Why we still don't understand the social aspects of wind power: A critique of key assumptions within the literature
The literature on public attitudes to wind power is underpinned by key assumptions which limit its scope and restrict the findings it can present. Five key assumptions are that: (1) The majority of the public supports wind power. (2) Opposition to wind power is therefore deviant. (3) Opponents are ignorant or misinformed. (4) The reason for understanding opposition is to overcome it. (5) Trust is key. The paper calls for critical reflection on each of these assumptions. It should not be assumed that opposition to wind power is deviant/illegitimate. Opposition cannot be dismissed as ignorant or misinformed instead it must be acknowledged that objectors are often very knowledgeable. Public attitudes and responses to wind power should not be examined in order to mitigate potential future opposition, but rather in order to understand the social context of renewable energy. Trust is identified as a key issue, however greater trust must be placed in members of the public and in their knowledge. In sum, the literature must abandon the assumption that it knows who is 'right' and instead must engage with the possibility that objectors to wind power are not always 'wrong'.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Toke, Dave, 2005. "Explaining wind power planning outcomes:: some findings from a study in England and Wales," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 1527-1539, August.
- Peter Strachan & David Lal, 2004. "Wind Energy Policy, Planning and Management Practice in the UK: Hot Air or a Gathering Storm?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 549-569.
- van der Horst, Dan, 2007. "NIMBY or not? Exploring the relevance of location and the politics of voiced opinions in renewable energy siting controversies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2705-2714, May.
- Krohn, Søren & Damborg, Steffen, 1999. "On public attitudes towards wind power," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 954-960.
- Breukers, Sylvia & Wolsink, Maarten, 2007. "Wind power implementation in changing institutional landscapes: An international comparison," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2737-2750, May.
- Wolsink, Maarten, 2007. "Wind power implementation: The nature of public attitudes: Equity and fairness instead of 'backyard motives'," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 1188-1207, August.
- Gross, Catherine, 2007. "Community perspectives of wind energy in Australia: The application of a justice and community fairness framework to increase social acceptance," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2727-2736, May.
- Wolsink, Maarten, 2000. "Wind power and the NIMBY-myth: institutional capacity and the limited significance of public support," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 49-64.
- Toke, David & Breukers, Sylvia & Wolsink, Maarten, 2008. "Wind power deployment outcomes: How can we account for the differences?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 1129-1147, May.
- Ek, Kristina, 2005. "Public and private attitudes towards "green" electricity: the case of Swedish wind power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(13), pages 1677-1689, September.
- John Barry & Geraint Ellis & Clive Robinson, 2008. "Cool Rationalities and Hot Air: A Rhetorical Approach to Understanding Debates on Renewable Energy," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 8(2), pages 67-98, 05.
- Geraint Ellis & John Barry & Clive Robinson, 2007. "Many ways to say 'no', different ways to say 'yes': Applying Q-Methodology to understand public acceptance of wind farm proposals," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(4), pages 517-551.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:4:p:1834-1841. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.