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Wind power implementation: The nature of public attitudes: Equity and fairness instead of 'backyard motives'

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  • Wolsink, Maarten

Abstract

Public attitudes anywhere in Europe show moderate to strong support for the implementation of renewable energy. Nevertheless, planning wind power developments appears to be a complicated matter in most countries. The problems that have to be dealt with during decision making processes on the siting of wind turbines are usually referred to as mere 'communication problems'. However, public attitudes towards wind power are fundamentally different from attitudes towards wind farms. This 'gap' causes misunderstandings about the nature of public support for renewables. In particular where planners easily assume support for renewables can be generated by information campaigns emphasising the environmental benefits, whereas opposition to renewable energy schemes can be explained by a selfish 'not in my backyard' attitude. Both explanations used by planners, authorities and, unfortunately, by many scholars, are falsified. Furthermore, policies that still take this 'common knowledge' for granted can have negative consequences for the implementation rates of renewables. Visual evaluation of the impact of wind power on landscape values is by far the dominant factor in explaining why some are opposed to wind power and others are supporting it. Moreover, feelings about equity and fairness appear the determinants of 'backyard' motives, instead of selfishness.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:11:y:2007:i:6:p:1188-1207
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maarten Wolsink, 2004. "Policy Beliefs in Spatial Decisions: Contrasting Core Beliefs Concerning Space-making for Waste Infrastructure," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 41(13), pages 2669-2690, December.
    2. Wolsink, Maarten, 1996. "Dutch wind power policy : Stagnating implementation of renewables," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(12), pages 1079-1088, December.
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    12. van der Horst, Dan, 2005. "UK biomass energy since 1990: the mismatch between project types and policy objectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 705-716, March.
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