Will Communities "open-up" to Offshore Wind?
Energy Research & Social Science
In this study published in Volume 34 of Energy Research & Social Science, the authors conducted interviews and document analysis to assess the extent to which design principles from the analytic- deliberative process literature arose during public engagement on three New England islands adjacent to proposed offshore wind farms. In their study sites—amongst the array of criteria in the literature—good public engagement boiled down to two key themes: enabling bidirectional deliberative learning and providing community benefit. Decision processes perceived as effective occurred when (1) participants, including experts and local stakeholders, learned from each other while reconciling technical expertise with citizen values; and (2) outcomes included the provision of collaboratively negotiated community benefits. The findings highlight that community benefits are not the same as benefits to groups of individuals. Attending to these key themes may improve the quality of interactions among communities, government authorities and developers when deciding if and where to site renewable energy infrastructure.
The study sites were Block Island (RI), Martha's Vineyard (MA), and Monhegan Island (ME).
Thursday, June 29, 2017