Information session Energy Transition: Cultural landscapes of the 21st century

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How can we use the energy transition to shape the cultural landscapes of the 21st century? This is the key question we address during an information session organised by Wageningen University & Research and Witteveen+Bos on Thursday, 18 January 2024.

The energy transition is in full swing. Policy makers, engineers, developers and residents are working together on the RES objectives for 2030. The focus is on an energy mix with renewable sources like wind and sun, and deciding on the best places where this energy can be generated. However, energy projects are often considered a necessary evil and are difficult to get going: the permit-granting process is complicated, environmental standards are complex and stringent, and projects often need to blend into the landscape.

At the same time, there are national and international examples where the energy transition adds real value to the landscape. In these places, energy has a positive feel, there is support among residents, and a healthy business case contributes to a robust, local economy. Take wind turbines connected by recreational cycle routes, for example, or a cooperative solar field where water is also stored, which contributes to the restoration of biodiversity. Energy then becomes an integrated part of our landscape, resulting in cultural landscapes we can be proud of.

How will this positive and integrated outlook on energy projects become the norm as we move towards 2050? What policy and regulations will be required to make this possible? What knowledge do we need to start 'repowering' the first projects in a responsible way after 2030? These are topics we want to discuss during the information session on 18 January, which will feature various speakers and provide plenty of time for networking and in-depth conversations. Later, we will distil research questions and opportunities that we want to follow up after the information session.


13.15 h - Arrive and poster exhibition

13.30 h - Plenary start: 

  • Reflections from the energy transition, by Witteveen+Bos
  • Lecture 'Power of Landscape', by Sven Stremke and Dirk Oudes (WUR)
  • Coffee break

14.45 h - Work sessions energy transition & cultural landscape:

  • Work session round 1: What are the characteristics of 21st-century cultural landscapes?
  • Work session round 2: What do we need to achieve 'cultural landscapes of the 21st century' that we can be proud of?

16.00 h - Panel discussion and close

16.30 h - Networking drinks