Energy, Society, and Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future

By David Elliott | Go to book overview

12

Public acceptance: the need for negotiation
• Local opposition to renewable projects
• The need to negotiate public acceptance
• Developing ‘social control’ of technology

The impacts of renewables are generally much less than those of conventional energy technologies, but there is still a need to negotiate public acceptance. This chapter reviews the wind farm case study and looks at how the debate has continued, with the focus moving on to attempts to ensure that local communities can have more direct involvement with, and benefits from, such projects. Local involvement is vital in that, rather than seeing local concerns as a problem, well-informed criticism might also be seen more positively as an attempt to subject technology to some form of direct social control. After all, one of the alleged benefits of at least some types of renewable energy technology was that they were likely to be more amenable to local democratic control than the preceding large-scale, centralised technologies.


Opposition to technology

Opposition to technology is not new. There are inevitably fears that new technologies will result in major social or environmental dislocations and sometimes this has proved to be the case. However, the scale of opposition to wind farms has, so far, been trivial in comparison with the opposition that has emerged to nuclear power. The same is true for the other renewables. Even so opposition does exist and in part this is because renewable energy systems tend to be very visible.

This has been a particular problem for wind turbines and the problem has

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Energy, Society, and Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Editors' Preface ix
  • Figures xii
  • Tables xiii
  • Boxes xiv
  • Author's Preface xv
  • Study Notes xix
  • Acknowledgements xxiv
  • Abbreviations xxvi
  • Part 1 - Environmental Problems 1
  • 1 - Technology and Society 3
  • 2 - Energy and Environment 17
  • 3 - Sustainable Technology 35
  • Part 2 - Sustainable Technology 47
  • 4 - Greening Technology 49
  • 5 - The Nuclear Alternative 65
  • 6 - Renewable Energy 85
  • 7 - Renewables Worldwide 103
  • 8 - Sustainable Energy Strategy 116
  • Part 3 - Problems of Implementation 129
  • 9 - Getting Started: Institutional Obstacles 131
  • 10 - Keeping Going: Deployment Problems 141
  • 11 - Case Study: Public Reactions to Uk Wind Farms 154
  • 12 - Public Acceptance: the Need for Negotiation 167
  • Part 4 - Sustainable Society 177
  • 13 - Sustainable Development 179
  • 14 - The Global Perspective 194
  • 15 - The Sustainable Future 205
  • Further Reading 218
  • 16 - Conclusions: the Way Ahead? 219
  • Glossary 232
  • Appendix I 234
  • Appendix II 236
  • Appendix III 238
  • References 239
  • Index 247
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