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Lunch Talk #3: Renewable energy projects in the Alps

Do they pose a threat for open spaces and undermine spatial planning? 

An image of the Bavarian Alps with the ARL Lunch Talk logo in the upper left corner and text that reads "Renewable energy projects in the Alps, 11 March 2024, 13:00 CET, online"

11 March 2024, 13:00 - 14:00 CET, online

While numerous mountain regions remain mostly undeveloped worldwide, the European Alps have witnessed centuries of extensive anthropogenic transformation. At the same time the Alps are home to numerous unique endemic species and natural habitats. 

In the Alpine context, remote areas above tree lines are typically referred to as Alpine open spaces—contiguous landscapes with minimal development and limited technical infrastructure.

Historically overlooked, these areas are now gaining attention as potential sites for large-scale PV systems and wind farms, raising concerns about the environmental impact on Alpine ecosystems. The urgency to utilise these open spaces for energy transition is increasingly acknowledged against the background of the overall European policies and in light of the Ukraine crisis. This lead recently to major policy shifts to address energy shortfalls in Europe. The unprecedented speed of these decisions bypasses to a certain extent environmental impact assessments, established planning procedures and thereby also public participation and consultation. 

So, are Alpine open spaces at risk and in how far does the energy transition challenge the balancing of interests in spatial planning and development?

Join us when Arthur Schindelegger (BOKU Vienna) presents recent results of the European ARL Working Group AlpPlan (Alpine Spatial Planning Network) and opens a discussion on possible threats to open spaces in the Alps from renewable energy projects and their impact on spatial planning.

Register here until March 7: forms.office.com/e/svVG4Tm0Ev

We will send you the link to participate in the Webex meeting on March 8.