Using a case study of the Búrfell wind farm project, a large wind farm proposed in the Central Highlands of Iceland, the authors attempt to provide new insights into the factors shaping subjective landscape perceptions and attitudes to renewable energy developments, and into alternative methods that may be used for their assessment. The research was based on an on-site visit and actual experience of the place, investigated using a combination of mental mapping, the technique of the semantic differential and a questionnaire survey. The results show that participants visiting a landscape and using all sensory organs in combination with mental mapping, can reveal more important information than using only ‘laboratory’ methods with static photographs. The results suggest that the perception of landscape is highly subjective. Those perceiving the landscape as more open, homogenous, industrial, unfamiliar and resilient also consider it more compatible with wind turbines. The perception of the landscape’s compatibility with wind turbines proved to be a dominant factor shaping attitudes towards the project. The acceptance of wind turbines is not, however, inconsistent with the perception of landscape as beautiful, wild and unique. Participants from more densely populated countries and countries with a developed wind energy industry were more tolerant of wind turbines in the Icelandic landscape.
APPLEYARD, D. (1970): Styles and methods of structuring a city. Environment and Behaviour, 2: 100–117.
BAXTER, J., MORZARIA, R., HIRSCH, R. (2013): A case-control study of support/opposition to wind turbines: Perceptions of health risk, economic benefits, and community conflict. Energy Policy, 61: 931–943.
BELL, S. (2012). Landscape: pattern, perception and process. New York, Routledge.
BELL, D., GRAY, T., HAGGETT, C. (2005): The ‘social gap’ in wind farm siting decisions: explanations and policy responses. Environmental politics, 14(4): 460–477.
BENEDIKTSSON, K. (2007): ‘Scenophobia’ and the aesthetic politics of landscape. Geografiska Annaler B, 89(3): 203–217.
BĚŤÁKOVÁ, V., VOJAR, J., SKLENIČKA, P. (2015): Wind turbines location: How many and how far? Applied Energy, 151: 23–31.
BEVK, T., MESTRE MARTINEZ, N., BRERETON, P., LALOŠEVIČ, M., PERIČ, M. (2017): Iterative Digital Photo-based Assessment for Rural Landscape Perception: A Small Experiment from County Wicklow, Ireland. Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture, 2017(2): 18–27.
BIDWELL, D. (2013): The role of values in public beliefs and attitudes towards commercial wind energy. Energy Policy, 58: 189–199.
BISHOP, I. D., MILLER, D. R. (2007): Visual assessment of off-shore wind turbines: the influence of distance, contrast, movement and social variables. Renewable Energy, 32(5): 814–831.
BJÖRNSSON, G., SÆÞÓRSDÓTTIR, A. D., ÓLAFSDÓTTIR, R. (2015): The Impact of Wind Farms on Tourist Experience in Iceland’s Highlands. Poster presented at the 21st International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, June 13–18, 2015, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
BRIDGE, G., BOUZAROVSKI, S., BRADSHAW, M., EYRE, N. (2013): Geographies of energy transition: Space, place and the low-carbon economy. Energy Policy, 53: 331–340.
BROTHERTON, B., HIMMETOĞLU, B. (1997). Beyond destinations – special interest tourism. Anatolia, 8(3): 11–30.
CETKOVSKÝ, S., NOVÁKOVÁ, E. (2009): Assessment of the impact of wind turbines on landscape character: Implications for landscape planning. Moravian Geographical Reports, 17(2): 28–34.
DANIEL, T. C., MEITNER, M. M. (2001): Representational Validity of Landscape Visualizations: The Effects of Graphical Realism on Perceived Scenic Beauty of Forest Vistas. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 21(1): 61–72.
DE SOUSA, A. J. G., KASTENHOLZ, E. (2015): Wind farms and the rural tourism experience–problem or possible productive integration? The views of visitors and residents of a Portuguese village. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23(8–9): 1236–1256.
DEVINE-WRIGHT, P. (2011): From backyards to places: public engagement and the emplacement of renewable energy technologies. In: Devine-Wright, P. [ed.]: Renewable energy and the public. From NIMBY to participation (pp. 57–74), London, Earthscan.
DEVINE-WRIGHT, P., HOWES, Y. (2010): Disruption of place attachment and the protection of restorative environments: A wind energy case study. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30(3): 271–280.
EDWARDS, J. A., LLURDÉS, J. C. (1996): Mines and quarries: Industrial heritage tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 23(2): 341–363.
ECHELBERGER, H. E. (1979): The semantic differential in landscape research. In: Elsner, G. H., Smardon, R. C. [eds.]: Proceedings of our national landscape: a conference on applied techniques for analysis and management of the visual resource (pp. 524–531). [Incline Village, Nev., April 23–25, 1979]. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Berkeley, CA.
FRANTÁL, B., KUNC, J. (2011): Wind turbines in tourism landscapes. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(2): 499–519.
FRANTÁL, B., URBÁNKOVÁ, R. (2017): Energy tourism: An emerging field of study. Current Issues in Tourism, 20 (13): 1395–1412.
GEE, K. (2010): Offshore wind power development as affected by seascape values on the German North Sea coast. Land Use Policy, 27(2): 185–194.
GUNNARSSON, B., GUNNARSSON, M. V. (2002). Iceland's Central Highlands: nature conservation, ecotourism, and energy resource utilization. In: Watson, A. E., Alessa, L., Sproull, J. [eds.]: Wilderness in the circumpolar north: searching for compatibility in ecological, traditional, and ecotourism values. Conference proceedings. Anchorage, 15–16 May 2001 (pp. 54–63). Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service.
GYLFASON, T., WIJKMAN, P. M. (2015): Double diversification with an application to Iceland. CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5386: 2–33.
HARVEY, D. (1994): Justice, nature and the geography of difference. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing.
HIDALGO, M. C., HERNANDEZ, B. (2001): Place attachment: conceptual and empirical questions. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 21(3): 273–281.
JALLOULI, J., MOREAU, G. (2009): An immersive path-based study of wind turbines’ landscape: A French case in Plouguin. Renewable Energy, 34(3): 597–607.
KAPLAN, R. (1985). The analysis of perception via preference: a strategy for studying how the environment is experienced. Landscape Planning, 12(2): 161–176.
KARLSDÓTTIR, U. B. (2013): Iceland and the North: an idea of belonging and being apart. In: Jørgensen, D., Sörlin, S. [eds.]: Northscapes: History, Technology and the Making of Northern Environments. Vancouver, UBC Press.
KIM, N. H., KANG, H. H. (2009): The aesthetic evaluation of coastal landscape. KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, 13(2): 65–74.
KONTOGIANNI, A., TOURKOLIAS, C., SKOURTOS, M., DAMIGOS, D. (2014): Planning globally, protesting locally: Patterns in community perceptions towards the installation of wind farms. Renewable Energy, 66: 170–177.
LIN, C.-C., LOCKWOOD, M. (2014): Forms and sources of place attachment: evidence from two protected areas. Geoforum, 53: 74–81.
LLEWELLYN, D. H., ROHSE, M., DAY, R., FYFE, H. (2017): Evolving energy landscapes in the South Wales Valleys: Exploring community perception and participation. Energy Policy, 108: 818–828.
LOTHIAN, A. (2008): Scenic perceptions of the visual effects of wind farms on South Australian landscapes. Geographical Research, 46(2): 196–207.
LYNCH, K. (1960): The image of the city. Cambridge, MIT Press.
MAEHR, A. M., WATTS, G. R., HANRATTY, J., TALMI, D. (2015): Emotional response to images of wind turbines: A psychophysiological study of their visual impact on the landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning, 142: 71–79.
MASSEY, D. (2004): Geographies of responsibilities. Geografiska Annaler, Series B, Human Geography, 86(1): 5–18.
MINISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES (1999): The Nature Conservation Act no. 44/1999. Article 3: Definitions.
MOLNÁROVÁ, K., SKLENIČKA, P., STIBOREK, J., SVOBODOVÁ, K., ŠÁLEK, M., BRABEC, E. (2012): Visual preferences for wind turbines: Location, numbers and respondent characteristics. Applied Energy, 92: 269–278.
NATORI, Y., CHENOWETH, R. (2008): Differences in rural landscape perceptions and preferences between farmers and naturalists. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28(3): 250–267.
NOVÁKOVÁ, E., FRANTÁL, B. (2009): Application of visualisation methods in spatial planning: a case of wind power installations. Geodetický a kartografický obzor, 55/97(5): 111–113.
ÓLAFSDÓTTIR, R., RUNNSTRÖM, M. C. (2011): How wild is Iceland? Wilderness quality with respect to nature-based tourism. Tourism Geographies, 13(2): 280–298.
ÓLAFSDÓTTIR, R., GUÐJÓNSDÓTTIR, G. L., SÆÞÓRSDÓTTIR, A. D., STEFÁNSSON, P. (2015): Áhrif vindmylla í Búrfellslundi á ferđa þjónustu og íbúa [online]. Available at: http://gogn.lv.is/files/2015/2015-072.pdf
OSGOOD, C. E., SUCI, G., TANNENBAUM, P. (1957): The measurement of meaning. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
PALMER, J. F., VANDERHEYDEN, V., ALVES, G., SISMANI, G. (2017): Best Focal Length to Represent a Landscape View Using a Single-Frame Photograph. Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture, (2–2017): 236–243.
PASQUALETTI, M. J. (2011): Social barriers to renewable energy landscapes. Geographical Review, 101(2): 201–223.
PEDERSEN, E., LARSMAN, P (2008): The impact of visual factors on noise annoyance among people living in the vicinity of wind turbines. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28(4): 379–389.
RAGNARSSON, B. F., ODDSSON, G. V., UNNTHORSSON, R., HRAFNKELSSON, B. (2015): Levelized cost of energy analysis of a wind power generation system at Burfell in Iceland. Energies, 8(9): 9464–9485.
RAYMOND, C. M., BROWN, G., WEBER, D. (2010): The measurement of place attachment: personal, community, and environmental connections. Journal of Environmental Psychology 30 (4): 422–434.
RIBE, R. G., MANYOKY, M., WISSEN HAYEK, U., PIEREN, R., HEUTSCHI, K., GRĘT-REGAMEY, A. (2018): Dissecting perceptions of wind energy projects: A laboratory experiment using high-quality audio-visual simulations to analyze experiential versus acceptability ratings and information effects. Landscape and Urban Planning, 169: 131–147.
SÆÞÓRSDÓTTIR, A. D. (2010): Tourism struggling as the Icelandic wilderness is developed. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 10(3): 334–357.
SÆÞÓRSDÓTTIR, A. D. (2012): Tourism and power plant development: An attempt to solve land use conflicts. Tourism Planning & Development, 9(4): 339–353.
SÆÞÓRSDÓTTIR, A. D., ÓLAFSSON, R. (2010a): Nature tourism assessment in the Icelandic Master Plan for geothermal and hydropower development. Part I: rapid evaluation of nature tourism resources. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 5(4): 311–331.
SÆÞÓRSDÓTTIR, A. D., ÓLAFSSON, R. (2010b): Nature tourism assessment in the Icelandic Master Plan for geothermal and hydropower development. Part II: assessing the impact of proposed power plants on tourism and recreation. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 5(4): 333–349.
SÆÞÓRSDÓTTIR, A. D., SAARINEN, J. (2016): Changing ideas about natural resources: tourists' perspectives on the wilderness and power production in Iceland. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 16(4): 404–421.
SCOTT, A., CARTER, C., BROWN, K., WHITE, V. (2009). ‘Seeing is Not Everything’: Exploring the Landscape Experiences of Different Publics. Landscape Research, 34(4): 397–424.
SIBILLE, A. D. C. T., CLOQUELL-BALLESTER, V. A., CLOQUELL-BALLESTER, V. A., DARTON, R. (2009): Development and validation of a multicriteria indicator for the assessment of objective aesthetic impact of wind farms. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 13(1): 40–66.
STEFÁNSSON, Þ., SÆÞÓRSDÓTTIR, A. D., HALL, C. M. (2017): When tourists meet transmission lines: The effects of electric transmission lines on tourism in Iceland. Energy Research & Social Science, 34: 82–92.
SVOBODOVÁ, K., SKLENIČKA, P., MOLNÁROVÁ, K., VOJAR, J. (2014): Does the composition of landscape photographs affect visual preferences? The rule of the Golden Section and the position of the horizon. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 38: 143–152.
TRESS, B., TRESS, G. (2001): Capitalising on multiplicity: a transdisciplinary systems approach to landscape research. Landscape and urban planning, 57(3): 143–157.
UEDA, H., NAKAJIMA, T., TAKAYAMA, N., PETROVA, E., MATSUSHIMA, H., FURUYA, K., AOKI, Y. (2012): Landscape image sketches of forests in Japan and Russia. Forest Policy and Economics, 19: 20–30.
UUSITALO, M. (2010): Differences in tourists’ and local residents’ perceptions of tourism landscapes: A case study from Ylläs, Finnish Lapland. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 10(3): 310–333.
VAN DER HORST, D. (2007): NIMBY or not? Exploring the relevance of location and the politics of voiced opinions in renewable energy siting controversies. Energy Policy, 35(5): 2705–2714.
VAN VEELEN, B., HAGGETT, C. (2016): Uncommon Ground: The role of different place attachments in explaining community renewable energy projects. Sociologia Ruralis (online first), DOI: 10.1111/soru.12128.
VECCHIATO, D. (2014): How do you like wind farms? Understanding people’s preferences about new energy landscapes with choice experiments. Aestimum, 64: 15–37.
VOREL, I. (2009): Větrné elektrárny a charakter, ráz a identita kulturní krajiny. Paper presented at the Workshop Větrné elektrárny a životní prostředí, 10.3.2009, Jindřichův Hradec.
VORKINN, M., RIESE, H. (2001): Environmental Concern in a Local Context: The Significance of Place Attachment. Environment and Behavior, 33(2): 249–263.
WAAGE, E. R. H., JÓHANNESDÓTTIR, G. R. (2017): Whose values? Different perspectives and relations to energy landscapes. Paper presented at the 7th Nordic Geographers Meeting, June 18–21, 2017, Stockholm, Sweden.
WALKER, G. (2011): The role for ‘community’ in carbon governance. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 2(5): 777–782.
WHYTE, A. (1977): Guidelines for field studies in environmental perception. (MAB Technical Notes 5). Paris, UNESCO.
WOLSINK, M. (2007): Planning of renewables schemes: Deliberative and fair decision-making on landscape issues instead of reproachful accusations of non-cooperation. Energy Policy, 35(5): 2692–2704.
ZUBE, E. H., PITT, D. G. (1981): Cross-cultural perceptions of scenic and heritage landscapes. Landscape planning, 8(1): 69–87.