Course Description · Wind Energy in Society: Planning, Social Context, Environment and Economics

Keywords: Cost models, wind energy planning and consenting, social issues, noise, visual impact, birds.

Course Responsible: Tom Cronin

General Course objectives

The focus of the course is to get an overview of elements regarding the planning process to develop a wind farm. The siting of a wind farm is explained within the context of society, the environment, and fundamental economic principles.

Learning Objectives

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

  • Describe the major steps in the planning process to obtain the planning permit a) onshore, and b) offshore
  • Explain the main steps in the process when carrying out an environmental impact study (EIA)
  • Identify the main environmental impacts of wind power and suggest mitigation measures
  • Describe five ways in which a local community can benefit from a wind farm
  • Give four major common concerns of people living close to wind farms and how could these be addressed

  • List five major stakeholders in a typical project and outline their possible interests

  • List five different developer types and the main characteristics of their approaches to stakeholder engagement
  • Calculate three key financial parameters for a wind farm project and explain their relevance
  • List three policy support mechanisms for wind energy and explain their advantages
  • Explain the fundamental characteristics of a) private economics and b) socio-economics


You will cover planning and permit aspects, in particular, the requirements to obtain a planning permit. The steps of the process will be investigated from both sides the developer and the planning authority. Major environmental issues such as noise, visual influence, and impact on flora and fauna are defined, together with common mitigation measures. You will gain basic knowledge necessary to understand the societal context will be provided through examining the issues often raised by the public, the interests of various stakeholders in a project, and the different approaches used by those who develop wind projects: communities, land owners, public bodies, or commercial companies. You will gain an understanding of the relationships within the network of stakeholders (developers, planners, policy makers, industry, etc.) and their rolls in the green energy transition. The various support mechanisms including the feed-in tariff, market premium, and procurement through tendering will be set in the context of the national and political framework. Finally, the basic key parameters for the economic evaluation of projects by a developer – net present value, internal rate of return and levelised cost of energy – will be introduced using practical examples.




Tom Cronin
Special Advisor
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 59 61


Niels-Erik Clausen
Associate Professor
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 50 79


David Philipp Rudolph
DTU Wind Energy
+45 93 51 14 32