1 Comparative study of visual impact on agricultural constructions and windfarms in Spain * I.Cañas 1 ; C. Lago 2 ; L. García 3 ; M. Ruiz 3 ; F. Maseda 4. ( 1 ) Dr. Ingeniero Agrónomo. E.T.S.Ingenieros Agrónomos.Universidad Politécnica de Madrid ( 2 ) Lda. en Biología. ( 3 ) Ingeniero Agrónomo. E.T.S. Ingenieros Agrónomos. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. ( 4 ) Catedrático de Universidad. Escuela Politécnica Superior. Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. ABSTRACT: The article studies the visual impact assessment of the wind turbines and their comparison with agricultural constructions. It seems that the agricultural constructions have few problems with the integration on the landscape. The visual impact assessment methodology has been widely used. The method is able to assess the landscape quality in a score range of points, and the visual impact has a range between -20 (lost of landscape quality) to +20 (increase of landscape quality). 35 agricultural constructions have been chosen, which are representative sample of the main Spanish landscapes and agricultural constructions: food factories, stock farms, tanks and silos, irrigation farming elements, storage, villages, etc We have analysed 17 Spanish windfarms using 35 selected photographs, which are located in the best windy areas of Spain. The wind turbines are distributed in a wide range from 150 to 600 kw of rated power. 1 INTRODUCTION Among transformation landscape, farm buildings and the new installations as windfarms, have a special importance because the have to be located away from villages and their desing is conditioned by new materials, cheaper than others, but anaesthetic. Really this is a problem because usually the new constructions are located in lanscapes that, sometimes, are good or very good, though there are some regulations, at different levels: national, regional or local. These are not capable of making complete regulations because there are a great variety of landforms, materials and typologies. So the only way is that all of those in the design process: the landowners, the developers, the local planning authorities, the designers and the communities in general have a standard method to estimate the visual impact of new constructions. It is well-known that we are still in the early days of environmental study and more so in the research of landscape. But it is necessary to improve our knowledge. First we have to able to make assessment of landscape and secondly we have to able to assess the different factors that determine the correct integration of farm buildings and windfarms in landscape. In rural ecosystems the harmony between development and landscape has been possible thanks to the slow transformation of these societies and the heavy weight of tradition. This internal cohesion is being broken down due to the technological advances which have created materials and typologies never seen before, new designs, a lack of sensibility and the growth of * Financed study by CICYT with the research project number AMB
2 transport and communications have increased the pressure of this development. So it is necessary to protect our visual resources. 2 METHOD In the method that we propose, has been determined that the factors that intervene to assess the landscape aesthetic. Has been gathered physical and aesthetic attributes. The physical attributes are: 1.- Water: type, banks, movement and quantity. 2.- Land form: type. 3.- Vegetation: cover, diversity, quality and type. 4.- Snow: cover. 5.- Fauna: presence, interest and visibility. 6.- Uses of soil: type and population density. 7.- Views: range and type. 8.- Sounds: presence and type. 9.- Smells: presence and type Cultural resources: presence, type, visibility and interest Elements that alter the character: intrusion, fragmentation, break horizon line and view covering. The aesthetic attributes are: 12.- Form: diversity, contrast and compatibility Colour: diversity, contrast and compatibility Texture: diversity, contrast and compatibility Unit: structural lines and proportion Expression: affectivity, stimulation and symbolism. The value of one landscape depends on all of these attributes and it could be between 0 and 100, for this reason the sensibility of the method is very high. Besides, as the attributes are separated it is possible to know which are the factors that make high the quality of one image. The cards are prepared to be filled easily and quickly. If the person wants to make it, it is also possible to complete the information with some comments or remarks that could help to understand the sensation of the viewers or others interesting notices. The visual impact is known thank two values. One of them must be the landscape without the construction and the other one with it. The difference between these two numbers must give us the value of the visual impact. Sometimes this difference will be very great and could change the global classification of the landscape. The intervals of the global classification are: < 20 points Degraded Poor Mediocre Good Outstanding Very good > 80 Excellent A description of the completed method appears in the monographs titled: Introducción al paisaje and Valoración del paisaje, both of them have been written by Ignacio Cañas (1992).
3 3 RESULTS 3.1 Windfarms studies The landscape valuation with windfarm or without windfarm are : WINDFARM T.R. witn Windfarm T.R. without Windfarm IMPACT Cabo Villano (2) 48,45 50,08 1,36 La Capelada (4) 56,09 56,77 0,63 El Perdón (8) 47,21 51,66 4,13 S. Martín UNX (9) 47,25 55,00 7,75 Aragón (14) 42,43 44,04 1,45 La Muela II (16) 50,00 51,50 1,50 Tarifa (19) 37,00 41,50 4,50 S.E.A. (21) 44,36 47,37 2,41 Kw Tarifa (23) 40,89 44,38 2,82 PEESA (24) 48,00 52,53 3,25 Granadilla (26) 42,51 47,79 5,25 Agaete (27) 38,00 44,75 6,75 Bco de Tirajana (30) 34,00 39,75 5,75 Juan Grande (31) 29,00 34,00 5,00 Cañada de la Barca (32) 32,98 33,20 0,25 Cañada del Río (33) 33,17 45,23 0,25 Los Valles (35) 65,00 66,25 1,25 AVERAGE 42,44 46,73 2,16 Table 1.- Total Resources with Windfarm or without Windfarm LANDSCAPE WITH WINDFARM DISTRIBUTION OUTSTAND. 12% POOR 6% GOOD 35% MEDIOCRE 47%
4 LANDSCAPE WITHOUT WINDFARM DISTRIBUTION OUTSTAND 12% MEDIOCRE 29% GOOD 59% 3.2 Agricultural buildings studies AGRICULTURAL CONSTRUCTIONS DISTRIBUTION Villages 21% Food Factories 28% Storage 24% Irrigation farming elements 6% Stock farm 6% Tanks and silos 15% The landscape evaluation with agricultural buildings or without agricultural buildings are : AGRICULTURAL T.R. with A.C. T.R. without A.C. IMPACT A.C. CONSTUCTIONS Food Factories Stock farm Tanks and silos Irrigation farming elements Storage Villages AVERAGE Table 2.- Total Resources with Agricultural Buildings and without Agricultural Buildings
5 LANDSCAPE t.r. without w. t.r. with w. Impact w. t.r. wihtout a.c. t.r. with a.c. impact a.c. VALUATION Degraded 26, ,4254 8,5531 Poor 31, ,6519 1,66 32, ,8452 6,0233 Mediocre 42, ,9321 2, , ,8765 6,3203 Good 52, ,3258 2, , ,3748 6,625 Outstanding 60, ,1226 1,0573 Very Good 68,5 69 0,5 Table 3.- Landscape valuations Landscapes valuations with windfarms or without windfarms, and with agricultural buildings or without agricultural buildings, are : valuation t.r. without w t.r. with w impact w. t.r. wihtout f.b. t.r. with f.b. impact f.b. Degraded Poor Mediocre Good Outstanding Very Good Graphic 1.- Landscapes comparisons 4 CONCLUSIONS The conclusions could be divided in two parts. The first of them refers to the method: 1.- The method con seen be estimate public opinion. 2.- The time necessary to learn the method is not excessive.
6 3.- The results obtained by other trained people are very similar to ones obtained by the authors. 4.- It may be possible to estimate the visual impact of agricultural building on the landscape. It is also possible to obtain conclusions of the application to the photographs with farm buildings and windfarms and of the analysis and studies made with them. 5.- The average of landscape valuation with agricultural construction is a poor landscape, and the average of landscape valuation with windfarm is a mediocre landscape. The landscape quality with windfarm is higher than the landscape quality with agricultural construction. 6.- The visual impact of Agricultural Construction is higher than the visual impact of Windfarms. 5 REFERENCES Aspinwall and Company Nature conservation guidelines for renewable energy projects. English Nature. Brik Nielsens Tegnestue ; Landscape Architects M.A.A Wind Turbines & The Landscape. Architecture & Aesthetics. Danish Energy Agency s Development Programme for Renewable Energy Bosley, P. ; Bosley, K A multifaceted study : Environmental issues impacting on wind energy developments. Proceedings of the European Community Wind Energy Conference. Madrid, Spain, 10/14 September. Cañas, I Integración de las construcciones agrarias en el paisaje : el color. Doctoral thesis. Cañas, I Estimación del impacto paisajístico de las carreteras. Informes de la construcción. Vol. 45 nº Cañas, I & Ayuga, F Agricultural Buildings and landscape. Color evaluation. XII C.I.G.R. World Congress and AgEng 94. Conference on Agricultural Engineering. Cañas, I. 1995a. Introducción al paisaje. Lugo (Spain) : Unicopia ed. Cañas, I. 1995b. Valoración del paisaje. Lugo (Spain) : Unicopia ed. Cañas, I. et al Impacto producido por las construcciones agraarias sobre el paisaje : Una metodología para su estimación. Informes de la construcción. Vol.47 nº Cañas, I ; Fanjul, M. ; Ruiz, M Las vías forestales y el medio ambiente. III International Congress of Engineering Projects. Barcelona and Terrassa (Spain) 12/14 September. Cañas, I ; Ayuga, F. ; Ortiz, J Visual impact assesment for farm buildings projects. International Conference Agricultural Engineering. Madrid (Spain) 23/26 September. Hernández, M Valoración del paisaje y del Impacto Visual de las construcciones agrarias en el Páramo Leonés (Páramo Alto). Proyecto Fin de Carrera presentado en la Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Montes. Madrid (Spain). No published Hohmeyer, O Latest results of the international discussion on the social cost of energy- How does wind compare today?. Proceedings of the European Community Wind Energy Conference. Madrid, Spain, 10/14 September. Hovedrapport Vindmoller I Harmoni med Landskabet. Logstor kommune. Moller & Gronborg AS. IVAM Visual Impact of Wind turbines. A review of the know-how available in the European Community. University of Amsterdam (Holland). Lubbers, F. ; Pheifer, L Final results on the research programme concerning the social and environmental aspects related to the windfarm project of the dutch electricity generating board. Proceedings of the European Community Wind Energy Conference. Lübecktravemünde, Germany, 8/12 March
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