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The Cost of Undisturbed Landscapes

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Document pages: 49 pages

Abstract: By 2030 Austria aims to meet 100 of its electricity demand from domesticrenewable sources, with most of the additional generation coming from wind andsolar energy. Apart from the benefit of reducing CO2 emissions and,potentially, system cost, wind power is associated with negative impacts at thelocal level, such as interference with landscape aesthetics. Some of theseimpacts might be avoided by using alternative renewable energy technologies.Thus, we quantify the opportunity cost of wind power versus its best feasiblealternative solar photovoltaics, using the power system model medea. Ourfindings suggest that the cost of undisturbed landscapes is considerable,particularly when solar PV is mainly realized on roof-tops. Under a wide rangeof assumptions, the opportunity cost of wind power is high enough to allow forsignificant compensation of the ones affected by local, negative wind turbineexternalities.

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