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Mikael Klintman

Mikael Klintman


Mikael Klintman

Erfarenheter av vindkraftsetablering: Förankring, acceptans och motstånd.


  • Mikael Klintman
  • Åsa Waldo

Summary, in English

Many politicians and researchers perceive wind power as an important part of

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

support vary.

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

the outcome.

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.


  • Sociologi








Statens naturvårdsverk (SNV)


  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • attitudes
  • miljö
  • environment
  • folkligt motstånd
  • public resistance
  • attityder
  • Windpower
  • Vindkraft



Report number



  • ISBN: 978-91-620-5866-1