Protected areas and biodiversity
Nature and biodiversity protection concerns may strongly affect community acceptance of wind farming. Paying attention to such issue is an effort that will pay off not only in terms of reduced opposition but, also in some optimization of the wind farm project, that will become more respondent to social, economic and environmental needs. See best practices.
One of the crucial environmental factors affecting wind energy social acceptance, especially at the community level, is landscape modification. Since wind energy plants require large areas of land, citizens may be highly concerned about their impacts on their familiar landscape, in particular when plants are located close to sensitive or protected areas.
At the same time, the negative attitude against the wind farm may depend not only on the location but also on some technical characteristics and design of the turbines. Reducing visual impacts (size, height, or design) of wind turbines by selecting the more appropriate technology is one of a number of measures that can be implemented to protect the local landscape and reduce adverse reactions.
The technology factor is also crucial in case of the renewal of an existing facility: new technologies provide a number of solutions to minimize environmental impacts and favour the perception of the wind farm as part of the territory. See best practices.
Public should be engaged in consultations from the planning phase.
Find out more
The WinWind project analysed how social acceptance can be affected by environmental concerns. Here below further readings:
On impacts of turbine on biodiversity and ecosystems
Technical and socio-economic conditions A literature review of social acceptance of wind energy development, and an overview of the technical, socioeconomic and regulatory starting conditions in the wind energy scarce target regions pages 22-23. LINK: Deliverable 2.1 pagg.22-23.
10 Best Practice Cases dealing with landscape modification concerns
Synthesis and Comparative Analysis of Best Practice Case Studies for Promoting the Social Acceptance page 59