Renewable energy needs more community power

Sep 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: First of four Fukushima reactors cleared of nuclear fuel

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Report: Use 'brownfields' as energy parks

Jan 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.

Local elite rule over small villages in Indonesia

Jul 03, 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 ...

Breakthrough for schools now possible

Jun 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.

Even plants benefit from outsourcing

Nov 07, 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 ...

Local seed not the best for revegetation

Dec 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.

Recommended for you

The state of shale

Dec 19, 2014

University of Pittsburgh researchers have shared their findings from three studies related to shale gas in a recent special issue of the journal Energy Technology, edited by Götz Veser, the Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor of Che ...

Website shines light on renewable energy resources

Dec 18, 2014

A team from the University of Arizona and eight southwestern electric utility companies have built a pioneering web portal that provides insight into renewable energy sources and how they contribute to the ...

Better software cuts computer energy use

Dec 18, 2014

An EU research project is developing tools to help software engineers create energy-efficient code, which could reduce electricity consumption at data centres by up to 50% and improve battery life in smart ...

User comments : 0

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.