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Fostering Social Acceptance for wind power (WISE POWER)

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The WISE Power project aims at accelerating and adding certainty to planning processes by decreasing local community opposition to wind energy, the overhead lines connecting them and other necessary grid infrastructure upgrades. This will be done in line with, and reflecting, society’s broad acceptance of wind energy.The project intends to promote existing developed Social Acceptance Pathways (SAP), demonstrating how processes for active engagement and citizen ownership work, and improved ones.These pathways will aim to increase local awareness and participation in the conception, development and benefits of wind power projects and, consequently, shorten the lead time of administrative process by reducing resistance and appeals.The project will have a strong focus on alternative measures of funding such as community and cooperative funding of wind farms. It will consider a suite of sources of alternative financing mechanisms and/or fiscal incentives that can empower communities, local RES cooperatives and developers’ financial understanding of wind projects.Opportunities for cooperatives to access tailor-made loan or financing facilities will also be explored.In addition, the project will lay the foundations for structures that will help the wind industry and other relevant stakeholder to form networks for the exchange of best practice and new approaches for increasing social acceptance. The new SAP will be validated, tested and implemented

Results

  • Reduction of wind farm permitting lead times to 24 months, as recommended by the Wind Barriers project; and reduction of required transmission and distribution infrastructure permitting lead times to 3 to 4 years as indicated by the European Commission in its Energy Infrastructure Package.
  • Status quo of social acceptance measures for wind farm and associated grid infrastructure used by the wind industry in European countries;
  • A monitoring tool, the results of which will enable the identification of this project barriers, addressing knowledge gaps and measuring the overall project performance;
  • Social acceptance pathways available in 10 languages containing concrete steps (targeted at local communities, authorities, developers, system operators, citizens, cooperatives & environmental organisations) for community engagement, benefit sharing mechanisms & communication on local impacts or potential conflicting interests; the latter will be validated through working meetings, test exercises and real case scenarios/engagement with ‘real life’ developments to obtain grass-roots feedback;
  • Capacity building amongst and information on national, regional/local stakeholders (communities, regional and local municipalities and authorities, developers, policy makers, others) and EU policymakers, empowering them to envisage putting forward new pathways for social acceptance and explore options for improving the permitting process of wind farms and their associated grid infrastructure.
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Contact

European Wind Energy Association
Belgium
Contact point: 
Name: 
Wokke Sharon
Tel: 
+32-22131839

Budget

In brief

Duration:
01/05/2014 to 31/10/2016
Contract number: 
IEE-13-528

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