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Public attitudes of wind energy in Texas: Local communities in close proximity to wind farms and their effect on decision-making

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  • Swofford, Jeffrey
  • Slattery, Michael
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    Abstract

    Wind energy is now recognized as an important energy resource throughout the world. Within the United States, the state of Texas currently has the largest wind energy capacity with 8797 total megawatts and an additional 660Â MW under construction. With this rapid growth, it is important to achieve a better understanding of how wind energy is being perceived by the public. This paper explores three research strands: (i) describing the environmental attitudes of a population in close proximity to a wind farm development, (ii) determining the influence that proximity has on wind energy attitudes, and (iii) determining if the Not-In-My-Backyard (Nimby) phenomenon is appropriate for explaining human perceptions of wind energy. A survey questionnaire was developed to explore perceptions of wind energy in the region as well as general attitudes about energy and the environment. Results regarding general wind energy attitudes signify overall public support for wind energy. In addition, those living closest to the wind farm indicate the lowest levels of support, while those living farthest away indicate much stronger support. Findings support the view that the use of Nimby does not adequately explain the attitudes of local wind farm opposition. Alternative explanations and planning implications are discussed with a focus on public participation and education.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (May)
    Pages: 2508-2519

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:5:p:2508-2519

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

    Related research

    Keywords: Wind energy Attitudes Texas;

    References

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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Ribeiro, Fernando & Ferreira, Paula & Araújo, Madalena, 2011. "The inclusion of social aspects in power planning," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4361-4369.
    2. Vanja WESTERBERG & Jette BREDAHL JACOBSEN & Robert LIFRAN, 2012. "The Multi-faceted Nature of Preferences for Offshore Wind Farm Siting," Working Papers 12-22, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jul 2012.
    3. Mulvaney, Kate K. & Woodson, Patrick & Prokopy, Linda Stalker, 2013. "A tale of three counties: Understanding wind development in the rural Midwestern United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 322-330.
    4. Bidwell, David, 2013. "The role of values in public beliefs and attitudes towards commercial wind energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 189-199.
    5. Heras-Saizarbitoria, Iñaki & Zamanillo, Ibon & Laskurain, Iker, 2013. "Social acceptance of ocean wave energy: A case study of an OWC shoreline plant," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 515-524.
    6. Groth, Theresa M. & Vogt, Christine, 2014. "Residents' perceptions of wind turbines: An analysis of two townships in Michigan," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 251-260.
    7. Slattery, Michael C. & Lantz, Eric & Johnson, Becky L., 2011. "State and local economic impacts from wind energy projects: Texas case study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7930-7940.
    8. Slattery, Michael C. & Johnson, Becky L. & Swofford, Jeffrey A. & Pasqualetti, Martin J., 2012. "The predominance of economic development in the support for large-scale wind farms in the U.S. Great Plains," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 3690-3701.
    9. Boudet, Hilary & Clarke, Christopher & Bugden, Dylan & Maibach, Edward & Roser-Renouf, Connie & Leiserowitz, Anthony, 2014. "“Fracking” controversy and communication: Using national survey data to understand public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 57-67.

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