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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Large‐scale wind deployment, social acceptance

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The public is typically in agreement with the renewable energy targets established in many national states and generally supports the idea of increased reliance on wind energy. Nevertheless, many specific wind power projects face significant local opposition. A key question for the wind energy sector is, therefore, how to better engage local people to foster support for specific projects. IEA Wind Task 28 on Social Acceptance of Wind Energy Projects aims to facilitate wind energy development by reviewing current practices, emerging ideas, and exchanging successful practices among the participating countries. It also aims to disseminate the insights of leading research to a nontechnical audience, including project developers, local planning officials, and the general public. The interdisciplinary approach adopted by Task 28 enables an in‐depth understanding of the nature of opposition to wind projects and a critical assessment of emerging strategies for social acceptance. Task 28 has analyzed a range of key issues related to social acceptance of wind energy, including the impacts on landscapes and ecosystems, on standard of living and well‐being, the implementation of energy policy and spatial planning, the distribution of costs and benefits, and procedural justice. It is clear that although wind energy has many benefits; however, specific projects do impact local communities. As such the concerns of the affected people have to be taken seriously. Moreover, as opposition is rarely without foundation, it is in the interests of developers and advocates to engage local people and to improve projects for the benefit of all.

Logo of IEA Wind Task 28 on Social Acceptance of Wind Energy Projects.
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Analysis of news paper articles from a Japanese news paper, ’Asashi‘, between 1990 and 2010 (by Yasushi Maruyama).
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Impression from the national and regional workshops by the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (picture by Martin McCarthy).
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Pictures from community wind projects in Japan, including names of the stakeholders written on the tower, excursions, and the sale of local products (pictures by Yasushi Maruyama).
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Sociopolitical actors of wind energy acceptance (painting by Adequa Communcation). (Reprinted with permission from Ref 3. Copyright 2007 Elsevier.)
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Market actors of wind energy acceptance (picture by Markus Geissmann). (Reprinted with permission from Ref 3. Copyright 2007 Elsevier.)
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Community actors of wind energy acceptance (picture by Robert Horbaty). (Reprinted with permission from Ref 3. Copyright 2007 Elsevier.)
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