By the end of 2012, world wind power capacity reached 273 GW, an eleven-fold growth from the 24GW installed in 20011 . Supported by ambitious national targets for renewables2 and in the case of the European Union, enforced through its Directive on Renewable Energy (2009/28/EC)3 this impressive growth has clearly been a reaction to the energy crisis brought about by the combined threats of climate change, energy security and peak oil and facilitated by technological innovation, supportive regulatory regimes and market support mechanisms. As the wind energy sector continues to grow, it faces a range of technological and economic challenges, yet the social aspects of renewables, particularly the relationship with host communities, is often overlooked. While this is not always a problem, there are indications that as wind energy schemes become more prevalent, so do the concerns of local communities. In some areas it is the level of community acceptance of these projects that will come to define the upper limit of wind energy deployment. For this reason it is imperative that we develop a better understanding of the issues that drive community attitudes to wind energy projects and develop strategies and good practice that developers, regulators and other stakeholders can adopt to increase community acceptance.
|Publication status||Published - 01 Mar 2013|