Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Wind Energy Planning: Lessons from the United Kingdom and Germany

Journal Article

Title: Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Wind Energy Planning: Lessons from the United Kingdom and Germany
Publication Date:
January 01, 2015
Journal: Environmental Impact Assessment Review
Volume: 50
Pages: 203-212
Publisher: Elsevier

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Phylip-Jones, J.; Fischer, T. (2015). Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Wind Energy Planning: Lessons from the United Kingdom and Germany. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 50, 203-212.
Abstract: 

This paper reports on SEA applied in the wind energy sector in the UK and Germany. Based on a review of 18 SEAs, it is found that the quality of SEA documentation is variable, with over a third of them being deemed unsatisfactory. Furthermore, SEA processes are conducted to varying degrees of effectiveness, with scoping a strength but impact prediction and mitigation weaknesses. Generally speaking, the influence of SEA on German wind energy plan making was found to be low and the influence of SEA on UK plans deemed to be moderate. The German plans had a low influence mainly because of a perceived high environmental performance of the underlying plans in the first instance. Substantive outcomes of SEA are not always clear and the influence of SEA on decision making is said to be limited in many cases. Finally, a lack of effective tiering between SEA and project level EIA is also observed. In addition, our findings echo some of the weaknesses of SEA practice found in previous studies of SEA effectiveness, including poor impact prediction and significance sections and a lack of detailed monitoring programmes for post plan implementation.

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