Ⅱ. Towards a New Policy Framework for Renewable Energy in the European Union
Ⅲ. Wind Power in Germany
Ⅳ. Wind Power and Social Acceptance at the Regional Level: The Case of Saxony and Thuringia in East Germany
This paper discusses the framework conditions to promote the socially inclusive and environmentally sound uptake of renewable energy with a special focus on wind power in Germany and on the policy framework of the European Union (EU). The analysis of these aspects relates to the achievement of one of the Sustainable Development Goals, namely SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy). Wind power plays an important role for mastering the energy transition, but in many countries of the EU, wind energy has become a subject of contested debates. Besides geographic, market, policy, and other factors which affect the implementation of wind energy projects, low levels of market deployment can also be attributed to a diminishing social acceptance and growing local opposition. This is mostly due to the visual impact, noise annoyance, public perception of health risks, local environmental disruption harming local fauna and flora, potentially negative impact on recreation and tourism, or land and real property values as well as to perceived procedural or distributional injustice including affordability of electricity prices, and insufficient public participation. The paper provides insights from an ongoing research project supported by the European Commission under the research programme Horizon 2020. The WinWind Project identifies similarities and differences between regions in five EU countries and in Norway highlighting barriers and drivers for the uptake of wind energy. The paper analyses the European and the German policy frameworks, social acceptance barriers and drivers in two regions of East Germany, and describes promising approaches that drive social acceptance and enhance the environmentally sound uptake of wind energy projects.
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