|Written by Albert Falzon|
|Thursday, 28 July 2011 11:27|
ENERSCAPES – Territory, landscape and renewable energies
Programme: MED programme
Period: June 2010 – May 2013
Partnership: 8 partners from 7 countries
The Enerscapes project is investigating the effect of renewable energy sources on landscape. The project deals directly with the issues of pressure on the environment and of integrated management of territories, trying to find a methodology useful to balance the issues of economic and RES development and safeguard of landscape and territories.
The growing use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) is leading to a new awareness about their compatibility with landscape and heritage preservation policies. Enerscapes aims at avoiding the negative effects that a non-regulated diffusion of RES could cause on Mediterranean territories and landscapes. By connecting energy planning and territorial planning, partners will identify strategies for considering ecological, landscape and heritage aspects while setting up RES promotion policies. From the construction of a common basis on best practices and normative solutions, the goals of the project are the definition of an assessment method and common rules with the perspective of environmental-landscape safeguard for RES introduction in the MED area.
Enerscapes wants to ensure a wide and balanced geographic coverage, both horizontally and vertically, to broaden the range of territorial and environmental case studies and to create an exhaustive panel on national and regional procedures, to define a common method in the field of the RES systems in the MED Area. Partners come form the following Mediterranean countries and regions: Malta, Italy (Lazio, Vercelli - Piedmont), Greece (Thessaly), Cyprus (Nicosia), France (Rhône-Alpes), Slovenia (Štajerska), Spain (Andalucía).
The general objective of Enerscapes is a shared assessment of the “historic”, “social” and “environmental” value of landscapes within the process of the introduction of RES systems into MED territories and their landscape. The project’s main specific objective is to define and test an energy planning method able to assess and minimise territorial impacts deriving from the use of RES, and to take into account landscape and the environment in the development of the RES market that is one of the main actions introduced to reach the 20-20-20 objective in the EU. Another specific objective is to assess the local governance processes in place and their impact on the involvement of local stakeholders as part of the decision and planning processes.
ENERSCAPES intends to represent an important step towards the investigation and evaluation of a very large set of impacts on distinct but recurring patterns of landscape all over the Mediterranean regions. The high unexploited potential of RES often related with cultural and natural heritage, biologically rich landscapes, which are usually also protected areas or with inappropriate land use.
Firstly, this project has taken into account the impacts that a non-regulated diffusion of RES could have already caused on Mediterranean territories, mainly in terms of alteration and simplification of landscape, and of negative effects on cultural heritage. Seemingly the crux of the matter is a feeble connection between energy programming and territorial planning policies.
Moving into the field of landscape protection, the main point of reference has been the European Landscape Convention, affirming that landscape is “an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors”: its protection means “actions to conserve and maintain the significant or characteristic features of a landscape, justified by its heritage value derived from its natural configuration and/or from human activity”.
Starting from this common platform, project partners have identified the most suitable strategies for considering ecological, landscape and heritage aspects while setting up RES promotion policies. An environmental assessment methodology has been set up with a view to evaluate the impacts on landscapes and to define the development procedures for “RES-Landscape Plans” adaptable to different territorial contexts and functional to the development of local resources. In fact, this has been tested on pilot experiences by each partner within its particular area.
Based on the outcome of the pilot experiences, that also aimed to strongly involve the public in the assessment of available options, all partners will deliver action plans for the short and medium term. A set of guidelines will then be prepared to provide support to policy makers, helping them in ensuring the coherence between energy programmes and landscape/heritage protection, and in choosing the proper localisation and organisation of energy plants and equipments.
On 15th June 2012, a public consultation seminar on the Impact of PV systems on the Maltese landscape has been organised. For further information click here.
ENERSCAPES leaflet in Maltese
ENERSCAPES leaflet in English
Request for Quotations
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:11|