Local perceptions of planned near-shore wind farms in Denmark: on norms, ethics and scale

Katinka Johansen

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


    With the case of wind-farm planning in Denmark this research strives to explore existing ethical dilemmas played out in the policy field of friction between state ambitions for sustainability and local life-words. Danish national public interest for wind power does not necessarily translate into local public interest (Bergek 2010) – and thus many wind-power projects collapse because of local, public resistance . This very schism is at the heart of this conference paper. Through a unique, large-scale survey (N =1983) striving to understand local perceptions of/attitudes towards 5 specific planned near-shore wind-farm sites in Denmark we get a unique glimpse into local dynamics that co-shape attitudes towards green energy technologies. One could argue that we are dealing with the utilitarian principle of the greatest good for the greatest number of people (Børsen & Danborg 2015; 87) when speaking of wind-farm development. But as our empirical data underscores this does not diminish the real grievance felt by local populations. In this conflict lies an inherent ethical dilemma: Issues of different levels of power and questions of individual and local autonomy (ibid.) are at stake. The moral imperative to act (Rawson 2013; 3) regarding the increasingly accepted realities of climate change is not questioned. Neither is the immediate chosen Danish government route for that change . What will be underscored, however, is the urgent need to address such inherent social dilemmas in policy decisions. Only through concrete insights into such local, ethical dilemmas will policies be able to target practical/political tools needed to facilitate the transition to sustainability in a more socially just manner.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    EventEuropean Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment 2018
    - Brighton Waterfront, Brighton, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Jul 20187 Jul 2018


    ConferenceEuropean Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment 2018
    LocationBrighton Waterfront
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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