IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Peter Strachan
  • David Lal


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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:38:y:2004:i:5:p:549-569
    DOI: 10.1080/0143116042000229311

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hood, Neil & Young, Stephen & Lal, David, 1994. "Strategic evolution within Japanese manufacturing plants in Europe: UK evidence," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 97-122, June.
    2. Loiter, Jeffrey M. & Norberg-Bohm, Vicki, 1999. "Technology policy and renewable energy: public roles in the development of new energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 85-97, February.
    3. Hohenthal, Jukka & Johanson, Jan & Johanson, Martin, 2003. "Market discovery and the international expansion of the firm," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 659-672, December.
    4. Hanvanich, Sangphet & Çavusgil, S. Tamer, 2001. "Stock market reactions to international joint venture announcement: an event analysis," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-154, April.
    5. Johanson, Jan & Mattsson, Lars-Gunnar, 1987. "Interorganizational relations in industrial systems : a network approach compared with the transaction cost approach," Working Papers 1987:7, Uppsala University, Department of Business Studies.
    6. Alvarez-Farizo, Begona & Hanley, Nick, 2002. "Using conjoint analysis to quantify public preferences over the environmental impacts of wind farms. An example from Spain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 107-116, January.
    7. Hanley, Nick & Nevin, Ceara, 1999. "Appraising renewable energy developments in remote communities: the case of the North Assynt Estate, Scotland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 527-547, September.
    8. Jamil Khan, 2003. "Wind power planning in three Swedish municipalities," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 563-581.
    9. Meyer, Niels I. & Koefoed, Anne Louise, 2003. "Danish energy reform: policy implications for renewables," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 597-607, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Waldo, Åsa, 2012. "Offshore wind power in Sweden—A qualitative analysis of attitudes with particular focus on opponents," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 692-702.
    2. Firestone, Jeremy & Kempton, Willett, 2007. "Public opinion about large offshore wind power: Underlying factors," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1584-1598, March.
    3. Aitken, Mhairi, 2010. "Wind power and community benefits: Challenges and opportunities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6066-6075, October.
    4. Oswald, James I. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Ashraf-Ball, Hezlin, 2009. "Hydrogen Transport and the Spatial Requirements of Renewable Energy," Economic Research Papers 271297, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. Thomas Hoppe & Antonia Graf & Beau Warbroek & Imke Lammers & Isabella Lepping, 2015. "Local Governments Supporting Local Energy Initiatives: Lessons from the Best Practices of Saerbeck (Germany) and Lochem (The Netherlands)," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(2), pages 1-32, February.
    7. Mostafaeipour, Ali, 2010. "Feasibility study of offshore wind turbine installation in Iran compared with the world," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(7), pages 1722-1743, September.
    8. Szarka, Joseph, 2006. "Wind power, policy learning and paradigm change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3041-3048, November.
    9. D׳Souza, Clare & Yiridoe, Emmanuel K., 2014. "Social acceptance of wind energy development and planning in rural communities of Australia: A consumer analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 262-270.
    10. Kaldellis, J.K. & Kapsali, M. & Kaldelli, El. & Katsanou, Ev., 2013. "Comparing recent views of public attitude on wind energy, photovoltaic and small hydro applications," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 197-208.
    11. 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.
    12. Harper, Michael & Anderson, Ben & James, Patrick A.B. & Bahaj, AbuBakr S., 2019. "Onshore wind and the likelihood of planning acceptance: Learning from a Great Britain context," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 954-966.
    13. Dhunny, A.Z. & Timmons, D.S. & Allam, Z. & Lollchund, M.R. & Cunden, T.S.M., 2020. "An economic assessment of near-shore wind farm development using a weather research forecast-based genetic algorithm model," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 201(C).
    14. Shen, Shiran Victoria & Cain, Bruce E. & Hui, Iris, 2019. "Public receptivity in China towards wind energy generators: A survey experimental approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 619-627.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. Gebreslassie, Mulualem G., 2020. "Public perception and policy implications towards the development of new wind farms in Ethiopia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    19. 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.
    20. 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.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:38:y:2004:i:5:p:549-569. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.