Public opinion on energy crops in the landscape: considerations for the expansion of renewable energy from biomass

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Abstract

Public attitudes were assessed towards two dedicated biomass crops – Miscanthus and Short Rotation Coppice (SRC), particularly regarding their visual impacts in the landscape. Results are based on responses to photographic and computer-generated images as the crops are still relatively scarce in the landscape. A questionnaire survey indicated little public concern about potential landscape aesthetics but more concern about attendant built infrastructure. Focus group meetings and interviews indicated support for biomass end uses that bring direct benefits to local communities. Questions arise as to how well the imagery used was able to portray the true nature of these tall, dense, perennial plants but based on the responses obtained and given the caveat that there was limited personal experience of the crops, it appears unlikely that wide-scale planting of biomass crops will give rise to substantial public concern in relation to their visual impact in the landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1158
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Volume55
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • public attitudes
  • landscape visualisation
  • visual landscape impacts
  • biomass crops

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