Offshore wind power development as affected by seascape values on the German North Sea coast


In Germany, the first permits have now been issued for the construction of large-scale offshore wind farms in the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This paper focuses on perceptions of the local seascape and the role of aesthetic seascape qualities in shaping local attitudes to offshore wind farming. Based on a survey of local residents in the districts of Dithmarschen and North Frisia, it shows that aesthetic seascape perception alone cannot account for local attitudes to offshore wind farming. Three main aspects seem to come together to determine these attitudes: deeply held convictions of the sea as a natural space, deeply held views of the local landscape and linked to this local identity, and also perceptions of renewable energies in combination with attitudes to issues such as climate change and sea level rise. The paper draws some conclusions on the future of the sea as a natural space or energy space.
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