PhD defence

Landscape-inclusive energy transition: landscape as catalyst in the shift to renewable energy

PhD candidate HH (Dirk) Oudes PhD
Promotor S (Sven) Stremke
Organisation Wageningen University, Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning

Thu 30 June 2022 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Omnia, building number 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 484500


Progress of the energy transition and degradation of landscapes is often mentioned in the same breath. This perceived degradation stems from the changing of familiar and cherished landscapes. Wind turbines, solar fields and other energy technologies change landscapes, driven by (inter)national energy transition targets to mitigate climate change. As a result, landscape is considered as an ‘obstacle’ by many agents of energy transition. This PhD thesis explores whether ‘landscape’ can turn from perceived obstacle into a catalyzer for the 21st century energy transition.

This thesis provides the building blocks for a so-called ‘landscape-inclusive energy transition’. First, a method is presented to define regional energy transition targets based upon landscape characteristics and preferences of local stakeholders. Furthermore, literature on large-scale landscape transformation projects is reviewed to draw lessons for the energy transition. Finally, a typology of multifunctional solar fields is developed to improve decision-making on siting and design. These results inform defining energy targets, designing renewable energy projects, developing energy policies and supporting the realization of a landscape inclusive energy transition.