A review of land use, visibility and public perception of renewable energy in the context of landscape impact

R. Ioannidis, and D. Koutsoyiannis, A review of land use, visibility and public perception of renewable energy in the context of landscape impact, Applied Energy, 276, 115367, doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115367, 2020.



Landscape impacts associated with aesthetics have been a persistent cause of opposition against renewable energy projects. However, the current uncertainty over the spatial extents and the rationality of reported impacts impedes the development of optimal strategies for their mitigation. In this paper, a typology of landscape impacts is formed for hydroelectric, wind and solar energy through the review of three metrics that have been used extensively for impact-assessment: land use, visibility and public perception. Additionally, a generic landscape-impact ranking is formed, based on data from realized projects, demonstrating that hydroelectric energy has been the least impactful to landscapes per unit energy generation, followed by solar and wind energy, respectively. More importantly, the analysis highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each technology, in a landscape impact context, and demonstrates that, depending on landscape attributes, any technology can potentially be the least impactful. Finally, a holistic approach is proposed for future research and policy for the integration of renewable energy to landscapes, introducing the maximum utilization of the advantages of each technology as an additional strategy in an effort to expand beyond the mitigation of negative impacts.

Full text is only available to the NTUA network due to copyright restrictions

PDF Additional material:


Download site: https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1bbKL15eiezzux

Our works referenced by this work:

1. D. Koutsoyiannis, A. Efstratiadis, and G. Karavokiros, A decision support tool for the management of multi-reservoir systems, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 38 (4), 945–958, doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.2002.tb05536.x, 2002.
2. A. Christofides, A. Efstratiadis, D. Koutsoyiannis, G.-F. Sargentis, and K. Hadjibiros, Resolving conflicting objectives in the management of the Plastiras Lake: can we quantify beauty?, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 9 (5), 507–515, doi:10.5194/hess-9-507-2005, 2005.
3. D. Koutsoyiannis, and R. Ioannidis, The energetic, environmental and aesthetic superiority of large hydropower projects over other renewable energy projects, Proceedings of 3rd Hellenic Conference on Dams and Reservoirs, Zappeion, Hellenic Commission on Large Dams, Athens, 2017.
4. Μ. Sako, E. Tsoli, R. Ioannidis, E. Frangedaki, G.-F. Sargentis, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Optimizing the size of Hilarion dam with technical, economical and environmental parameters, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2019, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 21, Vienna, EGU2019-15297, European Geosciences Union, 2019.
5. G.-F. Sargentis, P. Dimitriadis, R. Ioannidis, T. Iliopoulou, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Stochastic evaluation of landscapes transformed by renewable energy installations and civil works, Energies, 12 (4), 2817, doi:10.3390/en12142817, 2019.

Tagged under: Renewable energy, Environment, Most recent works, Water and energy