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Wind Energy Policy, Planning and Management Practice in the UK: Hot Air or a Gathering Storm?

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  • Peter Strachan
  • David Lal
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    Abstract

    Strachan P. A. and Lal D. (2004) Wind energy policy, planning and management practice in the UK: hot air or a gathering storm?, Reg. Studies 38, 551-571. This paper is set within the context of the growing international wind energy industrial sector. The central focus is concerned with evaluating the UK Government and Scottish Executive's renewable energy strategies, which to date have culminated in a distinct lean towards onshore wind energy expansion. Our interest in this area stems from the international debate on wind power which is now gaining momentum as a result of global and European climate management initiatives, and in particular from the fact that there has been much public opposition to new wind farm developments in the UK. The British experience differs to that in Denmark, and appears more akin to that of the Swedish experience, with the UK presenting an interesting case of the difficulties associated with implementing a 'renewables' strategy based on wind energy. The research focus in this paper is different to that mostly favoured in the international wind energy literature which typical focuses on the science and technology of wind farms or on providing an evaluation of technology-push and demand-pull public policies. Drawing on a thorough review of EU and UK governmental documents, the international wind energy literature, press reports, and recent empirical research undertaken in Scotland, our research considers the social impacts, including the public and perceived environmental impacts, of wind farm developments. Our principal research findings indicate that the UK Government and Scottish Executive are now facing a storm of protest from anti wind farm campaigners, and the extent of this opposition is now damaging the efficacy of the UK's national renewables wind energy strategy. Clearly, this should be of concern to both the UK Government and Scottish Executive and, drawing on international experience from other countries, we conclude with strong policy recommendations towards the enhancement, the exploitation and the acceptance of wind energy in the UK. Areas for future research are also outlined.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 549-569

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:38:y:2004:i:5:p:549-569

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    Related research

    Keywords: Renewable energy; Wind farms; UK environmental policy; Energie renouvelable; Developpement des champs d'eoliennes; Politique de l'environnement au Royaume-Uni; Nachhaltige Energie; Windfarmen; Umweltpolitik des UK; Energia renovable; Granjas eolicas; Politica ambiental del Reino Unido;

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    Cited by:
    1. Bergek, Anna, 2010. "Levelling the playing field? The influence of national wind power planning instruments on conflicts of interests in a Swedish county," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 2357-2369, May.
    2. Aitken, Mhairi, 2010. "Wind power and community benefits: Challenges and opportunities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6066-6075, October.
    3. Meredith Blaydes Lilley & Jeremy Firestone & Willett Kempton, 2010. "The Effect of Wind Power Installations on Coastal Tourism," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(1), pages 1-22, January.
    4. Agterbosch, Susanne & Meertens, Ree M. & Vermeulen, Walter J.V., 2009. "The relative importance of social and institutional conditions in the planning of wind power projects," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 393-405, February.
    5. Eltham, Douglas C. & Harrison, Gareth P. & Allen, Simon J., 2008. "Change in public attitudes towards a Cornish wind farm: Implications for planning," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 23-33, January.
    6. Firestone, Jeremy & Kempton, Willett, 2007. "Public opinion about large offshore wind power: Underlying factors," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1584-1598, March.
    7. Aitken, Mhairi, 2010. "Why we still don't understand the social aspects of wind power: A critique of key assumptions within the literature," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1834-1841, April.
    8. Keirstead, James, 2006. "Evaluating the applicability of integrated domestic energy consumption frameworks in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3065-3077, November.
    9. Szarka, Joseph, 2006. "Wind power, policy learning and paradigm change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3041-3048, November.

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