. To answer the question as to whether wind farms created according to design principles and connected with the unique landscapes are evaluated more positively, six specific concepts, including the real planning, were developed for the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Residents and tourists rated the most preferred design solutions. Furthermore, attitudes and expectancies concerning sea cable trays are being taken into account.

The project results will provide recommendations for decision- makers on how to implement offshore wind farms in as untroubled a way as possible.

Main research issues

  • How distinct is the acceptance of offshore wind power, and what factors influence this?
  • What effects have offshore wind farms on tourism and the local economy?
  • What measures can be employed to solve or avoid conflicts between residents, operators, and public authorities?

Partners and contacts

  • Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
    Institut für Psychologie
  • Technische Universität Berlin
    Institut für Landschaftsarchitektur und Umweltplanung
  • Technische Universität München
    Fachgebiet für Landschaftsarchitektur regionaler Freiräume
  • Hochschule Bremerhaven
    University of Applied Sciences Institut für Maritimen Tourismus