Analyses of Wind Energy Economy and the Environment

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Experiences with wind energy
development, planning and public
acceptance in Denmark
Bernd Möller, Ph.D.
Sustainable Energy Planning & Management Group
Department of Development and Planning
Aalborg University, Denmark
History of wind energy development
PJ
3.500
7.000
3.000
6.000
2.500
5.000
2.000
4.000
1.500
3.000
1.000
2.000
500
1.000
-
1982
1985
1988
1991
1994
Capacity [MW] (left axis)
1997
2000
2003
2006
Number (right axis)
About 5,300 turbines produce 20 % of the
national electricity demand.
Decommissioning of ageing turbines
currently decreases production.
Data source: Danish Energy Authority, 2008
Elements of Danish wind energy policy
•
•
•
•
•
Long term national energy plans
Fixed feed-in tariff system
Promotion of local ownership, cooperatives
Spatial planning on local and regional levels
Fostering of new technologies
Problems associated to wind energy in DK
• Most land-based locations occupied or unsuitable
• Planning requirements are tightened
• Increasing turbine size aggravates visibility problem
• Growing local resistance against wind power projects
• Structural changes (tariffs, ownership etc)
• New legislation to compensate for loss of property value
Chances for future wind energy
•
•
•
•
Offshore: yes, but at high costs and risks
3 West coast municipalities may show the way
Re-invention of re-powering schemes
Rejuvenated interest in local and cooperate
ownership, even off shore
• Continued build of mid-range turbines (2MW)
economically and socially feasible
• Municipal ownership an overseen chance.
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Thy: Energy and nature
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National park
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Turbines
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0
Kilometers
<22 kW
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23-150 kW
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151-400 kW
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401-1,000 kW
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> 1,000 kW
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5
10
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• Very rural
• Site of first national park
• 240 turbines cover 70% of
demand
• The region is almost CO2 neutral
(excl. transport)
• Local owners; income and
acceptance
• Wind energy is part of tourism
promotion.
Elevation
High
15
20
Low
Data sources: Danish Energy
Authority; KMS; MIM, all 2008
Wind energy and landscapes
• Connotation with the environment / being green
• Iconic for sustainable development
• Valuable landscapes deemed unsuitable for visibility reasons
• On a local scale neighbours play a certain role (NIMBY)
• Visibility assessment is mandatory, yet not on a regional scale
Increasing size
140
Average total height [m]
Bubble area proportional to number of turbines
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
1977
1982
1987
1992
1997
2002
2007
Year of installation
Data source: Danish Energy Authority, 2008
The advantage of upscaling (EWEA, 2006)
Number of turbines
Ownership
Cooperative ownership involves local people economically and hence
improves local acceptance.
The good experiences with neighbour ownership point towards
commonly managed wind resources as a good solution.
Data source: EMD International, 2007
Distributed investments
Investments in wind energy are well distributed in the country and not necessarily in rural areas
alone, which is positive for social acceptance in population. Statistics on a 10 x 10 km grid.
Data sources: EMD.dk and Statistics Denmark
Wind energy planning in Denmark
• In the early days permissions to erect
turbines were given without much
regulation and with no common
planning framework.
• Since 1995 a nation-wide planning
framework has been established.
• Municipalities have the planning
authority for new wind turbines.
• Turbines are located in favourable
wind regimes, but only where little
impact on neighbours can be
expected.
• A thorough planning process looks
into all aspects of location in a
democratic way.
• A mandatory EIA follows, concluded
(Wind power planning zones around Aalborg, AIS)
by a local plan.
Dynamic wind energy landscapes
• The visual impact of wind turbines as landscape
elements has to be seen dynamically
• Turbines grow in size, rotational speed decreases
• Turbines are erected in changing patterns
• Spatial planning is adjusted to development
• Public planning also has a learning curve!
• Cautiously expressed, people may get used to
turbines in landscapes.
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Wind energy development
in Denmark through the
times
1985:
1990:
1995:
2005:
2000:
774
2,570
3,553
5,286
6,236
turbines
turbines
44
317
589
3,127
2,389
MW
MW
MW
20%
0.2
2
4
13%%
%
of
of
of
of
power
power
power
power
production
production
production
production
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Data source: Danish
Energy Authority, 2007
Spatial analyses of wind energy economy
and the environment
•
•
•
•
Temporal cumulative viewshed analysis of wind turbines
Intervisibility analysis of landscape openness.
Wind energy production and its spatial distribution
The costs to society (socio-economic costs) of utilising
the wind resource
• Turbine ownership and proximity
• A combination of wind power production, wind power
economy and environmental impact is carried out on a
regional / national scale.
The study area
Data sources: EEA, 2005; KMS, 2007
Visibility
during
times
Data sources: KMS, 2007; Danish Energy Authority, 2008
Intervisibility to model landscape openness
How much of a landscape can be seen from everywhere else? Visual
landscape openness may assist regional planning.
Data sources: KMS, 2007; Danish Energy Authority, 2008
Intervisibility and wind energy economy
Relative turbine
visibility
low
high
Production
costs
low
high
The best locations for wind energy are not necessarily the most visible.
Data sources: KMS, 2007; EMD International, 2001
Intervisibility and proximity
Relative turbine
visibility
low
high
Weighted
proximity
low
high
Most wind turbines are located in areas with moderate visibility; few
large utility-owned parks have a high cumulative weighted impact.
Data sources: KMS, 2007; Danish Energy Authority, 2008
Conclusions
• Wind energy landscapes are dynamic – turbine
development and their lifespan included
• Technology development must not accelerate more
than public view on landscapes
• Local involvement in planning as well as economically
by local ownership is crucial to create acceptance
• The economy must be right:
– feed-in tariffs for low risk investments
– cooperative or public ownership for low interest rate
– geographical spreading of investments for better acceptance
and lower system costs.
• The dilemma of scale economies and scale impact must
be dealt with.
Please visit
www.energyplanning.aau.dk
for information on the international M.Sc. Programme
Sustainable Energy Planning & Management
and www.unigeo.dk
for information on the Geography Programme
at Aalborg University, Denmark
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