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Observation-based estimates of land availability for wind power: a case study for Czechia

Nitsch, Felix and Turkovska, Olga and Schmidt, Johannes (2019) Observation-based estimates of land availability for wind power: a case study for Czechia. Energy, Sustainability and Society, 9 (45). Springer. doi: 10.1186/s13705-019-0234-z. ISSN 2192-0567.

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Background The availability of land for the installation of wind power turbines is restricted by numerous factors. Besides climatic conditions, the deployment of wind energy is limited by technical, social, economic, and environmental factors. Typically, assessments of land availability for wind power use legal and technical criteria to estimate the potential for wind power expansion. In contrast, we use observed characteristics of wind power generation sites existing in Austria and Denmark to estimate its potential expansion in Czechia. We combined data on wind turbine locations with data on land use, wind speeds, human impact on land, and nature conservation areas. Results Our analysis shows that the density of wind power in Austria is variable, but higher on average (4.79 MW km-2) than in Denmark (1.76 MW km-2). Austrian wind turbines have been installed in areas where the human impact on land is mostly higher than the Austrian average, while in Denmark, no difference is observed. Regarding the land use composite, the share of agricultural land on sites with wind turbines is on average much higher (86%), while the share of forest is much lower (7%) in both countries. We identified a maximum potential area in Czechia of 543 km2 with Austrian and 421 km2 with Danish characteristics. When conservatively assuming observed historical power densities, this area translates to 2295 MW and 741 MW of installed wind power capacity, respectively. These results are a magnitude of order lower than the potentials found in existing studies. In a sensitivity analysis, we have examined that the availability of potential sites depends mainly on the population density, the human impact on land, prevailing wind speeds, and the height above sea level. Conclusions We estimated available land area for potential wind turbine installations in Czechia using our newly developed methodology based on observed site characteristics of today's wind power infrastructure in Austria and Denmark. Available land area indicated possible overestimation of wind power capacities proposed in the recent studies on the renewable energy transition. Hence, more rigorous consideration of land availability is required for assessments of potential wind power expansion.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/133275/
Document Type:Article
Title:Observation-based estimates of land availability for wind power: a case study for Czechia
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Nitsch, Felixfelix.nitsch (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9824-3371
Turkovska, Olgaolga.turkovska (at) boku.ac.atUNSPECIFIED
Schmidt, Johannesjohannes.schmidt (at) boku.ac.atUNSPECIFIED
Date:17 December 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Energy, Sustainability and Society
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1186/s13705-019-0234-z
Keywords:Renewable energy Wind power Wind power expansion Land-availability assessment
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Technology, Innovation and Society
HGF - Program Themes:Renewable Energy and Material Resources for Sustainable Futures - Integrating at Different Scales
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SY - Energy Systems Analysis
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment (old)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics > Energy Systems Analysis
Deposited By: Nitsch, Felix
Deposited On:07 Jan 2020 12:59
Last Modified:07 Jan 2020 12:59

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