How Is Social Acceptance Reflected in National Renewable Energy Plans? Evidence from Three Wind-Rich Countries

Celine Bout, Jay Sterling Gregg, James A Haselip*, Geraint Ellis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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This article contributes to discussions of the social acceptance of renewable energy (RE) by developing an analytical framework that considers three dimensions (community, market, and political-regulator) at three different scales (macro, meso, and micro). This framework is conceived in order to identify those dynamics that are potentially counterproductive to the energy transition and need further policy emphasis, as well as supporting those that demonstrate a positive impact. Using this framework, we critically reflect on the 2010 National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) policies of three European countries with high wind resources: Denmark, Ireland, and the UK. Within the RE policy landscapes of these three countries lies the contentious issue of social acceptance of wind power. The framework analysis reveals similar policy profiles for each country, characterized by a heavy focus on the market dimension at all scales, an effort to allow private business to steer the transition, and a low focus on the community dimension. In doing so, our research reveals how policy-making processes have privileged the voice of actors who are able to communicate quantifiable data and evidence to support their position, and these actors thereby have greater influence to shape national energy policies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3999
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Social acceptance
  • Energy policy
  • Transition


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