Public acceptance of wind turbines: coming soon to a field near you

» By | Published 05 Sep 2011

When I tell people I work in wind energy, the reaction is generally one of approval. Wind energy is green, it helps the planet. People approve.

Despite this, most developers of wind farms will have had to deal at one time or other with ‘NIMBYism’ which can cause delays to projects. And any delay to a wind farm project costs time and money to a developer – and delays the environmental and economic benefits from the wind farm. Wind Directions investigates the issue of public acceptance and how it can be managed.

Of course, there are variations in public attitudes depending on their region and country. In some places –like Denmark – wind farms have been part of the landscape of years, in others – such as Canada – they are a rarity, and this can affect the public’s perception, as people tend to be wary of what is less familiar.

Generally, it is essential for a wind farm developer to engage and communicate with the local community as early as possible and keep on doing it throughout the project. It is important to be open and available to answer any questions and put people’s minds at rest. There are a myriad of ways this can be done, from setting up a project website, to running open meetings to ensuring the community leaders are on side.

Read the full article in the latest Wind Directions.