Acceptance Analysis

Surveys in Support of the Visual Landscape Analysis

In connection with offshore wind energy projects in the Baltic Sea, OECOS GmbH carried out two tourist surveys on Rügen. Their purpose was to indicate how visitors perceive offshore wind farms off the coast of Rügen. It was confirmed that the coast of Rügen is considered a significant landmark and that the view over the sea is a special landscape experience. However, it was also shown that the visual perception of a distant wind farm is very much influenced by issues regarding the use of renewable energy.

Individual interviews of locals and tourists on the basis of a structured questionnaire are suitable for determining the acceptance of development projects. The survey period for the individual interview should not be longer than 5–10 minutes. Often 50 to 150 surveys are sufficient to obtain meaningful results. The results are quantifiable and can be defined in sub-samples. The sequence of themes addressed in the interview should always be kept very precise and concise. The respective report contains a description of the pertinent plan, a quantitative analysis of the survey as well as an interpretation of the results.

Surveys as a Means to Follow-up on Forecast Effects

OECOS GmbH monitored the re-powering of wind turbines in the Schleswig-Holstein community of Ellhöft on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior of Schleswig Holstein, Regional Planning Department. A total of 32 small, old wind turbines were dismantled and replaced by four modern type wind turbines in several municipalities in the district of North Frisia. OECOS GmbH conducted several surveys on the perception of existing and new plants by locals and tourists. As a result, recommendations for the future handling of similar projects could be generated. The method carried out for the state government of Schleswig Holstein corresponded to the procedure outlined in the previous section.