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Participation in the planning process

Windfarm planning is a strategic phase during which policy makers and market actors are called to make crucial choices: where to locate the power plant and its associated facilities, which technology to adopt, how the project is to be funded, etc. According to the WinWind project’s results, whenever citizens took part in the planning process they were able to either benefit economically (e.g., electricity rate reduction, improvement of local infrastructure) or draw the decision makers’ attention on negative impacts (e.g., noise, impacts on landscape, shadow flicker of wind power plants.

The WinWind project analysed the regulatory framework of Germany, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland and Spain, to understand if mechanisms for enabling public participation where included or envisaged.
That is still rather uncommon, actually only Norway is currently involving citizens in national spatial planning, which is aimed at selecting suitable wind energy sites.
On the other hand, regional and local wind energy plans often envisage public participation mechanisms. The WinWind project found some remarkable examples of such regulations in Germany and Poland.

Find out more

The WinWind project highlighted that citizens’ participation in the planning phase of wind energy plants is an recommended requirement. Here below further readings:

On key concepts about citizens participation and related policy recommendations:
Screening of Technical and Non-Technical regulations, guidelines and recommendations pages 30-36

Comparative analysis of national regulative frameworks:
Screening of Technical and Non-Technical regulations, guidelines and recommendations pages 37-44