The aim of the ENERGYSCAPE project is to work out recommendations that will be used as a foundation for a landscape strategy that has a mix of renewable energy systems. This includes a close cooperation with partners in the areas of environmental and energy research and practice. In order to accomplish the energy turnaround, infrastructures with renewable energy systems must be successfully embedded in our landscape. Planning security can increase the trust and social acceptance of any planned landscape changes. In Switzerland, concepts and sectoral plans are used to coordinate spatially effective measures on the government agency level, for example, the sectoral plan for transmission lines (SÜL) and the concept of wind energy. However, current planning practice treats the various individual types of renewable energy system projects specifically. In relation to these projects, there is neither a nation-wide, multidisciplinary overview on the balance of interests, nor is the mix of infrastructures with renewable energy systems in the different types of landscapes spatially coordinated and prioritised. This clarifies that the perception of the effects of renewable energy systems on a specific landscape type is one of the most important factors in the rejection or support of that particular infrastructure. Indeed, it is not known how a population might judge the effects on its landscapes from a mix of such infrastructures in different landscape contexts.


In this project, we focus on analysing public judgments of the landscape effects stimulated by a mix of renewable energy systems in Swiss landscapes. The main goal is to formulate recommendations for the prioritisation of these energy systems in various landscapes of Switzerland based on the study results. These should then serve as a base for developing a landscape strategy.


The potential energy systems of various landscape types with renewable energy systems are illustrated using the latest audio-visual simulations. Based on these simulations, study participants can develop their assessments for or against these landscape changes. In addition, the degree of preference for the landscapes displayed will be measured with physiological and cognitive experiments. A set of indicators for cost and use evaluations will also be included. Indicators could be, e.g. the number of households that could be provided with the renewable energy produced, the contribution to the energy independence of the region, or the reduction of the landscape quality in relation to the various achievements, such as food production or a contribution to species diversity.

The recommendations will then be developed based on the evaluations of the changes in the various types of landscapes in an iterative process with partners from practice. These should support quick implementation processes and thus secure the competitive capability of Swiss energy companies. Beyond that, as a foundation for a sectoral Energy Plan, the results will also contribute to reduce hurdles and possible, often landscape-related, opposition already in the early planning phases.


Dr. Ulrike Wissen Hayek, ETH Zürich, PLUS


Prof. Dr. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey, ETH Zürich, PLUS (Principle Investigator)
Dr. Ulrike Wissen Hayek, ETH Zürich, PLUS (Project coordination)
Reto Spielhofer, ETH Zürich, PLUS
Prof. Dr. Felix Kienast, WSL, Landscape Dynamics
Dr. Marcel Hunziker, WSL, Social Sciences in Landscape Research
Dr. Boris Salak, WSL, Social Sciences in Landscape Research
Dr. Tyler Thrash, ETH Zürich, Chair of Cognitive Science
Dr. Victor Schinazi, ETH Zürich, Chair of Cognitive Science
Urs Steiger, steiger texte konzepte beratung


Schweizerischer Nationalfonds (SNF)
Nationales Forschungsprogramm
NFP 70 «Energiewende»


Bundesamt für Energie (BFE)
Bundesamt für Umwelt (BAFU)
WSL, Forschungsprogramm «Energy Change Impact»
SBB AG, Infrastruktur Energie

Project timeframe

April 2017 – März 2019


Ongoing project