Wind projects are frequently developed in forested areas, and especially in Northern Europe, due to less restrictions and social opposition, favorable renewable energy policies and, of course, the heavily forested areas in this region of the world. Wind project development in forested areas has an unpreventable impact on nature, namely deforestation. The felling of trees is carried out to free space for the wind turbine installation and potentially also to increase the performance of the wind turbine and lower the levelized cost of energy. This study examines the impact of such a felling strategy, including the environmental and social consequences of deforestation. Based on a case study carried out in Sweden, this research study develops the first socio-technical framework for examining the consequences of deforestation. The deliverables of this research include recommendations for wind industry and forest industry stakeholders on how to apply deforestation in future development of wind projects in forested areas in Northern Europe. In addition, the framework is expected to encourage academia to further develop and analyze the socio-technical parameters associated with wind project development in forested areas.
Energy Policy – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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