Community benefits from offshore renewables. Definitions, mechanisms and good practices.

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Abstract

The delivery of community benefits from the development of renewables has increasingly gained significance as well as attention from policy-makers and developers. In particular, the provision of community benefits from onshore wind farms has frequently become a non-material consideration of the planning process and a strategic element of the public engagement process in order to increase acceptance. In contrast to onshore renewables, the implementation of community benefits from offshore renewables cannot simply replicate this trend, but faces new challenges due to an alleged spatial disentanglement of communities and offshore sites. Other than monetary payments through community funds, evidence for the delivery of community benefits from offshore renewables is still rare. Nevertheless, this paper identifies and evaluates existing practices in community benefit models for offshore renewables and provides evidence from the UK and international case studies of how community benefits are delivered and distributed. Although voluntary benefits offer an opportunity for communities to share in the financial value of their local energy resources, their practical implementation is more intricate, as governments, developers and communities often use different and at times conflicting understandings of community, benefit and impact. By drawing on various case studies it will be shown that the delivery of community benefits is closely linked to the different ways in which beneficiary communities, benefits and impacts are defined. Based on the identified benefit mechanisms and underlying understandings, the paper closes by outlining recommendations for good practices in benefit-sharing from offshore renewables.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event2015 Annual Royal Geographical Society International Conference - University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sep 20154 Sep 2015
http://www.rgs.org/NR/rdonlyres/6EF825AC-0B48-472F-B0DA-A491481DB116/0/AC2015ProgrammeBooklowerres.pdf

Conference

Conference2015 Annual Royal Geographical Society International Conference
LocationUniversity of Exeter
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityExeter
Period01/09/201504/09/2015
Internet address

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