Though there is a growing literature on the value of participatory siting processes for increasing local acceptance of wind energy development, there has been much less unpacking of how residents view the siting process itself. We explore differences in the ways governments and developers enact planning and how this impacts both acceptance/support and procedural justice outcomes. This mixed methods study employed in-depth interviews (n = 54) and surveys (n = 252) with multiple stakeholder groups to understand perceptions of procedural justice across two Canadian provinces. We compared Ontario – which has built a strong base of wind energy capacity using technocratic siting procedures with Nova Scotia – which has anchored its development strategy more explicitly with a community-based program. We find stronger levels of perceived procedural justice in Nova Scotia across the majority of principles tested. In Ontario, opposition to local developments was highly conflated with a lack of procedural justice including few opportunities to take part in siting. Across both provinces however, specific aspects of planning processes – mostly related to ‘the ability to affect the outcome’ – were strong predictors of local approval of wind. This paper closes with a discussion of how future policy programs can more effectively engage with principles of procedural justice.
Procedural justice in Canadian wind energy development: A comparison of community-based and technocratic siting processes
Title: Procedural justice in Canadian wind energy development: A comparison of community-based and technocratic siting processes
July 01, 2017
Journal: Energy Research & Social Science
Walker, C.; Baxter, J. (2017). Procedural justice in Canadian wind energy development: A comparison of community-based and technocratic siting processes. Energy Research & Social Science, 29, 160-169.