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ESR 15

The Political Economy of Opposition to Wind Energy Projects (ESR15)

Queen’s University Belfast

This project will aim to explain how and why opposition to renewable technologies may be able to draw on wider institutional and economic structures to secure levels of influence and maintain its key presence in the wider political debates related to energy transition. The project will examine the structural issues of how power is exerted through institutions in three European countries (UK, Ireland and Denmark) to understand how political values, institutional frameworks, financial mechanisms and the structures of the energy industry may help or hinder those seeking to oppose wind energy projects and the wider support mechanisms for the technology, with a particular focus on the interaction between incumbent economic actors, local activists, national lobby groups, other active stakeholders and shifts in the policy regime for wind energy in several European countries. This will involve a comparative analysis of power and agency, in different forms. It will deploy a mixed methods approach that will include semi-structured interviews, discourse analysis and stakeholder analysis.
The research will result in the mapping of the institutions that remain critical in reproducing opposition to renewable energy in three countries, a comparative analysis of how the blend of institutions values and economic frameworks combine to opposition influence, and recommendations on the types of broader institutional reform that are needed to support wider energy transition.

Click here to download the ESR15 job description


Project supervision

Professor Geraint Ellis
School of Natural and Built Environment
Queen’s University Belfast

Professor John Barry
School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
Queen’s University Belfast

Dr Gerard Mullally
Department of Sociology
University College Cork