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

  • Peter Strachan
  • David Lal
Registered author(s):

    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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    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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