Lu, Ming, Alin Lin & Jiyi Sun (in press, 2018). The impact of photovoltaic applications on urban landscapes based on visual Q methodology. Sustainability, 10(4),1051. (ePub in advance of print) (doi:10.3390/su10041051)

Abstract: In recent years, the installation of photovoltaic systems in China has increased steadily to gradually become large-scale, having a significant impact on the urban landscape. Research on this impact mostly focuses on visual impact and glare risk. However, differences in urban land use types may lead to differences in the impact of photovoltaic applications on the landscape. This study adapts visual Q methodology to assess the impact of photovoltaic applications on the landscape in urban areas. Landscape photographs of photovoltaic applications in different cities of China are collected and used during the concourse and Q sorting. The final Q sample is composed of 36 photographs of different photovoltaic materials at different levels of integration in six urban land use types. The P set is composed of 36 respondents, including experts and non-experts. In conclusion, environmental harmony, power generation, innovative design, installation height, and social benefits of photovoltaic systems are the main impacts of photovoltaic systems on urban landscapes. Photovoltaic systems in different urban land use types have different impacts on the landscape. The conclusions have policy implications for different urban land use types, which has significance for the construction of urban photovoltaic systems in the future.

Alin Lin <> is in the School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, and the Heilongjiang Cold Region Urban-Rural Human Settlements Science Key Laboratory, Harbin, China.

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