Citizens' participation

Citizens’ participation is one of the key practices for developing inclusive and context sensitive plans, as well as for gaining community acceptance of wind energy initiatives. Especially in small communities, for which identity is a crucial issue, such practices are useful for including the community’s perspective within the project, as well as for addressing possible concerns about negative impacts of wind energy (e.g. noise, visual impact, landscape intrusion, etc.). At the same time, according to WinWind project findings, the inclusion and active participation of citizens reduces the risk of legal disputes, which are frequently slowing down implementation processes, making them more costly and less effective. For this reason, the participation of citizens can be considered as a process of knowledge building with benefits for all parties, citizens, developers and local communities.

Citizens can be involved in different stages of decision-making processes: decision on location and planning, authorization procedures and financial support. Citizens’ participation can take shape in different forms and to different degrees (i.e. information, consultation, participation, deliberation), and can be formal, as being institutionally recognised and regulated, or informal, as, for instance, being voluntarily or spontaneously organised and managed by citizens.

See best practice.

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The WinWind project identified key policy recommendations to improve wind energy social acceptance through citizen’ active participation. Here below further readings:

On key concepts of citizen participation and policy recommendations
Screening of technical and non-technical regulations, guidelines and recommendations pages 30-36

On formal and informal participation
Synthesis & comparative analysis of best practice case studies for promoting the social acceptance of wind energy pages 58-59, 64-65

WinWind has received funding from European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement Nº 764717. The sole responsibility for any errors or omissions made lies with the consortium. The content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Commission. The European Commission is also not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein