Reference : Changing public viewpoints on wind energy development in Belgium
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Human geography & demography
Changing public viewpoints on wind energy development in Belgium
Vanderheyden, Vincent mailto [Université de Liège > Département de géographie > Service de géographie rurale (LAPLEC) >]
Schmitz, Serge mailto [Université de Liège > Département de géographie > Service de géographie rurale (LAPLEC) >]
Energy Landscapes: Perception, Planning, Participation and Power. European Conference of the Landscape Research Group
16‐18 September 2015
Leibnitz Institut of Ecological Urban and Regional Development
Landscape Research Group
[en] Wind Energy ; Landscape ; Acceptance ; Public viewpoints ; Belgium
[en] The amount of wind turbines has increased exponentially in Belgium in the last eight years (175 in 2007, 771 in 2015). During this period, especially in the last two years, critics of this energy have become more organised, virulent, and active in delaying or stopping many projects. The landscape impact of wind energy is central to their arguments. We wonder if people’s attitudes towards wind turbines and landscape changed in the last years in Belgium and how they changed. This paper compares public perception of wind energy in two researches about landscape perception. The two studies used slightly different methodologies but with similarities in the designs, allowing some comparisons. The first research (2007‐2009) aimed to study the perceived landscape impact and the social acceptance of wind turbines in Belgium. 1542 Belgians were surveyed about their landscape preferences using a photo‐questionnaire, including some pictures with wind turbines. 75 stakeholders of wind energy projects were also interviewed. The second research (2012‐2014) aimed to examine deeper the landscape preferences among 54 residents in three areas in Wallonia where wind turbines are present, using the previous photographs. During the conduct of the first research, changing attitudes were already observed. People had become more familiar with wind turbines and were less reluctant. The symbolic positive aspect of wind energy was highlighted seven years ago. This view continues. However, people seem more categorical in their viewpoint. All respondents have now been confronted to wind energy, which was not the case seven years ago. Some persons are not against wind farms but their increase in number start to overwhelm them. Others point they get used to the turbines, as long as they are not too many and too close. The huge increase in wind farms in the last seven years has changed the acceptance of wind energy. Some doubts about the real efficiency of this energy also shaped the attitudes.
Laplec ; Lepur : Centre de Recherche sur la Ville, le Territoire et le Milieu rural
Landscape sensitivity towards wind energy
Researchers ; Professionals

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