The transition towards a low-carbon economy has led to a growing demand for renewable energy. However, while publics are often supportive of renewable energy they are often more critical of the infrastructure required to generate and distribute energy. Although transmission lines are necessary to carry renewable energy, they are often highly visible and frequently meet strong public opposition. This is especially true in areas with a high degree of perceived aesthetic naturalness, which are often valued landscapes for nature-based tourism. While nature-based tourism in Iceland has increased greatly, so also has energy production. There are plans for reinforcing the distribution system by building transmission lines in either existing areas or new locations, such as the relatively pristine Central Highlands. Due to tourism's economic importance, and the growing necessity for a stronger transmission system, it is imperative to identify tourists' opinions on transmission lines in natural areas. Attitudes were analysed by employing a questionnaire at seven locations where power plants are proposed. Results demonstrate that tourists are generally negative towards transmission lines, especially in the Highlands and consider them one of the least desirable infrastructures. Nevertheless, there is considerable variance between different markets, with opposition highest among domestic tourists.
When tourists meet transmission lines: The effects of electric transmission lines on tourism in Iceland
Title: When tourists meet transmission lines: The effects of electric transmission lines on tourism in Iceland
December 01, 2017
Journal: Energy Research & Social Science
Stefánsson, P.; Sæþórsdóttir, A.; Hall, C. (2017). When tourists meet transmission lines: The effects of electric transmission lines on tourism in Iceland. Energy Research & Social Science, 34, 82-92.