Factors influencing citizens' acceptance and non-acceptance of wind energy in Germany

Journal Article

Title: Factors influencing citizens' acceptance and non-acceptance of wind energy in Germany
Publication Date:
February 20, 2018
Journal: Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume: 175
Pages: 133-144
Publisher: Elsevier
Technology Type:

Document Access

Website: External Link


Langer, K.; Decker, T.; Roosen, J.; Menrad, K. (2018). Factors influencing citizens' acceptance and non-acceptance of wind energy in Germany. Journal of Cleaner Production, 175, 133-144.

Among renewable energy technologies, wind energy accounts for the highest share in gross electricity consumption in Germany. To keep this renewable share up, wind energy project have to combine technological aspects with environmental and societally aspects. The successful planning and implementation of a wind farm crucially depends on acceptance of citizens living in the vicinity of the site. Factors influencing acceptance of wind energy can be categorised into processrelated variables, personal characteristics, perceived side effects and technical and geographical issues. However, research is still missing on how and to what extend the identified factors have an influence on the acceptance and non-acceptance. This article identifies the relevant factors within each of these four categories by investigating which of these factors have an impact upon acceptance or non-acceptance of a project. This identification enables policy makers and operators to implement wind energy projects with a certain acceptance level by the society. The study is based on a German wide online-survey with about 1,400 participants. Using a multinomial logistic regression analysis, the results show that factors in all categories are relevant in driving citizens' active acceptance, ambivalence or active non-acceptance of wind energy. The paper reveals that in particular the factors fear of infrasoundand the opportunity for participation plays an essential role in the categories perceived side effects and process-related variables. The fear of infrasound has the most significant negative influence on the acceptance. Also the participation level, alibi participation, displays significant negative effects on the acceptance. Furthermore, the results suggest that some of the most recent changes in the legal framework regulating new wind energy projects in Germany counteract acceptance according the findings of this study. In particular, results show that the distance between the place of residence and wind turbines has no significant influence on the acceptance.

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