1st Edition

The Renewable Energy Landscape Preserving Scenic Values in our Sustainable Future

    342 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Winner of the 2017 EDRA Great Places Award (Research Category)

    Winner of the 2017 VT ASLA Chapter Award of Excellence (Communications Category)

    The Renewable Energy Landscape is a definitive guide to understanding, assessing, avoiding, and minimizing scenic impacts as we transition to a more renewable energy future. It focuses attention, for the first time, on the unique challenges solar, wind, and geothermal energy will create for landscape protection, planning, design, and management. 

    Topics addressed include:

      • Policies aimed at managing scenic impacts from renewable energy development and their social acceptance within North America, Europe and Australia
      • Visual characteristics of energy facilities, including the design and planning techniques for avoiding or mitigating impacts or improving visual fit
      • Methods of assessing visual impacts or energy projects and the best practices for creating and using visual simulations
      • Policy recommendations for political and regulatory bodies.

    A comprehensive and practical book, The Renewable Energy Landscape is an essential resource for those engaged in planning, designing, or regulating the impacts of these new, critical energy sources, as well as a resource for communities that may be facing the prospect of development in their local landscape.

    1. The Changing Landscapes of Renewable Energy (Dean Apostol, Richard Smardon, Robert Sullivan, James Palmer and Martin Pasqualetti), Part I, 2. Conserving Scenery During an Energy Transition (Martin Pasqualetti and Richard Smardon), 3. Managing New Energy Landscapes in the USA, Canada, and Australia (Richard Smardon, Ian Bishop and Robert Ribe), 4. Adjusting to Renewable Energy in a Crowded Europe (Simon Bell), 5. Social Acceptance of Renewable Energy Landscapes (Richard Smardon and Martin J. Pasqualetti), Part II, 6. The Visual Signatures of Renewable Energy Projects (Robert Sullivan), 7. Improving the Visual Fit of RE Projects (Dean Apostol, John McCarty, and Robert Sullivan), 8. Measuring Scenic Impacts of Renewable Energy Projects (Louise Kling, James Palmer, and Richard Smardon), 9. Visualizing Proposed Renewable Energy Projects (Robert Sullivan), 10. Engaging Communities in Creating New Energy Landscapes (Richard Smardon and James Palmer), 11. Policy Recommendations for the New Energy Landscape (Dean Apostol, Richard Smardon, James Palmer, Martin Pasqualetti and Robert Sullivan)


    Dean Apostol is Senior Landscape Architect and Restoration Ecologist for MIG Inc, a consulting firm with offices in California, Oregon and Colorado, USA. He researches, consults, and does environmental analysis on energy projects and aesthetic impacts.

    James Palmer has had a distinguished professional career in landscape architecture spanning thirty-five years, focusing on the assessment of landscape character and aesthetic quality. Through publications, peer reviews, court expert testimony, and teaching, he has raised the standards in the field. He frequently consults on wind energy aesthetic impacts in the Northeast.

    Martin Pasqualetti is Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University, USA, and a Senior Sustainability Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. For over forty years, he has been examining the relationships between energy and environment, especially the formation and mitigation of renewable energy landscapes.

    Richard Smardon is a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, USA, and has over thirty-five years of experience with visual impact assessment methodology development, twenty years of project management, and has testified in over fifteen cases with visual impact assessment issues.

    Robert Sullivan is an environmental scientist in Argonne National Laboratory's Environmental Science Division, USA. He conducts research on the visual impacts of fossil fuel and renewable energy systems, and develops guidance documents for federal agencies on visual resource inventory, management, and protection.

    Long overdue, this guide on how to place renewable energy in the landscape to maximize public acceptance is critical to the energy transition that is so desperately needed

    Paul Gipe, early advocate of aesthetic design for wind and solar power plants, author of ‘Wind Energy for the Rest of Us: A Comprehensive Guide to Wind Power and How to Use It’.


    Instrumental reading for those that want an energy future that is not only sustainable and affordable, but inclusive and just. If we are to achieve public support for a sustainable energy future, we must minimize natural public resistance to change. This book shows how to do it.

    Benjamin K. Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy, University of Sussex, UK and Editor in Chief for the Journal of Energy Research & Social Science