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Julia Le Maitre (ESR 12)

Motivations, Incentives and Commitments for Co-Investment

Julia Le Maitre

I am a transdisciplinary researcher involved in community and social acceptance of onshore wind energy, predominantly focusing on Ireland and the United Kingdom. This project seeks to understand the motivations and characteristics of community investment in wind power by asking: Which financial incentive schemes and interventions are most likely to enhance community acceptance of onshore wind energy projects?

My research occurs concomitant with the European Union’s energy transition, and is shaped by evidence that foregrounds citizens and residents as important stakeholders in society’s collective decarbonisation. Active citizen participation in the energy transition is considered to foster social acceptance. This may arise through (co-)ownership of renewable energy projects and can be supported through a variety of additional policy instruments. However, while these financial structures are well understood, how they relate to motivation and belief systems for social acceptance of renewable energy projects is less so.

In the context of Ireland this is important. While the country’s geography affords one of highest potential regions for wind energy within the European Union, wind projects have typically not involved local residents until recently. My research therefore considers 1) residents within the immediate proximity of a wind farm, 2) commercial developers, and 3) the broader Irish public. Through choice experiments, conjoint analysis and interviews, these groups can elucidate the trade-offs between different financial incentives. This will help to identify the most fitting socio-economic strategy to grow social acceptance for future onshore wind development, providing recommendations on the policy interventions and supports required.


3 minute project introduction

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Julia's supervisors

Dr Geraldine Ryan
Senior Lecturer
Cork University Business School
University College Cork

Dr Justin Doran
Director of the Spatial and Regional Economics Research Centre
Cork University Business School
University College Cork

David Connolly
Irish Wind Energy Association

Professor Patrick Devine- Wright
Professor in Human Geography
University of Exeter