Enhancing the relationship between the landscape of energy transition and the ecosystem services

Picchi, Paolo (2015) Enhancing the relationship between the landscape of energy transition and the ecosystem services. PhD thesis, University of Trento, University of Wageningen and Research, The Netherlands.

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Governments adopt strategies to follow the objective Europe 2020 and focus on the development of Renewable Energy Technologies, RET, to improve the transition of the production of energy from fossil fuels sources to renewable energy sources, RES. More than decades before, the energy transition towards renewable energies emerges as a relevant objective of the European governments. The fluctuating prices of oil and the uncertainty on the future supply of fossil fuels open new challenges for communities to actuate an energy transition towards RES. The RET can afflict deeply the landscape structure and by this point of view the energy transition is one of the most relevant drivers in the landscape change of the last three decades. In several cases energy transition may face opposition from regions and communities because of the change that RET produce in local landscapes and related economic, cultural and ecological functions. This change has been defined as a conflict between the local narrative of the right to the landscape by local communities and the global narrative that aims at a low carbon future. Exploring the relationship between Ecosystem Services (ES) and Renewable Energy (RE), the conflict among a global perspective and a local perspective has been resumed by several authors as a trade-off among provisioning and regulating ES from one side and cultural ES from the other. The overcoming of this conflict can be based on bottom-up processes that enhance the energy transition starting by local organizations of communities that want to reach a self-sufficieny in renewable energy supply. Transition management is possible if we produce innovation at local scale. An ES approach supports the transition management and the envisioning future energy landscapes by offering transparent trade-offs, exposing risks and benefits. If societies produce clean energy it may happen that RET afflict other ES. The main paradigm for the sustainability of a energy landscape is that the introduction of RET should not cause crucial trade-offs among the other ES, this is why this research wants to study this relationship, as several authors have already stressed. By the literature review it is possible to state a general gap of knowledge in integrated approaches in the evaluation of RET, considering diverse RES and ES provided by the landscape and evaluating a trade-off through a participatory process. To fulfill such gap and produce an enhancement of knowledge, this research follows the main objective of introducing a trade-off analysis into a design approach to formulate long-term visions for sustainable energy landscapes. The results we got indicate that it is possible to plan and design with the ES sustainable energy landscape.This process facilitates a sustainable energy transition of communities through a participatory landscape design that reduce the trade-off between the Renewable Energy and the ES supplies.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Environmental Engineering
PhD Cycle:27
Subjects:Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/07 ECOLOGIA
Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > ICAR/03 INGEGNERIA SANITARIA-AMBIENTALE
Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > ICAR/15 ARCHITETTURA DEL PAESAGGIO
Repository Staff approval on:04 Jun 2015 17:51

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