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Public perceptions of opportunities for community-based renewable energy projects

J.C. Rogers, E.A. Simmons, I. Convery and A. Weatherall

Energy Policy, 2008, vol. 36, issue 11, 4217-4226

Abstract: It now widely acknowledged that the UK needs to increase renewable energy capacity and it has been claimed that community-based renewable energy projects, with high levels of public participation, are more likely to be accepted by the public than top-down development of large-scale schemes and may bring additional benefits such as increased engagement with sustainable energy issues. However, little research has investigated public expectations of how people would like to participate in such projects and why. The aim of this study was to explore one rural community's response to a proposed sustainable energy project. A questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews provided quantitative and qualitative data. There was widespread support for local generation and use of renewable energy, with respondents expecting benefits from a project in terms of increased community spirit and conservation of natural resources. However, desire for active involvement was lower and residents viewed themselves participating as consultees, rather than project leaders. We suggest community renewable energy projects are likely to gain public acceptance but are unlikely to become widespread without greater institutional support.

Keywords: Renewable; energy; Community; Participation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:11:p:4217-4226