The wind industry is positioned to contribute significantly to a clean energy future, yet the level of community opposition has at times led to unviable projects. Social acceptance is crucial and can be improved in part through better practice community engagement and benefit-sharing. This case study provides a “snapshot” of current community engagement and benefit-sharing practices for Australian wind farms, with a particular emphasis on practices found to be enhancing positive social outcomes in communities. Five methods were used to gather views on effective engagement and benefit-sharing: a literature review, interviews and a survey of the wind industry, a Delphi panel, and a review of community engagement plans. The overarching finding was that each community engagement and benefit-sharing initiative should be tailored to a community’s context, needs and expectations as informed by community involvement. This requires moving away from a “one size fits all” approach. This case study is relevant to wind developers, energy regulators, local communities and renewable energy-focused non-government organizations. It is applicable beyond Australia to all contexts where wind farm development has encountered conflicted societal acceptance responses.
Evaluating Community Engagement and Benefit-Sharing Practices in Australian Wind Farm Development
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Nina Lansbury Hall, Jarra Hicks, Taryn Lane, Emily Wood; Evaluating Community Engagement and Benefit-Sharing Practices in Australian Wind Farm Development. Case Studies in the Environment 31 December 2017; 1 (1): 1–6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/cse.2017.000521
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