CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

Deliverable 2.1: Technical and socio-economic conditions- A literature review of social acceptance of wind energy development, and an overview of the technical, socioeconomic and regulatory starting conditions in the wind energy scarce target regions

Kristin Linnerud, Stine Aakre, Merethe Dotterud Leiren

The overall objective of the EU project WinWind is to enhance the (socially inclusive) deployment of wind energy by increasing social acceptance of, and support for, onshore wind energy in ‘wind energy scarce regions’ (WESR). The target regions are: Saxony and Thuringia in Germany, Lazio and Abruzzo in Italy, Latvia as a whole, MidNorway, the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in Poland and the Balearic Islands in Spain. This report reviews existing literature on the social acceptance of wind energy development and provides an overview of the technical, socio-economic and regulatory starting conditions for conducting case studies of social acceptance of wind energy in the WESR regions. In part 1, we outline the objective of the WinWind project and of deliverable 2.1 (i.e., this report). Moreover, we present concepts and definitions relevant for the study of social acceptance, and a conceptual framework for analysing the factors that promote or inhibit social acceptance of wind energy. The WinWind project is primarily concerned with analysing community acceptance, but we also illustrate how acceptance at the local scale is related to socio-political and market acceptance. In part 2, we review the literature on social acceptance of wind energy, focusing in particular on the process of acceptability at the local level. On the one hand, wind energy projects can help achieve energy and climate policy goals and create economic value and employment. On the other, wind energy could potentially entail negative impacts on wildlife, property values and health and well-being. How such impacts are perceived will depend on different factors, including socio-psychological and sociocultural factors, energy policy and planning frameworks, policy goals and how these are communicated; how the wind energy development and decision-making process is organised; how different stakeholders are involved; how economic benefits and costs are distributed and what ownership models are chosen. To capture the complexity of all these factors, the literature review draws on different strands in the literature including medicine and health sciences, environmental sciences, social sciences and engineering sciences. In part 3, we provide a brief description of the physical, technical and political context for wind energy development in each WES target region. We describe the technical conditions for wind energy and challenges related to market development and grid connectivity. We also describe relevant policies, support schemes and institutions that govern the development of wind energy. This part complements part 2 by focusing on factors that may influence social acceptance at the socio-political and market scale in the target regions of the WinWind project. We conclude the report by discussing what may potentially be the most important factors affecting social acceptance of wind energy in the WESRs.

More details

  • Year: 2018
  • Language: English