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Wind energy and local communities: A manufacturer’s efforts to gain acceptance

Landeta-Manzano, Beñat, Arana-Landín, Germán, Pilar M. Calvo and Heras-Saizarbitoria, Iñaki

Energy Policy, 2018, vol. 121, issue C, 314-324

Abstract: Community opposition is one of the key obstacles to the expansion of wind turbine developments. The scholarly literature has focused on public opinion on wind farms (WFs) and the level of community acceptance. The efforts of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), to gain community acceptance has been under-researched. To fill this gap, the present study analyzes the evolution of interventions by a leading OEM to secure the acceptance of local communities for wind energy projects and the outcomes of those efforts. The fieldwork consisted of a longitudinal case study carried out from 2014 to 2017 by a leading international OEM. In depth personal interviews were also conducted with six experts in the field. The main efforts of the OEM focused on the visual impact of the developments, health and safety issues, community involvement and social investment in the community. In selecting the location for developing a WF, economic criteria usually prevail over social criteria. Although the company makes social investments in the community, different groups point out that those local communities should be taken more seriously, as they can serve as facilitators in the development of projects. Implications for stakeholders such as developers and policy makers are discussed.

Keywords: Wind energy; Renewable energy; Social acceptance; Community acceptance; Original Equipment Manufacturer; Case study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:121:y:2018:i:c:p:314-324