*Seminar has been moved to 1:00pm*
Location: Baker Hall 129 Conference Room
Speaker: Reinhard Madlener
Topic: Spatial Economic and Multi-Criteria Analysis of the Optimal Siting of Wind Power Plants
Wind energy is one of the most important renewable energy sources in Germany, playing a key role regarding energy and climate policy targets of the German government. However, the further diffusion of wind farms involves strong spatial implications that refer to various adverse effects on landscape, noise level, and wildlife. Negative environmental impacts caused by the sometimes suboptimal siting of wind farms have induced an increasing gap between the social acceptance of this technology on the global and local levels. Particularly on the local level, siting processes of wind farm projects often trigger public protest. In our research, we take two distinct avenues. First, we use spatial econometric analysis to identify the impact of wind farms on property values, using a locally weighted hedonic pricing model. Second, in order to find the optimal locations for wind farm development and to improve the siting assessment by providing a holistic multi-criteria decision making approach that incorporates techno-economic, socio-political, and environmental criteria (using the Analytic Hierarchy Process, AHP), which are defined in a way that social acceptance-related issues are specifically emphasized. A group of local experts is asked to pairwise compare the incorporated criteria in order to derive the relative importance of each criterion, thus enabling the identification of those sites that are characterized by a combination of technical efficiency, economic feasibility, environment compatibility, and – no less important – local social acceptance.