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Renewable energy: Regional Simulation Game

Project title: Simulation game on the environmentally compatible spatial distribution of renewable energy production in exemplar regions

Focus

  • Area-based assessment of the conflict risk for wind energy use
  • Assessment of validity based on simulation games at regional level

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

 

 

 

Funding

FKZ 3519 86 0600
Departmental Research Plan 2019
Term: 11/2019 – 04/2021

 

The project will evaluate at the regional level the assessment methodology and results of the previous project "Expansion scenarios for renewable energies from a nature conservation viewpoint", in which a nationwide assessment of renewable energy expansion scenarios – especially onshore wind energy – from a nature conservation and landscape protection perspective was carried out. Based on two representative example regions, simulation games will be carried out with the local actors of regional planning, in which the results of the nationwide assessment will be compared with those of the regional assessment. This is intended to improve the reliability of the nationwide methodology so that nature conservation and landscape protection concerns can already be taken into account in strategic decisions at the federal level.

The project will evaluate at the regional level the assessment methodology and results of the previous project "Expansion scenarios for renewable energies from a nature conservation viewpoint", in which a nationwide assessment of renewable energy expansion scenarios – especially onshore wind energy – from a nature conservation and landscape protection perspective was carried out. Based on two representative example regions, simulation games will be carried out with the local actors of regional planning, in which the results of the nationwide assessment will be compared with those of the regional assessment. This is intended to improve the reliability of the nationwide methodology so that nature conservation and landscape protection concerns can already be taken into account in strategic decisions at the federal level.

For the spatial planning of wind energy use, it is of great importance to know which nature conservation-related conflicts can occur if a specific area is taken up for RE-purposes. Against this background, the project serves to further develop a methodology for assessing the spatial conflict intensity caused by the allocation of land for wind energy use, which can already be applied at the national strategic level when it comes to spatially allocating land quotas.

In the concluded precursor, the project "Expansion scenarios for renewable energies from a nature conservation viewpoint" (Project partner: IEE, B&P, THOWL), a methodology for evaluating renewable energy expansion scenarios from a nature conservation and landscape protection perspective, which can be applied on a nationwide scale, has already been developed and tested. This methodology is being further developed in the course of the current project and is being reviewed and honed through intensive comparison with assessment results from regional planning.

Within the framework of the above-mentioned project, it was shown that, at least for the planned expansion up to 2030 or 2035, there is certainly scope for optimising the choice of location from the point of view of nature conservation and landscape protection. In relation to the scenarios examined, this optimisation would lead to a considerable relief of nature and landscape. This result will now be evaluated by comparing it with the regional plans.

Results

  • Current model calculations for estimating potential take insufficient account of nature conservation and landscape protection. Therefore, they paint an incomplete picture of the distribution of land potential in Germany.
  • To accelerate the expansion of wind energy use, it is important to take nature conservation and landscape protection into account at an early stage. The resolution of conflicts is often not possible solely within the framework of the approval of concrete projects.
  • 3.6 % of the federal territory is suitable for wind energy use, even with comprehensive consideration of nature conservation and landscape protection.
  • In this context, the expansion targets (area quotas) for the Länder should differ, as the suitable areas (area potentials) are also distributed differently in the Länder.
  • The method developed in the R+D project "Planspiel EE" enables a transparent and comprehensible derivation of land potentials and land quotas based on spatial criteria and higher-level climate protection goals.
  • The calculation of land quotas for photovoltaic use is possible with the method, as is adaptation at the subsequent planning levels of the Länder and regions.

Brief presentation of the results (June 2021)

 

Method

The current project offers the opportunity to evaluate the existing nationwide approach on the one hand by comparing it with the regional level and on the other hand to investigate which specific adaptations would enable them for land use assessments at the regional level. For this purpose, simulation games will be conducted with local actors in two example regions. The project can thus contribute to improving the consideration of nature conservation concerns at the strategic level, as well as to achieving a more efficient consideration of nature conservation concerns at the regional level of spatial management.

This leads to the following tasks for the project:

  • The nationally applicable assessment methodology for onshore wind power will be further developed in such a way that the achievable results have a high degree of validity and thus receive the broadest possible recognition.
  • The results are tested for their validity on a regional scale within the framework of a simulation game and, if necessary, modified or uncertainties are identified.
  • Recommendations are formulated for the spatial management of the energy transition, which ensure that nature conservation concerns are taken into account from the outset.

Work packages

Work packages

  1. Extension and specification of the present evaluation methodology
  2. Regionalised simulation game
  3. Recommendations
  4. Need for further research
  5. Expert dialogue and interim and final reports
  6. Participation in and perception of networking activities of other BfN projects

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
boris.stemmer(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsth-owl.de

Project partners

Bosch & Partner GmbH
Kantstr. 63a
D-10627 Berlin
Dr. Wolfgang Peters
w.peters(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsboschpartner.de

Öko-Institut e.V. – Büro Berlin
Schicklerstr. 5–7
D-10179 Berlin
Dr Felix Christian Matthes
f.matthes(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsoeko.de

Funding authority

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
FG II 4.3 Nature conservation and renewable energies
Alte Messe 6, D-04103 Leipzig
Dipl.-Ing. Sarah Böttner
Tel.: +49 341 30977-161
Sarah.Boettner(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsBfN.de

 

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