skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Reconsidering barriers to wind power projects: community engagement, developer transparency and place

Abstract

In 2016, we undertook a nationally representative wind power perceptions survey of individuals living within 8 km of over 600 projects in the United States, generating 1705 telephone, web, and mail responses. We sought information on a variety of topics, including procedural fairness and its relationship to project attitude, the foci of the present analysis. Here, we present a series of descriptive statistics and regression results, emphasizing those residents who were aware of their local project prior to construction. Sample weighting is employed to account for stratification and non-response. We find that a developer being open and transparent, a community being able to influence the outcome, and having a say in the planning process are all statistically significant predictors of a process perceived as being ‘fair,’ with an open and transparent developer having the largest effect. We also find developer transparency and ability to influence outcomes to have statistically significant relationships to a more positive attitude, with those findings holding when aesthetics, landscape, and wind turbine sound considerations are controlled for. The results indicate that jurisdictions might consider developing procedures, which ensure citizens are consulted and heard, and benchmarks or best practices for developer interaction with communities and citizens.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5]
  1. Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States). College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Portland State Univ., Portland, OR (United States). Survey Research Lab
  4. Martin Luther Univ. of Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Germany). Inst. of Psychology; Medical School Hamburg (MSH) Univ. of Applied Sciences and Medical Univ., Hamburg (Germany). Dept. of Psychology
  5. Martin Luther Univ. of Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Germany). Inst. of Psychology
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind Energy Technologies Office (EE-4WE)
Contributing Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Portland State Univ., OR (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1454498
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 3; Related Information: © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.; Journal ID: ISSN 1523-908X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; 17 WIND ENERGY; Wind power; fair process; public attitudes; transparency; public perceptions

Citation Formats

Firestone, Jeremy, Hoen, Ben, Rand, Joseph, Elliott, Debi, Hubner, Gundula, and Pohl, Johannes. Reconsidering barriers to wind power projects: community engagement, developer transparency and place. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1080/1523908X.2017.1418656.
Firestone, Jeremy, Hoen, Ben, Rand, Joseph, Elliott, Debi, Hubner, Gundula, & Pohl, Johannes. Reconsidering barriers to wind power projects: community engagement, developer transparency and place. United States. doi:10.1080/1523908X.2017.1418656.
Firestone, Jeremy, Hoen, Ben, Rand, Joseph, Elliott, Debi, Hubner, Gundula, and Pohl, Johannes. Thu . "Reconsidering barriers to wind power projects: community engagement, developer transparency and place". United States. doi:10.1080/1523908X.2017.1418656. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1454498.
@article{osti_1454498,
title = {Reconsidering barriers to wind power projects: community engagement, developer transparency and place},
author = {Firestone, Jeremy and Hoen, Ben and Rand, Joseph and Elliott, Debi and Hubner, Gundula and Pohl, Johannes},
abstractNote = {In 2016, we undertook a nationally representative wind power perceptions survey of individuals living within 8 km of over 600 projects in the United States, generating 1705 telephone, web, and mail responses. We sought information on a variety of topics, including procedural fairness and its relationship to project attitude, the foci of the present analysis. Here, we present a series of descriptive statistics and regression results, emphasizing those residents who were aware of their local project prior to construction. Sample weighting is employed to account for stratification and non-response. We find that a developer being open and transparent, a community being able to influence the outcome, and having a say in the planning process are all statistically significant predictors of a process perceived as being ‘fair,’ with an open and transparent developer having the largest effect. We also find developer transparency and ability to influence outcomes to have statistically significant relationships to a more positive attitude, with those findings holding when aesthetics, landscape, and wind turbine sound considerations are controlled for. The results indicate that jurisdictions might consider developing procedures, which ensure citizens are consulted and heard, and benchmarks or best practices for developer interaction with communities and citizens.},
doi = {10.1080/1523908X.2017.1418656},
journal = {Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning},
number = 3,
volume = 20,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, but Also How Matters
journal, January 2004

  • Frey, Bruno S.; Benz, Matthias; Stutzer, Alois
  • Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Vol. 160, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1628/0932456041960560

Host community attitudes towards solid waste landfill infrastructure: comprehension before compensation
journal, March 2008

  • Gallagher, Louise; Ferreira, Susana; Convery, Frank
  • Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 51, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1080/09640560701864878

Wind Power Deployment: The Role of Public Participation in the Decision-Making Process in Ontario, Canada
journal, July 2016

  • Jami, Anahita; Walsh, Philip
  • Sustainability, Vol. 8, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.3390/su8080713

Engaging the public on paths to sustainable energy: Who has to trust whom?
journal, June 2010


A critical and empirical analysis of the national-local ‘gap’ in public responses to large-scale energy infrastructures
journal, May 2014

  • Batel, Susana; Devine-Wright, Patrick
  • Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 58, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2014.914020

The Offshore Wind Power Debate: Views from Cape Cod
journal, March 2005


Acceptance and stress effects of aircraft obstruction markings of wind turbines
journal, November 2012


Public perceptions of wind energy developments: Case studies from New Zealand
journal, September 2009


A comparative assessment of proposed offshore wind power demonstration projects in the United States
journal, November 2015


Rethinking NIMBYism: The role of place attachment and place identity in explaining place-protective action
journal, November 2009

  • Devine-Wright, Patrick
  • Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 19, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1002/casp.1004

The ‘Social Gap’ in Wind Farm Siting Decisions: Explanations and Policy Responses
journal, August 2005


See me, Feel me, Touch me, Heal me: Wind turbines, culture, landscapes, and sound impressions
journal, July 2015


Beyond NIMBYism: towards an integrated framework for understanding public perceptions of wind energy
journal, January 2005

  • Devine-Wright, Patrick
  • Wind Energy, Vol. 8, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/we.124

Over the Sea and Far Away? A Consideration of the Planning, Politics and Public Perception of Offshore Wind Farms
journal, September 2008


Wind power planning in three Swedish municipalities
journal, July 2003


What Are We Weighting For?
journal, January 2015

  • Solon, Gary; Haider, Steven J.; Wooldridge, Jeffrey M.
  • Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 50, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.3368/jhr.50.2.301

Wind power and community benefits: Challenges and opportunities
journal, October 2010


A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures
journal, October 1956

  • Tiebout, Charles M.
  • Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 64, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1086/257839

Towards a cross-paradigmatic framework of the social acceptance of energy systems
journal, July 2015


Living in the Vicinity of Wind Turbines — A Grounded Theory Study
journal, August 2007

  • Pedersen, E.; Hallberg, Lr-M.; Waye, K. P.
  • Qualitative Research in Psychology, Vol. 4, Issue 1-2
  • DOI: 10.1080/14780880701473409

Wind energy and environmental assessments – A hard look at two forerunners' approaches: Germany and the United States
journal, March 2013


A Place Meaning Scale for Tropical Marine Settings
journal, September 2014


‘Green On Green’: Public perceptions of wind power in Scotland and Ireland
journal, November 2005

  • Warren, Charles R.; Lumsden, Carolyn; O'Dowd, Simone
  • Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 48, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1080/09640560500294376

Wind power implementation: The nature of public attitudes: Equity and fairness instead of ‘backyard motives’
journal, August 2007


Public Participation Methods: A Framework for Evaluation
journal, January 2000


Trust and community: Exploring the meanings, contexts and dynamics of community renewable energy
journal, June 2010


How Spatial Relationships Influence Economic Preferences for Wind Power—A Review
journal, June 2015


Public opinion about large offshore wind power: Underlying factors
journal, March 2007


Thirty years of North American wind energy acceptance research: What have we learned?
journal, July 2017


The multifaceted roles of RNA binding in APOBEC cytidine deaminase functions: RNA binding in APOBEC cytidine deaminase functions
journal, March 2014

  • Prohaska, Kimberly M.; Bennett, Ryan P.; Salter, Jason D.
  • Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA, Vol. 5, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1002/wrna.1226

Beyond Rhetoric to Understanding Determinants of Wind Turbine Support and Conflict in Two Ontario, Canada Communities
journal, January 2014

  • Walker, Chad; Baxter, Jamie; Ouellette, Danielle
  • Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, Vol. 46, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1068/a130004p

Social acceptance of low carbon energy and associated infrastructures: A critical discussion
journal, July 2013


Practical Considerations in Raking Survey Data
journal, June 2009

  • Battaglia, Michael P.; Hoaglin, David C.; Frankel, Martin R.
  • Survey Practice, Vol. 2, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.29115/SP-2009-0019

Public acceptance of offshore wind power across regions and through time
journal, December 2012

  • Firestone, Jeremy; Kempton, Willett; Lilley, Meredith Blaydes
  • Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 55, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2012.682782

The Rise of “Private Participation” in the Planning of Energy Projects in the Rural United States
journal, November 2014


Thinking through participation in renewable energy decisions
journal, May 2016


Opposing Wind Energy Landscapes: A Search for Common Cause
journal, July 2011


Social acceptance of renewable energy innovation: An introduction to the concept
journal, May 2007


Public acceptance of offshore wind power: does perceived fairness of process matter?
journal, December 2012

  • Firestone, Jeremy; Kempton, Willett; Lilley, Meredith Blaydes
  • Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 55, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2012.688658

Practices and rationales of community engagement with wind farms: awareness raising, consultation, empowerment
journal, September 2016


Residents' perceptions of wind turbines: An analysis of two townships in Michigan
journal, February 2014