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Havelland-Fläming: Dahme/Mark and Niederer Fläming

The change of the landscape by technogenic elements, like wind turbines and power lines, can lead to adverse perceptions towards the politically driven wind energy development (cf. Caporale de Lucia 2015, Swofford Slattery 2010 or Larsen et al. 2015). Already occupying the forth place with regard to the nationwide development of wind energy in Germany (Deutsche WindGuard 2015), it is becoming apparent that Brandenburg provides favorable installation conditions for implementing the turnaround in energy policy at federal state level. Due to the enforced development of renewable energy resources the crucial question arises: what happens to a region if the visual landscape changes?

Being strongly marked by wind turbines in the Havelland-Fläming region in Brandenburg, the municipalities “Dahme/Mark” and also “Niederer Fläming” are notable study sites in order to analyze the social acceptance towards locally installed wind turbines. Starting with six single wind energy facilities in 1998, in the year 2016, the municipality Dahme/Mark now exceeds more than 81 wind facilities that provide a capacity of 128 MW (Amt Dahme/Mark 2016). And this is not all as the current “Regional Plan Havelland-Fläming 2020” puts once more strong emphasis on the energy transition and stipulates the development of wind energy among others in these municipalities (RP H-F 2015).

Against this background, the student’s project was initiated as a result of an inquiry of the Regionale Planungsgemeinschaft Havelland Fläming (engl., “regional planning association”) to conduct a survey about the local residents’ acceptance towards the wind energy development in the two areas “Dahme/Mark” and “Niederer Fläming”. As early as 2005, a survey has been conducted in these two municipalities in order to analyze the residents’ attitude towards the local wind energy development. Consequently, this posed an incentive for a current survey with the aim to assess and analyze whether the social acceptance of wind turbines has changed over a 10-years period. While in 2005, findings made clear that the residents’ attitude towards wind energy facilities was, predominantly, stated as ‚neutral’, however, in the wake of the increasing expansion of wind facilities in and around the municipalities, it is now to assume that the attitude has changed to the negative.

Moreover, the second evident question for the student’s project arose if there are differences in residents’ perception in comparison to other municipalities in the region Havelland-Fläming, which differ in historical and structural characteristics. For example, the municipality “Lausitz-Spreewald” was and still is strongly influenced by coal mining activities, while the city Potsdam might provide fewer contact points with local wind turbines in sub-urban areas. In both areas, residents, consequently, might tend to be more open towards the local wind energy development in Brandenburg whereas residents living in the rural areas close to the wind turbines might argue to converse, like in Dahme/Mark and Niederer Fläming. Therefore, these research questions and hypotheses represented the framework of the student project’s survey. However, it has to be noted that the responding rate of the survey in Lausitz-Spreewald with 20 returned questionnaires was low; therefore the received replies can only represent a general indicator of the resident’s perception. They cannot be deemed to be statistically significant.

To further determine the influencing factors of the wind energy planning process on the resident’s attitude towards wind energy, the following secondary hypotheses were formulated:

  • With greater distance to the wind farms, the acceptance of wind energy increases (distance factor),
  • The better people are informed, the more likely is their acceptance of wind energy (information, participation),
  • The acceptance of wind energy increases with a greater willingness to pay more for renewable energy (willingness

to pay, electricity market).

Furthermore, the overall resident’s characteristics, like age, were a point of interesting with regard to the following hypothesis: The acceptance of wind energy is higher among younger people.

Based on these assumptions, the aim of the survey was to compare the resident’s attitude in the rural areas Havelland-Fläming (and Lausitz-Spreewald) to the urban area of Potsdam.

Background of the region “Havelland-Fläming”

All in all, the region Havelland-Fläming is located in Brandenburg, compromises around 6,800 km² and consists of the counties “Havelland”, “Potsdam-Mittelmark” and “Teltow-Fläming” as well as the independent towns (ger., “kreisfreien Städte”) “Potsdam” and “Brandenburg an der Havel” (RP H-F 2016a). It is notable, that Havelland-Fläming is the most populous region in Brandenburg, but is char-acterized by a declining population in the rural areas, hence, the municipalities Dahme/Mark as well as Niederer Fläming are effected by the demographic change similarly (RP H-F 2016b). Currently, Dahme/Mark covers 162 km² and has a population about 5,253 inhabitants while Niedere Fläming compromises 185 km² with 3,186 inhabitants (Landkreis Teltow-Fläming 2016).

Concerning the wind energy development, in the region Havelland-Fläming there are currently 683 wind energy facilities with a capacity of 1,187 MW (RP H-F 2016c). In the municipality Dahme/Mark there are 50 wind facilities located and 10 are planned. In Niederer Fläming 57 wind facilities exist and three more are planned (RPHV 2016) (cf. Fig. 1).

{{ :research:rural_areas:fig._1_hf.png | Fig. 1: Wind energy facilities installed and under construction in Niederer Fläming and Dahme/Mark. Data source: Landwirtschafts- und Umweltinformationssystem des Landes Brandenburg (LUIS-BB) concerning immission control (Landesamt für Umwelt Brandenburg, 2016) Click here for the interactive map

Within the “Regional Plan Havelland-Fläming 2020”, which was approved in June 2015, the usage of wind energy is stipulated and the plan poses suitable areas for wind turbines, including potential areas for the relocation of wind turbines as well as reservation areas (ger., “Windeignungsgebiete”) for wind energy. In total, the plan prescribes 24 reservation areas for wind turbines in Havelland-Fläming (2,2 % of the region); approximately four of those are close or closer than 3.000 m to the municipalities Dahme/Mark and Niederer Fläming (cf. reservation areas: “WEG 39 Ilmersdorfer Holz”, “WEG 40 Dahme”, “WEG 36 Sernower Heide”, “WEG 37 Schlenzer-Wahlsdorfer Heide”). The overall distance between the reservation areas for wind turbines is 5.000 m with regard to the landscape’s aesthetics (RP-HF 2015). All in all, the reservation areas compromise 4 % of the total areas that are suitable for the usage of wind energy, but cannot be used due to e.g. the prescribed distances of importance for animal protection (ger., „tierökologische Abstandskriterien“), visual axises or special forest functions etc. (cf. RP-HF 2015: 1002) (cf. Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: Relevant reservation areas for wind energy („WEG“) in Niederer Fläming (left) and Dahme/Mark (right) (extract of the regional plan 2020) (RP-HF 2015)

A minimum distance of 1.000 m of wind farms on local settlements is prescribed in the environmen-tal report of the regional plan with regard to the resource “human”; while a distance of 600 m is re-quired on single settlements (ger., “einzelne Siedlungsplätze”) (RP H-F 2015: 974).


Amt Dahme/Mark (2016): Bürgerbefragung Windenergie- URL:ürgerbefragung-windenergie.html (Accessed on 06/15/2016).

Caporale, D., De Lucia, C. (2015): Social acceptance of on-shore wind energy in Apulia Region (Southern Italy). Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 52 (2015) 1378–1390

Deutsche WindGuard (2015): STATUS DES WINDENERGIEAUSBAUS AN LAND IN DEUTSCHLAND. URL: (Accessed on 06/22/16).

Landkreis Teltwo-Fläming (2016): Niederer Fläming. URL: [Accessed on 05/31/16]

Larsen, S., Hansen, A., Lyhne, I., Aaen, S., Ritter, E., Nielsen, H. (2015): Social Impact Assessment in Europe: A Study of Social Impacts in Three Danish Cases. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management Vol. 17, No. 4 (December 2015) 1550038

Regionale Planungsgemeinschaft Havelland Fläming (RPHV) (2016): Winenergieanalagen in der Re-gion. Online available under: [Accessed on 05/31/16]

RP H-F (Regionale Planungsgemeinschaft Havelland-Fläming) (2016a): Verwaltungsgliederung. URL: (Accessed on 06/15/2016).

RP H-F (Regionale Planungsgemeinschaft Havelland-Fläming) (2016b): Bevölkerung. URL: (Accessed on 06/15/2016).

RP H-F (Regionale Planungsgemeinschaft Havelland-Fläming) (2016c): Windenergieanlagen in der Region. URL: (Accessed on 06/15/2016).

RP-HF (Regionalen Planungsgemeinschaft Havelland-Fläming) (2015): Regionalplan „Havelland-Fläming 2020“.

Swofford, J., Slattery, M. (2010): Public attitudes of wind energy in Texas: Local communities in close proximity to wind farms and their effect on decision-making. Energy Policy 38 (2010) 2508–2519

research/rural_areas/havelland_flaeming.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/10 00:23 by r.rodriguescamargo