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Is the grass always greener and a place-based perspective of wind energy

“Is the grass always greener on the other side? Trends in the planning and permitting of wind energy.”

“Towards a place-based perspective on the deployment of wind energy in Sweden.”

On these subjects, Johann Köppel, Visiting Professor at Uppsala University, and Adam Peacock, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Exeter, will talk during Swedish Wind Centres webinar about social acceptance, March 12. Read more and register below.


Is the grass always greener on the other side? Trends in the planning and permitting of wind energy, by Johann Köppel.


Energy transisions do rarely come just in swift and steadfast evolutions, as it could be observed rather opposed for wind energy in Sweden and Germany. Even as the grass seems always greener on the other side, trends in the planning and permitting of wind energy tend to subscribe to overarching phenomena that call for more detailed benchmarks and mutual insights.  


Some frustration on the length of planning and permitting processes for wind energy cannot be overseen, with Sweden not necessarily a candidate for the better, see e.g. Permitting | WindEurope. Yet the latter data do not reveal the major upfront support from spatial planning approaches in Germany, apparently helping to keep the sheer permitting timelines at bay.


This might also be informative with regard to overcoming “free-riding” implications of what has much been discussed in terms of multiple municipal vetos in Sweden. And what if Sweden took ever action and subscribed actively towards the designation of “acceleration area” and their implications due to the amended EU Renewable Energy Directive?


After years of slowdown of wind energy’s on land growth, Johann Köppel will offer some insights what measures have more recently been established in Germany to speed up again towards tripling the already considerable capacities, and to keep offshore wind and its grid integration on a dynamic pathway.


Such measures involve innovations in the spatial planning and local approval system, covering novel approaches towards the wildlife/ nature conservation arena, too.  Another snapshot will cover insights of activities of the wind energy (on land) centre in Germany (Fachagentur Wind), which partly could also inspire perspectives for the Swedish Wind Centre.


Last but not least: how could action be taken to further explore topics of interest for research on “PLANERING AV VINDKRAFT“ in Sweden?


Towards a place-based perspective on the deployment of wind energy in Sweden, by Adam Peacock


Wind energy is a core component of Sweden’s current energy transition, both in increasing national electricity generation to meet national and international demand, whilst maintaining ambitions of climate neutrality by 2045. The physical infrastructures (i.e. turbines) must be situated somewhere, meaning that social and environmental impacts are inevitable, and that issues of social acceptance are highly relevant. 


Social acceptance research has multiple dimensions. In short, it focuses on the activities of those in policy realms and powerful market actors as they attempt to deploy energy technologies at the local community level. This activity can elicit positive, neutral, and/or negative responses from community actors. Sweden is seeing the impact of social acceptance in trends of municipal vetoes towards wind energy across the country. Better understanding the reasons behind these trends is a primary concern of the social acceptance work package (WP4) within the Mistra Electrification program.


This talk proposes that adopting a more sophisticated ‘place-based’ approach to the deployment of wind energy can help better illuminate how and why patterns of social acceptance vary across Sweden. This requires moving beyond Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) explanations for resistance, and towards considerations of the impact of energy developments on particular places. This includes considering how potential impacts are communicated to local communities and the extent to which they are included within decision-making processes.


Drawing upon results from his own research on Sweden’s national energy transition, Adam Peacock will describe the benefits of adopting a place-based approach to understanding wind energy development in Sweden. Finally, Adam Peacock will conclude by outlining his upcoming plans for place-based research into the social acceptance of wind energy in Northern Sweden, inviting feedback and recommendations for study.


  • Date and time for the webinar: 12 March, 09.00–11.00 AM.
  • Register: To attend, please register here. A link will be sent out prior to the webinar.

Updated: 2024-06-03 14:29