This project focuses on understanding how community engagement in wind energy can be improved

Project Insights

  • €541,198

    Total Project Costs
  • 4 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2018

    Year Funded

Project Description

The objective of this project is to better understand the ways in which community engagement in wind energy can be improved and operationalised through combined measures focussed on public participation in decision-making, direct investment and co-ownership in projects by the public and enhancing current practice by developers in establishing community benefits schemes. While renewable energy assets have been developed and comply with the various legal and regulatory frameworks, there have been suggestions that the 'social licence' to build, own and operate renewable energy projects from the communities in which they are located has not been forthcoming. This project will address this issue of 'social licence'. This concept ties in with rights and protections under the Aarhus convention1 which affords citizens a unique right to participate in decision-making on environmental matters. This also addresses challenges identified by the Citizen's Assembly2 on how to make Ireland a leader tackling climate change in the context of deliberative democracy. The project is being developed from a unique partnership between leading international researchers in these fields and a major wind energy developer, Coillte. This partnership provides an innovative way of sharing insights, data and access to information, for the researchers, but also provides ways of undertaking direct implementation in practice, through innovations to the Coillte development approach. Because of agreements around data sharing and intellectual property rights, turning insights into publicly available research outputs and direct recommendations for policy makers and other developers will be a priority.

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €541,198

Funding Agency: SEAI

Year Funded: 2018

Lead Organisation: University College Cork

Bernadette Power

Lead Researcher