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Cumulative Impacts on People-Place Relations (ESR3)

Institute for Future Energy and Material Flow Systems (IZES gGmbH)

This project will investigate the roles played by place attachment and related identities at multiple scales (local, national and global) in influencing social acceptance of wind energy. The project will go beyond current understandings of how local attachments and identities are associated with community acceptance and objections, and will extend these analyses by assessing the roles played by place related identities at regional, national and global scales in influencing community acceptance. Potential cumulative effects of technological infrastructures like wind on- and offshore, biogas plants, large pv ground-installed systems or transmission lines, on social perceptions will be examined in a systemic approach. Research questions will be how social perceptions and regional identities as a result of a social construction process are influenced by different infrastructural projects, how is the self-perception of a region affected by technological artefacts and where are thresholds of feeling overdosed? The project will conduct analyses of 3 case studies of wind energy development in different European countries (e.g. UK, Germany, France), with an emphasis on the potential cumulative effects of these technological infrastructures. Data collection will comprise surveys distributed to samples of residents in each affected community, focus groups, interviews and analyses of secondary data surrounding each wind farm (e.g. developer reports, media communications).

The project will enhance our understanding of the impact of cumulative effects of multiple energy projects on local and non-local place relations and consequences for managing broader social acceptance relations, deliver insights into the ways that scalar conflicts (e.g. global vs local) underpin community objections related to wind farm cases, allow us to make recommendations for innovation in the engagement narratives employed by wind developers with relation to scale, place and identities, and provide best practice guidelines and recommendations for project developers and policy makers for addressing justice issues.


Click here to download the ESR3 job description



Project supervision

Dr Jan Hildebrand
Head of Department

Claire Le Renard
Social Researcher
EDF Research and Development

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