Wind farms improve scenery

Friday, 09 May, 2008

Wind farms generally improve the scenery of locations that were not that picturesque to begin with. According to a study in Geographical Research, published by Wiley-Blackwell, wind farms have a negative impact on landscapes with a high scenic quality, but a positive effect on dull and mundane landscapes.

In the paper titled 'Scenic Perceptions of the Visual Effects of Wind Farms in South Australian Landscapes', over 300 participants rated the scenic qualities of 68 photographed landscapes with, and without, digitally added wind farms.

“While people may be apathetic to the appearance of wind farms, their location is critical. Wind farms in scenic areas, particularly the coastal areas, are regarded as damaging to the landscape. However, in agricultural areas of low scenic quality, wind farms seem to beautify the otherwise mediocre surroundings,” author Dr Andrew Lothian said.

The research also finds that the negative visual effects did not reduce with distance or size of the farm and people tend to prefer turbines that are white, blue or grey over tan and rainbow-colours.

 

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