Community Benefits, Framing and the Social Acceptance of Offshore Wind Farms: An Experimental Study in England

Journal Article

Title: Community Benefits, Framing and the Social Acceptance of Offshore Wind Farms: An Experimental Study in England
Publication Date:
September 01, 2014
Journal: Energy Research & Social Science
Volume: 3
Pages: 46-54
Publisher: Elsevier
Affiliation:

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Walker, B.; Wiersma, B.; Bailey, E. (2014). Community Benefits, Framing and the Social Acceptance of Offshore Wind Farms: An Experimental Study in England. Energy Research & Social Science, 3, 46-54.
Abstract: 

The provision of community benefits, payments to communities affected by renewable energy developments, has received significant policy-maker attention in recent years. This research explores whether the provision of community benefits associates with increased local support for a hypothetical, future offshore wind farm in Exmouth (UK), using an experimental methodology (n = 311). Participants were allocated to one of three framing conditions: (i) a ‘no-framed condition’, presenting basic information about a possible wind farm without mentioning community benefits; (ii) a ‘community benefit frame’, highlighting the likely community benefits that would accompany a wind farm; or (iii) a ‘dual framing’ condition, presenting information about community benefits alongside critical perspectives that commonly surround these (perceptions of ‘bribery’). Support for the development was greatest under the community benefit frame. However, this heightened support diminished in a context of social contestation (the dual framing condition). Elevated perceptions of collective rather than individual outcome favourability or procedural justice explained why support was greatest under the community benefit frame. Ensuring and communicating that community benefits offer a ‘good deal’ to communities, rather than focusing on individual benefits, may be the most viable avenue to increase support for renewable energy developments through community benefits.

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