Preferences of Coastal Zone User Groups Regarding the Siting of Offshore Wind Farms

Journal Article

Title: Preferences of Coastal Zone User Groups Regarding the Siting of Offshore Wind Farms
Publication Date:
February 28, 2009
Journal: Ocean & Coastal Management
Volume: 52
Issue: May
Pages: 233-242

Document Access

Website: External Link


Ladenburg, J.; Dubgaard, A. (2009). Preferences of Coastal Zone User Groups Regarding the Siting of Offshore Wind Farms. Ocean & Coastal Management, 52(May), 233-242.


Offshore wind power has a large potential as a vast resource for delivering clean and abundant energy on a global scale. However, the siting of offshore wind farms in the coastal zone has negative effects on the seascape. This might be particularly evident in the case if offshore wind farms are located close to areas with recreational activities in the coastal zone. Extending the analysis from a previous investigation of the preference for reducing visual impacts from offshore wind farms, the present paper utilises the same sample representing the Danish population. Based on the stated preferences from a Choice Experiment in a mail survey the preferences for reducing visual disamenities from offshore wind farms among different types of coastal zone users are compared to the preferences of less frequent users of the coastal zone. The results strongly indicate that in addition people who can see offshore wind farms from their residence, anglers and recreational boaters, i.e. users of the coastal zone, significantly perceive the visual impacts to be more negative compared to people who do not use the coastal area for those specific purposes. Furthermore, the results also indicate that respondents who visit the beach on a frequent basis also have stronger preferences for reducing the visual disamenities, when compared to less frequent visitors. As a consequence, the specific users and frequent visitors of the coastal zone are willing to pay approximately twice as much to have future offshore wind farms moved further away from the coast, when compared to less frequent users and visitors. These results display that, given the wind farms are not located at relative large distance from the shore, the recreational value of the coastal use is potentially jeopardised by visual impacts from offshore wind farms. From an energy planner's point of view, these results are noteworthy, as they – everything else being equal – point towards that potential gains in capital cost (investment, construction and running costs) by locating offshore wind farms at relative close distances from the shore might be outweighed by the visual disamenity costs in coastal areas with a large recreational activity. As such, the optimal location, i.e. distance from the shore, of offshore wind farms might be closer to the coast in areas with little recreational activities compared to coastal areas with a higher level of recreational activities. 

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