This paper explores the nature of public acceptance of wind farms by investigating the discourses of support and objection to a proposed offshore scheme. It reviews research into opposition to wind farms, noting previous criticisms that this has tended to provide descriptive rather than explanatory insights and as a result, has not effectively informed the policy debate. One explanation is that much of this research has been conceived within an unreflective positivist research frame, which is inadequate in dealing with the subjectivity and value-basis of public acceptance of wind farm development. The paper then takes a case study of an offshore wind farm proposal in Northern Ireland and applies Q-Methodology to identify the dominant discourse of support and objection. It is argued that this provides new insights into the nature of wind farm conflicts, points to a number or recommendations for policy functions of an example of how this methodology can act as a potential bridge between positivist and post-positivist approaches to policy analysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Water Science and Technology
- Geography, Planning and Development