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Lise Hahne Nielsen & Kristian Borch, technical University of Denmark – DTU

Topic: Public participation & Socio-technical controversies over wind power in rural communities

Key words: Socio-technical conflicts, Sustainable rural development, Community acceptance, Wind Power


. Studies show a gap between national and local level of support in wind power projects, with recent projection

indicating an overall decrease in MWh installed in Denmark. Recent data show that projects have been turned down due to local opposition in rural communities. Therefore, conflicts in wind power development in Denmark have fostered the interest of public participation. Often projects are deployed with a rigid technical/scientific attitude, whereas it is suggested engaging the local community with a more appropriate collaborative approach. This paper applies an adapted framework to analyse the influence of public participation approaches on the boundary dimensions between stakeholders. The analysis features three cases, each with a different approach towards public participation. The conclusion is that public participation has an influence on the boundary dimensions of wind power projects. It is important to include the local community early in the planning process, acquire the capability of brokering between communities of practice is crucial and empowering members of the local community in wind power projects will increase social acceptability.

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