From consultation to collaboration: A participatory framework for positive community engagement with wind energy projects in Ontario, Canada

Journal Article

Title: From consultation to collaboration: A participatory framework for positive community engagement with wind energy projects in Ontario, Canada
Authors: Jami, A.; Walsh, P.
Publication Date:
May 01, 2017
Journal: Energy Research & Social Science
Volume: 27
Pages: 14-24
Publisher: Elsevier
Affiliation:
Technology Type:

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Jami, A.; Walsh, P. (2017). From consultation to collaboration: A participatory framework for positive community engagement with wind energy projects in Ontario, Canada. Energy Research & Social Science, 27, 14-24.
Abstract: 

The social conflict over the development of wind facilities is evidence of a new type of environmental controversy. One side of the argument is composed of wind proponents who advocate the environmental benefits of wind energy to tackle climate change and secure energy sources. On the other side of the argument are the opponents who are concerned with potential health and ecological impacts. Although wind has become a contributor to the energy mix in Ontario, Canada there remains a significant and organized resistance to wind power development in the province. This paper serves to identify the factors that can lead to social acceptance of wind project development, and applies a conceptual framework for encouraging more effective public participation. Employing the case study methodology, representatives of key stakeholder groups in five Ontario wind projects were interviewed. The results of this study indicate that community engagement in Ontario wind project approvals remains limited and explains, to some degree, the ongoing resistance to these projects. Stakeholders were however, broadly supportive of the authors proposed conceptual participatory framework, which encourages a collaborative approach in the approval process. Also, all stakeholder groups welcomed the notion of a knowledge-broker to assist in the decision-making process.

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