Historic drivers of onshore wind power siting and inevitable future trade-offs

Jann Michael Weinand, Elias Naber, Russell McKenna, Paul Lehmann, Leander Kotzur, Detlef Stolten

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


The required acceleration of onshore wind deployment requires the consideration of both economic and social criteria. With a spatially explicit analysis of the validated European turbine stock, we show that historical siting focused on cost-effectiveness of turbines and minimization of local disamenities, resulting in substantial regional inequalities. A multi-criteria turbine allocation approach demonstrates in 180 different scenarios that strong trade-offs have to be made in the future expansion by 2050. The sites of additional onshore wind turbines can be associated with up to 43% lower costs on average, up to 42% higher regional equality, or up to 93% less affected population than at existing turbine locations. Depending on the capacity generation target, repowering decisions and spatial scale for siting, the mean costs increase by at least 18% if the affected population is minimized — even more so if regional equality is maximized. Meaningful regulations that compensate the affected regions for neglecting one of the criteria are urgently needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number074018
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number7
Early online date27 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Helmholtz Association under the program ‘Energy System Design’. PL’s research was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (Grant 01UU1703).


  • disamenities
  • regional equality
  • cost effectiveness
  • European turbine stock
  • multi-criteria
  • future expansion
  • 2050 scenarios


Dive into the research topics of 'Historic drivers of onshore wind power siting and inevitable future trade-offs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this