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Land-use impacts of Brazilian wind power expansion

Turkovska, Olga and Castro, Gabriel and Klingler, Michael and Nitsch, Felix and Regner, Peter and Soterroni, Aline Cristina and Schmidt, Johannes (2021) Land-use impacts of Brazilian wind power expansion. Environmental Research Letters. Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/abd12f. ISSN 1748-9326.

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Official URL: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abd12f

Abstract

While wind power is a low-carbon renewable energy technology with relatively little land footprint, the necessary infrastructure expansion still has land-related environmental impacts. Brazil has seen more than a ten-fold increase in wind power capacity in the last decade. However, little is known about these impacts of wind power generation in Brazil compared to other world regions, although Brazilian wind power infrastructure is concentrated in the least protected ecosystems that are prone to degradation, desertification and species extinction. This study focuses on land-use impacts of past wind power generation development in four Brazilian federal states, covering 80% of the country's installed capacity. We assessed their spatial installation patterns, associated land-use and land cover change in the period before installation until 2018, and potential alternative installation locations, using a detailed wind turbine location database in combination with a high-resolution land-use and land cover map. In contrast to wind parks built in Europe, we found that 62% of the studied wind park area was covered by native vegetation and coastal sands. Overall, 3.2% of the total wind cluster area was converted from native vegetation to anthropogenic use. Wind parks installed mainly on native vegetation, on average, underwent higher land-use change compared to other wind parks. As Brazil intends to more than double its current wind power capacities by 2029, we explored possibilities to reduce environmental risks due to wind power expansion. We showed that this is feasible by integrating wind parks into human-altered areas, as sufficient wind resources there are available.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/141086/
Document Type:Article
Title:Land-use impacts of Brazilian wind power expansion
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Turkovska, OlgaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Castro, GabrielUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Klingler, MichaelUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Nitsch, Felixfelix.nitsch (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9824-3371
Regner, PeterUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Soterroni, Aline CristinaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schmidt, JohannesUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:21 January 2021
Journal or Publication Title:Environmental Research Letters
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1088/1748-9326/abd12f
Publisher:Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing
ISSN:1748-9326
Status:Published
Keywords:wind power, land-use impacts, land-use and land cover change, Brazil
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Energy System Design
HGF - Program Themes:Energy System Transformation
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SY - Energy System Technology and Analysis
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Networked Energy Systems
Deposited By: Nitsch, Felix
Deposited On:26 Feb 2021 08:43
Last Modified:26 Feb 2021 08:43

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