Yes in my backyard: WISE Power targets social acceptance issue
The WISE power project* organised a workshop under the patronage of EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW15) with the participation of wind project developers, local and regional municipalities, communities, ethical banks, NGOs and policy makers.
The workshop held on 17 June focused on innovative engagement pathways including financing methods and the way they can enhance social acceptance of wind energy projects and associated grid infrastructure for a leaner permitting process.
A panel debate involving the above-mentioned stakeholders highlighted the need for a systematic/strategic engagement approach for social acceptance at local level. Innovative financial measures such as crowd funding, public private partnerships or partnerships with cooperatives can contribute to the sharing of revenues and social benefits with local communities. The debate emphasised the role that ethical banks should play in supporting projects at local level and promoting possible co-ownership, therefore making the entire process more transparent. In the end, the panelists agreed, it all comes down to the feeling of being part of the process, a sense of ownership and active involvement in a local RES project.
* WISE Power is an EU-funded project (former IEE programme) aimed at enhancing information and engagement with local communities in 13 countries initially. It also emphasises the need for effective participation of communities in the design, planning and implementation of a wind energy project. Since May 2014, more than 50 manuals and good practices have been assessed, approximately 300 interviews have been conducted in 13 countries and two test exercises have been organised for exchange of information, lessons learnt and concerns. The final product of this project will be an interactive tool, known as - Social Acceptance Pathways - intended to be used by developers of wind farms and other interested stakeholders. This tool will guide users in designing, developing and implementing a successful strategy for engagement and cooperation with various players. It will be tested in real life developments. More information on the project is available under wisepower-project.eu/
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