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Can't buy me acceptance? Financial benefits for wind energy projects in Germany

Jakob Knauf

Energy Policy, 2022, vol. 165, issue C

Abstract: Local opposition to wind energy projects in Europe and North America is growing. This often causes project delays or even failure. Financial benefits may be one way to counteract a lack of community support. This analysis seeks to explain how discounted electricity, payments to the municipality, and payments for social purposes shift the acceptance of communities about a local wind energy project. A choice-based conjoint analysis among 811 German citizens showed that financial benefits increase citizens’ acceptance of a hypothetical wind energy project in the close vicinity of their homes. Proponents and the large group of citizens with rather weak preferences for local wind energy projects appreciate all tested benefits. In contrast, benefits cannot win over the small group of opponents. The study provides evidence that benefits do not ensure the perception of fair distributive justice, even for citizens with weak preferences. The findings inform current policies that introduce benefit schemes for wind energy projects to foster community acceptance and win over majority support for projects.

Keywords: Wind energy; Financial benefits; Distributive justice; Community acceptance; Choice experiment; Segmentation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112924

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