Attributes of wind turbines

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Conditional on having experience, it can be expected that the type of experience with the wind turbines has an impact on attitude. Ladenburg & Möller (2010) argue that the individual perception and actual exposure to wind turbines via the distance to the turbine(s), the size of the turbine(s) or the number of turbines in the vicinity might be very different between respondents. Accordingly, respondents living close to several large turbines are expected to have a completely different experience with wind turbines compared to respondents living near one single turbine, though both would state that they live close to a wind turbine. Some of these aspects were elaborated in the previous sections. However, to identify the links between the physical characteristics in terms of how different attributes of wind turbines and wind farms influence the individual attitude of a local resident remains to be a challenge. For instance, several studies have pointed out, that specific attributes of wind farms are preferred by the individual, such as locating wind farms offshore compared to on-land locations (Ek, 2005; McCartney, 2005), minimising the visual impacts from offshore wind farms etc. (Ladenburg & Dubgaard, 2007; Krueger et al., 2010 and number and size of wind turbines (Meyerhoff et al., 2010). However, the systematic influence of different wind farm characteristics on attitude has only been explored in a few studies to date. Though many studies analyse the effects from wind farms on the local community, to date only Ladenburg & Möller (2010) and Ladenburg (2009) have explicitly analysed if the variations in the wind farms affect the attitude of individuals within a local community differently.

Interestingly, there are systematic differences in offshore wind farm attributes. For instance, in Ladenburg (2009), differences in the visual impacts from offshore wind farms appear to have a significant impact on the attitude. If the offshore wind farms generate higher levels of visual impacts (the wind farm is located close to shore relative to the height of the wind turbines) more negative attitudes are generated. Apparently, differences in the size of the nearest offshore wind farm influence attitude, so that larger wind farms generate a more positive attitude. Interestingly, these results point towards that how (offshore) wind farms are planned and designed can have an positive influence on the acceptance of the wind farms. Hence, the results suggest that offshore wind farms should be located at relative large distances and should have rather more turbines in order to mitigate negative attitudes.

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