Socio-Economic Parameters in the Public Acceptance of Renewable Energy Landscapes - Part 1

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Energy and Environment Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Galerie 5, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Bohumil Frantal, Martin (Mike) Pasqualetti
Chairs: Bohumil Frantal


One of the first articles dealing with public perceptions of emerging renewable energy landscapes was by a geographer (Pasqualetti & Butler 1987). Although subsequent research has suggested that aesthetic preferences concerning landscape impacts best predict the local acceptance of renewables (e.g., Pasqualetti 2012; Wolsink 2007), recent studies proved that the impact of visibility on acceptance is not linked just to the physical landscape context but also to socio-economic parameters of projects. Others even emphasized that not a visual impact, but perception of health risks, appraisal of community benefits, general community enhancement, and preferences for renewable-generated electricity are the key predictors of local support for renewables (Baxter et al. 2013). While an adaptation to changed landscape character turned out to be a common phenomenon, the negative perceptions concerning increasing electricity prices due to the feed-in tariffs and other subsidies, the noise annoyance from wind turbines or a smell from biogas stations, and uncertainties surrounding the long term effects and health risks of these facilities seem to persist years after construction was completed (Groth & Vogt 2014, Martinat et al. 2017). After three decades of our co-existence with renewable energy landscapes, there are still many unanswered questions regarding public perceptions and a wider diffusion and adoption of renewables (e.g., Rand & Hoen 2017) and there are other concepts besides the invalid NIMBY theory that need to be revised and/or adapted in the light of the latest developments, such as the U-curve theory, the proximity hypothesis, the spatial and distributional justice, the resource curse, et cetera. These and other issues will be discussed in this paper session.

Baxter, J., Morzaria, R., & Hirsch, R. (2013). A case-control study of support/opposition to wind turbines: Perceptions of health risk, economic benefits, and community conflict. Energy Policy, 61, 931–943.
Groth, T. M., & Vogt, C. (2014). Residents’ perceptions of wind turbines: An analysis of two townships in Michigan. Energy Policy, 65, 251–260.
Martinát, S., Navrátil, J., Trojan, J., Frantál, B., Klusáček, P., Pasqualetti, M. J. (2017). Interpreting regional and local diversities of the social acceptance of agricultural AD plants in the rural space of the Moravian-Silesian Region (Czech Republic). Rendiconti Lincei - Scienze Fisiche E Naturali, 28(3), 535–548.
Pasqualetti, M.J., Butler, E. (1987): Public reaction to wind development in California. International Journal of Ambient Energy, 8(2):83-90.
Pasqualetti, M. (2012). Opposing Wind Energy Landscapes: A Search for Common Cause. In The New Geographies of Energy: Assessment and Analysis of Critical Landscapes. London: Routledge. (A reprint of a 2011 article in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. 101 (4): 907-917.)
Rand, J., & Hoen, B. (2017). Thirty years of North American wind energy acceptance research: what have we learned?? Energy Research & Social Science, 29, 135–148.
Wolsink, M. (2007). Wind power implementation: The nature of public attitudes: Equity and fairness instead of ‘backyard motives’. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 11(6), 1188–1207.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Bohumil Frantal Palacky University Olomouc 5 1:20 PM
Presenter Lawrence Hamilton*, University of New Hampshire, Erin Bell, University of New Hampshire, Joel Hartter, University of Colorado, Jonathan Salerno, University of Colorado, A Change in the Wind? Public Views on Renewable Energy and Climate Compared 20 1:25 PM
Presenter Sarah Mills*, University of Michigan, Jane Wentrack, University of Michigan, Predicting Opposition to Windfarms Using Census Data 20 1:45 PM
Presenter Bohumil Frantal*, Palacky University Olomouc, Time-space dynamics of perceptions and attitudes to wind energy developments: The landscape dominance, U-curve and proximity hypotheses revisited 20 2:05 PM
Presenter Aaron Russell*, University of Delaware, Beyond Attachment: Assessing Support for and Opposition to Wind Power Projects through The Lens of Place Meaning and Place Consistency within a Longitudinal Survey Study 20 2:25 PM
Presenter Christine Hirt*, University of Delaware, Jeremy Firestone, University of Delaware, David Bidwell, University of Rhode Island, Meryl Gardner, University of Delaware, Perceptions of fairness of process: the Block Island Offshore Wind Project 15 2:45 PM

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