Michael Roth, Nuertingen-Geislingen University, Germany,
Sebastian Eiter, NIBIO – Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Norway &
Matthias Buchecker, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Switzerland

Keywords: Public perception, landscape quality, ecosystem services, sustainable energy systems

Mountain landscapes have great potential for renewable energy production because of their richness in wind, water energy and solar exposition. At the same time, renewable energy production introduces a new, possibly profitable, landscape service to mountain regions that are often characterized by a weak economic structure. This service might even provide additional income for extensively managed mountain farming systems that have created and maintain highly appreciated semi-natural habitats, yet are often of marginal economic viability. However, mountain landscapes fulfil many other valuable services and are sensitive to land-use change, so that planning of renewable energy projects is often heavily contested. A main concern is the potential impact of renewables on tourism and recreational services because of the high visibility across great distances of potential installations. Finding ways to make renewable energy production and landscape quality compatible is therefore a key challenge for mountain regions.

For our session we invite papers from different disciplines that present theoretical, empirical or applied approaches to dealing with conflicts and synergies between renewable energy production and other ecosystem services at the landscape level. Perspectives we would welcome in particular include:

  • The compatibility between nature conservation and renewable energy production in mountain landscapes
  • Effects of renewable energies on the economic dimension of mountain landscape development, including sustainable tourism
  • Management of landscape quality in mountain regions under the regime of renewable energies
  • Cultural heritage preservation in mountain landscapes affected by energy production
  • Social dimensions of renewable energy production in mountain landscapes (external intervention vs. local initiatives)

Presentations:

Alves, Gisele & Mickovski, Slobodan:
The landscape perception for the small properties closer wind farms 

Delicado, Ana & Silva, Luís:
For and against wind farms in mountain landscapes: a view from the south of Europe

Frolova, Marina & Centeri, Csaba:
Extent and impacts of renewable energy systems on landscape: state of research in Europe

Hunziker, Marcel:
Enlargement of a hydropower reservoir in Switzerland: Visual assessment by tourist

Roth, Michael & Hildebrandt, Silvio:
Contested landscapes – Contested subjectivities: How to achieve objective and valid visual landscape quality assessment for energy grid infrastructure planning on a national level

Salak, B.; Schauppenlehner, T.; Schmidt, J.; Höltinger, S.; Scherhaufer, P.; Czachs, C.; Jiricka-Pürrer, A. & Brandenburg, C.: Visualization techniques as supportive tool for a mixed method approach to enhance objectification in wind energy processes

Staniscia, Stefania:
Old and New Energy Landscapes in a Mountain Region: the West Virginia Case

Zanon, Bruno:
Innovation paths in the Alps. Changing economy, landscape transformations and the challenge of renewable energies

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