Renewable energy needs more community power

September 10, 2010

An analysis of wind farm applications in England shows that rejection of wind energy projects is connected to areas with high political engagement and high life expectancy. The current trend shows that many technically suitable locations may remain unused because of the threat of effective local resistance by people who are relatively privileged.

Planning delays and rejections encourage commercial developers to instead focus on remote or deprived communities as sites for new power plants. In areas of economic fragility, commercial plants are more easily established without having to provide many benefits for the local community.

Many small scale community-driven renewable have been successfully developed in recent years, providing a valuable potential for building and sharing practical knowledge. But this potential can only be fully utilised if we find new ways to encourage community-led social enterprises, extending beyond remote sites to more urban landscapes.

'Policymakers should embrace policies to encourage a wider sense of ownership of projects,' says Dr van der Horst. 'There should be structures to ensure that more benefits flow to local communities in economically fragile areas, and encouragement for residents to invest in local projects - especially in more privileged areas.'

Explore further: New carbon calculator conserves forests

Related Stories

Breakthrough for schools now possible

June 24, 2008

A long running study has found that the English education system has the potential to turn around problems endured by schools in areas of high deprivation.

Local elite rule over small villages in Indonesia

July 3, 2008

Dutch-sponsored researcher Y. Argo Twikromo has investigated how the local ruling elite have retained their political control over the local population. He has tried to understand and analyse the dynamic processes of state ...

Even plants benefit from outsourcing

November 7, 2008

The answer to successful revegetation of native flora is in sourcing genetically diverse seed not necessarily relying on remnant local native vegetation to provide seed. This review paper covers the appropriateness of using ...

Local seed not the best for revegetation

December 10, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- The answer to successful revegetation of native flora is in sourcing genetically diverse seed, not necessarily relying on seed sourced from remnant local native vegetation.

Report: Use 'brownfields' as energy parks

January 29, 2009

Northwest Michigan could generate hundreds of new jobs and generate enough electricity for thousands of its residents by converting abandoned factories and other brownfield sites for renewable energy production.

Recommended for you

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.