Attitudes towards offshore wind farms

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In the following section, the attitude studies focusing on offshore wind farms are presented (Table 3).


Focus of the paper_Prior experience variables_Effect of the variables

Bishop & Miller (2007)

Ladenburg (2008)

Ladenburg (2009)

Perception of visual impacts from offshore wind farms at 4, 8 and 12 km from the shore Attitude towards more offshore turbines

Perception of visual impacts from offshore wind farms

Location of on-land turbines in the neighbourhood

View to offshore turbines from permanent residence or summerhouse

View to on-land turbines from permanent residence or summerhouse

Turbines neighbourhood_4 km

PTurbmes neighbourhood_8 km

ßTurbmes neighbourhood_12 kmNS ßview on-lanc^ ßview offshore

ßview on-lanc

Ladenburg (2010)

Attitude towards existing offshore turbines

View to offshore turbines from permanent residence or summerhouse

Systematic differences in prior experience between two samples of respondents View to on-land turbines from permanent residence or summerhouse

View to offshore turbines from permanent residence or summerhouse

Number of on-land turbines in the neighbourhood

OView offshore

■ematic differences

ßview offshore

PNo. turbines neighbourhood

Ladenburg & Attitude towards

Möller (2010) existing offshore

Same as Ladenburg (2010) Travel time to the nearest

ßTraveltime <0 ßTraveltime2

turbines offshore wind farm ßTmveUme_30mm*<0

Number of turbines in the ßNumber of turbines *>0

nearest offshore wind farm

Distance/height relation of ßDistanceMghtNS

the turbines in the nearest offshore wind farm

Table 3. Attitude and prior experience towards offshore turbines (based on Ladenburg & Möller (2010)).

Bishop & Miller (2007) tested prior information in a study by analysing the visual impact from an 18 turbine offshore wind farm which could be viewed from the coast at different sites from the shoreline at 4, 8 and 12 km respectively. Prior experience was analysed using the approach described in Ek (2005)]. It was investigated whether respondents living in an area with land-based wind farms perceived the visual impacts from offshore wind farms as being more severe when compared to respondents without any contact with wind farms or living in an area with proposed or approved wind farms. The results suggest some influence of prior information, though the prior information effect was ambiguous. Apparently, this effect was found only to be significantly different in the case of visual assessment of the wind farm located at 4 km offshore, but not so, if the farm was viewed further way at 8 and 12 km off the coast. Ladenburg (2007) analysed the attitude towards future offshore wind farms in Denmark. The paper includes prior experience information related to variables controlling for whether the respondents have a view shed to on-land and/or offshore wind turbines. The results suggest that prior experience does not influence the attitude towards future offshore wind farms (ßview On-Land NS, ßview OffshoreNS).

However, in a complementary study, Ladenburg (2009) modelled prior information as a function of view to on-land and offshore wind farms from permanent residence or summer homes. This analysis combined controls for prior information by sampling respondents with distinctively different levels of experience with visual impacts from offshore wind farms. That was done by a selective sampling approach in which only respondents living close to Nysted I and Horns Rev I offshore wind farms along the Danish North Sea were sampled. The distinctly different levels of visual experience are obtain, as the offshore wind farms at Nysted and Horns Rev are located at approximately 6-9.5 km and 14-20 km off the shore, respectively. Whilst the wind farm at Nysted is very visible, the wind farm at Horns Rev is difficult to see during fair weather conditions due to the location far off the coast. Analysing the prior experience variables (view on land-based or offshore wind turbines) separately for the respondents from the Nysted and Horns Rev samples, the variables are not significant (ßView On-LandNS and ßView OffshoreNS). Thus, people who can see an on-land or offshore wind farm from their permanent or summer residence do not have a significantly different perception of the visual impacts compared to respondents who do not have a wind turbine in their view shed. However, when Ladenburg (2009) compared the perceptions of the visual impacts between the two sample locations, a strong prior experience effect seems to be present. More specifically, the results point towards that experience with relatively large visual impacts from offshore wind farms (Nysted I sample) has a rather negative influence on the perception of visual intrusion from offshore wind farms on the landscape, in contrast to people who have experience with offshore wind farms (Horns Rev I) with fewer/weaker visual impacts.

In Ladenburg (2010) the analysis of prior information was extended by including variables controlling for the perceived number of daily encounters with on-land wind turbines, i.e. number of turbines in the neighbourhood, where the respondents live. It was found that having a view to on-land turbines had a significantly positive influence on attitude (ßView On-Land>0). The respondents, who had an on-land wind turbine in the view, thus were more positively inclined towards offshore wind farms, compared to the respondents who did not. The number of turbines and view to offshore wind farms were not found to have any significant impact on the attitude.

In a final study, Ladenburg & Möller (2010) use the travel time from the residence to the nearest offshore wind farm as an indirect proxy for a prior experience in terms of a physical/visual encounter with the nearest offshore wind farm. Analysing the effect of prior experience on attitude towards existing offshore wind farms in Denmark, an ordered logit analysis suggests that the travel time has a significant influence on the attitude towards offshore wind farms. Generally, , the farther away the respondents live from one of the six offshore wind farms in this survey, the more negative are the respondents towards existing offshore wind farms (ßTraveltime*<0), though at a decreasing rate $Tmveltime2>0). However, the results denote that people living within 30 minutes of travelling to the nearest offshore wind farm are significantly more negative towards the offshore wind farms (ßTraveltimejomin*<0), suggesting some kind of negative proximity effect.

Controlling for the number of turbines and the distance/height relation (the smaller the distance/height relation is, the larger visual impacts and vice versa), it was also found that if the nearest wind farm contained many wind turbines, the respondents were more positive towards offshore wind farms (ßNumberof turbines*>0). However, the distance/height relation did not appear to have an influence on the attitude (ßDistance/heightNS).

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