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: Pollution top concern for U.S. and Canadian citizens around Great Lakes

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

Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US

Apr 17, 2014

The White House Thursday announced a series of measures aimed at increasing solar energy production in the United States, particularly by encouraging the installation of solar panels in public spaces.

Tailored approach key to cookstove uptake

Apr 17, 2014

Worldwide, programs aiming to give safe, efficient cooking stoves to people in developing countries haven't had complete success—and local research has looked into why.

Wireless power transfer achieved at five-meter distance

Apr 17, 2014

The way electronic devices receive their power has changed tremendously over the past few decades, from wired to non-wired. Users today enjoy all kinds of wireless electronic gadgets including cell phones, ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.