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RE scenarios from a nature conservation viewpoint

Project title: Expansion scenarios for renewable energies from a nature conservation viewpoint

Focus

  • Site-specific evaluation of RE utilisation in terms of nature and the landscape
  • Visualising sample changes to nature and the landscape
  • Eye-tracking for perception of wind energy in selected landscapes

Contact

University of Applied Sciences and Arts TH OWL
Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
An der Wilhelmshöhe 44, D-37671 Höxter
Professor Dr Boris Stemmer
boris.stemmer(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsth-owl.de

Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology
Energy Meteorology and Geo Information System, Scenarios and System Modelling
Königstor 59, 34119 Kassel
Dr rer nat Carsten Pape
Tel.: +49 561 7294 - 265
carsten.pape(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsiwes.fraunhofer.de

 

Funding

FKZ 3515 82 2900
Departmental Research Plan 2015
Term: 01.06.2016 – 30.09.2018

The project aims to find a balance between the economic and technical requirements of future renewable energy sites and the most environmentally compatible development of them. The alternative scenarios for the expansion of renewable energies discussed at federal government level will be studied with a particular focus on nature and the landscape.

The further expansion of renewable energies is leading to a growing transformation pressure on ever more parts of the German landscape. This is one of the reasons why the basically wide approval for the energy transition is currently declining, as shown by the current public debate. The energy transition must therefore be put into practice in harmony with the interests of nature and landscape protection as far as possible.

The aim of the project is to provide support for decisions that affect practice and will lead to a further expansion of renewable energies that is as compatible with nature and landscape as possible.

With this in mind, a range of scenarios for the expansion of RE will be evaluated and compared in terms of their impacts on nature conservation and representative landscapes. The focus is on the scenario of a decentral expansion close to consumption and a scenario of expansion at efficient sites.

The regional effects of the general expansion scenarios will be illustrated through case studies in representative landscapes and examined by means of a perceptional psychology study.

Methods

Based on the scenarios of Agora-Energiewende, the potential expansion options from the viewpoint of the German government will be analysed and evaluated in terms of their potential conflict with the interests of nature and landscape. For example, the "best sites" and "distributed generation" will be analysed for various projects. The expansion scenarios currently being discussed by government will therefore be applied in these places, making it easier to assess the degree of possible conflicts with the important interests of nature conservation.

The aim is to be able to use these analyses to predict and evaluate the potential nature conservation and landscape planning conflicts linked to the various scenarios. The analyses will be carried out across Germany using the different data sets and with the aid of the GIS system. The results of the selected "representative landscapes" produced at the national level will then be examined more closely.

A suitable method for this will be developed, which determines the conflict risks in terms of biodiversity, the ecosystem, and the landscape and its recreational function for comparative assessments and for analysis at national level. The starting point for the empirical research is to identify specific "representative landscapes" that reflect typical landscapes in the German federal republic. In order to be able to evaluate the effect of changed landscapes, visualisations of the scenarios were developed on the representative landscapes and presented to non-experts for evaluation. Eye-tracking and other (environmental) psychology methods were used as part of a perception psychology pilot study in order to be able to work out an initial classification of the landscape-related assessments of different scenarios. Empirical surveys with a range of target groups were carried out at various stages. The online study (running from August to October 2017) was aimed at the interested public.

The results of the evaluation of the landscape aspects of the "representative landscapes" were used to further classify the national geodata. In the final part of the project, the overall nature conservation assessment was refined in terms of the categories of biodiversity and ecosystem as well as landscape aesthetics.

The workshops accompanying the project aim to provide a critical check of the proposed methods and also promote a broad expert and public debate.

Results

Based on a range of scenarios, the research project has evaluated the effects of distributed, economically-based and nature conservation optimised distributions of WT on nature and landscape. The aim is to use these results to derive recommendations for action for future decision-making processes in order to ensure an environmentally and landscape-compatible energy transition. In addition, the approaches developed should provide potential options for action for lower planning levels in order to be able to assess future developments.

Using a GIS-based evaluation of the natural resource of landscape developed in-house, conflict risks for landscape in the face of the expansion of WT were determined across the whole of Germany. Online and eye-tracking studies were also successfully carried out and supply new information on the perception and evaluation of landscapes. A comparison of the data collected in the interviews with the computer-generated data enabled a check on the GIS-based evaluation.

BfN-Script

Ulrich Riedl, Boris Stemmer, Sven Philipper, Wolfgang Peters, Sven Schicketanz, Miron Thylmann, Carsten Pape, Philip Gauglitz, Jochen Mülder, Christian Westarp und Nicola Moczek: Szenarien für den Ausbau der erneuerbaren Energien aus Naturschutzsicht, BfN-Skripten 570, Bonn – Bad Godesberg, 2020

Szenarien für den Ausbau der erneuerbaren Energien aus Naturschutzsicht

BfN-series “InPractice”

An issue of the BfN-series “InPractice” was also published on the research project.

Work packages

Work packages

  1. Spatial determining and mapping of alternative expansion scenarios
  2. Spatial evaluation of RE utilisation in terms of the interests of nature and landscape
  3. Evaluation of the scenarios in terms of nature and landscape protection
  4. Sample illustration of changes to nature and landscape using visualisation
  5. Perception psychology pilot study with eye-tracking to study the perception of wind energy in selected landscapes
  6. Classifying the evaluation of the different landscapes

Project partners

Project partners

Project management

University of Applied Sciences and Arts TH OWL
Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
An der Wilhelmshöhe 44, D-37671 Höxter
Professor Dr Boris Stemmer
Tel.: +49 5271 687 7504
boris.stemmer(at)avoid-unrequested-mailshs-owl.de

Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology
Energy Meteorology and Geo Information System, Scenarios and System Modelling
Königstor 59, 34119 Kassel
Dr. rer. nat. Carsten Pape
Tel.: +49 561 7294 265
Carsten.Pape(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsiwes.fraunhofer.de

Project partners

Bosch & Partner GmbH
Kantstr. 63a, 10627 Berlin
Dr. Wolfgang Peters
Tel.: +49 30 609 44 88 – 60
w.peters(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsboschpartner.de

Lenné3D
Meisenstr. 65, 33607 Bielefeld
Jochen Mülder
Tel.: +49 521 949 37 - 323
info(at)avoid-unrequested-mailslenne3d.com

PSY:PLAN Institut für Umwelt- und Architekturpsychologie
Moczek + Rambow GbR
Libauer Straße 14, 10245 Berlin
Nicola Moczek
Tel.: +49 30 2935 0521
post(at)avoid-unrequested-mailspsyplan.de

Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Christian Westarp
Christian.Westarp(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsgmx.de

Funding authority

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
FG II 4.3 Naturschutz und erneuerbare Energien, Geschäftsstelle Kompetenzzentrum erneuerbare Energien und Naturschutz
Alte Messe 6, 04103 Leipzig
Kathrin Ammermann
Tel.: +49 341 30977 160
Kathrin.Ammermann(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsBfN.de

 

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