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Wind energy and landscape

  • Date: 31. März 2017

The following „Three Questions for Jochen Mülder“ were answered in the follow-up to the event Fact Check Wind Energy and Landscape. They were published on the website of Energieland Hessen as well as in the written report of the event.

Mr. Mülder, you claim to create realistic image simulations. How do you manage that?
There are different ways to achieve good results. It is important to take pictures in clear visibility conditions. Trees should be leafy because people spend more time outdoors in spring, summer and fall than in winter. Accessibility of photo locations and perspective also matter. The planning offices that hire us often put it in our hands to find relevant viewpoints. Sometimes, however, the approval authority is also involved here: for example, when it comes to monument protection or visual relationships that need to be specifically checked. We photograph and measure the site and then import this data into our software. There, both the photo locations and the wind turbines are then mapped precisely in the virtual landscape and later in the finished visualization.

Are your image and video simulations also accepted as reliable at public events?
As a rule, yes. Often it is the complicated cases where we are called in. Sometimes citizens perceive us as being close to the project planners and planning offices, but we can usually refute this accusation by explaining our approach. The fact that we also deal with other things in our office, such as urban planning, traffic or landfills, helps us to dispel the accusation that we live off wind energy.

What do you have to consider in your work to ensure that it stands up to the requirements of the approval authorities?
There are hardly any general requirements, especially since there are also increasingly complex forms of presentation, for example 360° panoramas or even 3D simulations. In the case of photo-montages, it is common for the images to be taken with a 50 mm focal length. The field of view of these shots roughly corresponds to human perception. This has the advantage that the proportions of objects in the photo are realistic for humans and there are no discrepancies in this respect. At least as important in this context are the format and the viewing distance when presenting the visualizations.