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Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment for Onshore Windfarm Siting in Greece

Department of Spatial Planning and Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
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Environments 2019, 6(8), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080094
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 2 August 2019 / Accepted: 6 August 2019 / Published: 7 August 2019
The distance between theory and practice in the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process is particularly noticeable. The development of an integrated, comprehensive and systematic approach guided by the related literature is considered to be an ideal condition for enhancing the value of SEA and increasing its effectiveness. The aim of the present paper was to develop a methodological approach of the most technical and critical stages of SEA for onshore wind farm (OWF) siting. The methodological framework included the proposal of the SEA objectives along with the indicators’ development, the identification of alternatives, the selection of a ‘most viable or sustainable’ alternative, the identification of potential impacts, their assessment, and finally, the proposal of a SEA monitoring system using both qualitative and quantitative methods, tools, and techniques. OWF siting within low and/or moderate sensitivity areas was considered as the most viable/sustainable alternative. SEA highlighted that OWF siting caused moderately to highly significant negative impacts on the thematic section of biodiversity and extremely significant positive impacts on the thematic sections of renewable energy sources, economy, and society. Although the proposed methodology was applied on SEA of OWF siting in Greece, it can be used universally to identify the impacts of OWF siting planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: strategic environmental assessment; onshore wind farm siting; renewable energy sources; sustainable development; Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix (RIAM) method strategic environmental assessment; onshore wind farm siting; renewable energy sources; sustainable development; Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix (RIAM) method
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Vagiona, D.G.; Karapanagiotidou, X. Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment for Onshore Windfarm Siting in Greece. Environments 2019, 6, 94.

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