WP3 Wind power development and restoration
Main objective: To understand how intact peatlands are assessed in the licence application process, how the demand for restoration after the concession period should be interpreted, and to what degree that interpretation will lead to reduction of future carbon emissions.
At the wind power project in Okla, we will explore how different actors assess intact peatlands’ capacity to store carbon, versus other considerations of wind power development such as clean energy, visual impacts, and development costs. The WP involves academic partners and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), the County Governor of Vestland, Stad municipality, Norwea, and Sabima. We will use qualitative methods, for example a document analysis of wind power licence applications and interviews with public authorities at different levels including municipalities, NVE, and developers.
We will investigate how NVE’s concession terms describe peatland restoration, and how developers understand these terms. Potential benchmarks for restoration success will be assessed considering experiences from other types of renewable energy with a longer history in Norway.
Finally, we will evaluate how wind energy production affects peatlands’ global warming potential through life cycle assessment (LCA) from intact to degraded to restored peatland. The LCA will use data on carbon stocks from WP1 to determine the carbon pay-back time of wind power under different peatland scenarios, including peatland protection, and electricity production from an alternative source.
- How are peatlands valued and assessed in the wind power licence application process?
- How can degraded peatland be restored after the concession period, to the satisfaction of both environmental and local interests, and how do standards for restoration affect society’s acceptance of renewable energy?
- How does global warming potential compare between two LCA-scenarios: wind power development on peatland, versus peatland protection?