How does the export of renewable energy affect the social acceptability of wind-farm development?

Project Insights

  • €233,796

    Total Project Costs
  • 3 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2018

    Year Funded

Project Description

Economic growth requires a supply of affordable energy. The improved cost effectiveness of wind-energy has made it increasingly viable technology for this function. Wind-farms are associated with community-objection due to the perceived disruption they create. This can undermine swift transition to wind-based energy production. The EU Renewable Energy Directive sets out to achieve 20% of its energy production from renewable sources by 2020. The directive allows member-states to import energy from renewable sources as a means of achieving their individual renewable energy targets. Some argue that the flexibility associated with the trade of renewable energy between nations can be mutually beneficial to both countries, resulting in increased energy security, lower electricity prices and system efficiencies. The proposed research is cognisant of this fact and developments in EU and international policy regarding international trade in the renewable energy sector. It poses a timely and critical question: How does the export of renewable energy affect the social acceptability of wind-farm development and what is the nature of any social costs? It investigates how the social-acceptance issue impacts costs associated with wind-farm deployment. The project will investigate the preferences of Irish residents for the development of export-based wind-farms using a choice experiment, a public survey instrument and econometric analyses. Outputs from the project will have a lasting impact on the direction of research in renewable energy. The proposed research will also have direct impact on international renewable-energy development policy by informing estimates of the social and economic costs associated with wind-energy exportation.

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €233,796

Funding Agency: SEAI

Year Funded: 2018

Lead Organisation: National University of Ireland, Galway

Thomas van Rensburg

Lead Researcher