In this study, we tested how attitudes toward the German energy transition, the perceived fairness of decision-making processes and their outcomes, the perceived risks and benefits of wind energy, and the trust in key actors (federal government, local government, large energy companies, and municipal utilities) affect both the general acceptance and local acceptance (acceptance of wind farms situated 500 m from the respondents' home) of wind farms in Germany. The respective data were gained from a representative random survey (n = 2.009) in Germany.
The findings show that most of the aforementioned predictors significantly influence the public acceptance of wind energy. Perceived risks and fairness become (more) important in the context of both general and local acceptance of onshore wind farms, while the general attitude toward the energy transition is of greater relevance in the context of the general acceptance of offshore wind farms. Furthermore, trust in large energy companies plays a mixed role concerning general and local acceptance. Our results provide valuable insights for understanding public reactions toward wind energy projects.