Erfarenheter av vindkraftsetablering: Förankring, acceptans och motstånd.
Summary, in English
future energy supply, nationally and globally. However, it has turned out to be
problematic to expand wind power in the pace necessary to meet the national and
international goals about wind power expansion. A significant challenge concerns
the social and policy-related processes surrounding the establishment of wind
power in local regions. Depending on how these processes are designed and carried
through, the result may become anything from a well-supported development in the
local area to a heavily criticized and socially disintegrating process, where the wind
power projects sometimes have to be cancelled. Previous research on wind power
establishments has typically been local in scope. Moreover, cross-nationally comparative
overviews of local wind power projects are rare. In the few studies that
have been done, only two countries, or a few establishments have been examined.
In this report, the experiences are collected and analysed from a broad range of
local processes of wind power planning and establishments throughout Europe.
The aim of the report is to identify what characterizes more – as well as less –
efficient and “well-anchored” planning and establishing processes. The goal is to
provide increased knowledge about how the actors involved may design and carry
through the planning and establishment in ways that resonate with the (often
changing) concerns and interests of the local population throughout the process.
As a background to the local comparisons, the report examines more general,
national tendencies. In certain countries, the development and expansion of wind
power has been far more difficult and slow than in others. Unsurprisingly, the
report indicates strong connections between the degree of successful wind power
development and the degree of support among the public. Yet, the bases for public
In wind power projects, the likelihood of public opposition is high. The attitudes
to specific wind power prospects are dependent on local values, such as
appreciation of nature, and local views on the relation between “untouched” nature,
recreation and tourism. Still, we would like to emphasize that the level of acceptance
differs substantially across countries and across local regions, differences that
cannot be directly tied to the proportion of the landscape that has been used for
wind power establishments. The level of acceptance is rather connected to a range
of factors that concern the organizing, public participation, decision-making, and
the economy. The report suggests strategies that can be used in order to acknowledge
wind power opposition, particularly strategies based on open dialogue,
genuine public participation, but also financial benefits, such as co-ownership of
wind power plants, among the local community. It stands clear that wind power
projects should not be forced upon a local community by an external actor. This is
not only a moral or democratic issue. If the wind power establishment is to work on
a long-term basis, and if it is to stimulate further establishments in other local
areas, it is necessary that the process be based on open and straight dialogue with
local actors, particularly with negative groups.
The report distinguishes four possible situations related to wind power
planning. In the first situation, the wind power plant is built, and the population is
positive to wind power and to the project. This process is characterized by local
support, and the possibilities for developing wind power further in the area are
good. The second situation is in the report called resignation. This situation means
that the wind power plant is built, although the local public remains negative. To be
sure, wind power actors may perceive this as positive in the sense the project is
completed, as is the share of renewable energy. Yet, the negative or resigned
attitude among the local public constitutes a significant risk that the opposition may
grow more powerful and more categorical against wind power in the local region.
In the third situation, there is a high acceptance of wind power among the local
population, although other obstacles contribute to the cancelling of the wind power
project. Here, there is a social potential for wind power establishments, but it may
require a different strategy and planning process, or modifications at the policy
level. The fourth and last situation, which we call conflict and cancellation, is
when the protests of the local population are so powerful that the opportunities for
developing wind power in the local area are highly limited during the near future.
In the report, these four situations are analyzed, through concrete European examples,
and through elucidations of how wind power actors may have an impact on
Very roughly, and pulled out of context, here follow certain recommendations
to wind power actors. In order to make use of these recommendations, and to adapt
them to various types of wind power projects, the reader will need to consult the
report as a whole.
• Inform yourself about the entire range of various local groups’ attitudes
to the plans for establishing local wind power; also inform yourself about
what views are represented by the respective groups and what knowledge
they have about wind power.
• Regard the local attitudes and engagement as a changeable process.
Positive viewpoints should be taken care of, and an initially negative
viewpoint may become a positive engagement.
• Acquire thorough knowledge about the history, culture and current
challenges of the local society, in order to identify local opportunities
that can be tied to the wind power project.
• Do not invite the affected local public to “participatory meetings” if there
is no real room for their influencing the outcome.
• Consider alternative types of financial participation that only require the
local population to make small investments.
Statens naturvårdsverk (SNV)
- Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
- folkligt motstånd
- public resistance
- ISBN: 978-91-620-5866-1