Windfarm acceptability and the co-operative model of local ownership
MetadataShow full item record
UK and European renewable energy targets require a wider deployment of wind energy if they are to be met. Despite a growing installed capacity of wind energy, social acceptability of wind farms is still a social factor hindering the pace of deployment. In recent years, community involvement in renewable energy projects has been increasingly advocated by many as a positive factor leading to several benefits including a wider acceptability. Interest has been risen by community schemes of whole or partial ownership of wind farms. This thesis draws on a range of social and psychological theories to propose an original integrated theoretical framework to explain social acceptability of wind and to research the suitability of the co-operative scheme of community ownership in overcoming local opposition to wind projects. Two studies were carried out: a qualitative study surveyed the community co-operative case of Westmill in England and a quantitative postal survey investigated the opinions of residents living up to a distance of ten kilometres from four proposed wind farms in Scotland. It was found that perceived local costs and benefits and social and individual resources influence acceptability of proposed wind farms. Further, the co-operative scheme appears not to be regarded as capable of affecting substantially acceptability, nevertheless participants acknowledge its suitability to benefit the community of the chance of participating in the revenue of the wind farm and in building social capital.