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Research findings and decision making: the case of renewable energy

Product Type:. Publication Date newest to oldest Publication Date oldest to newest Relevance. ETDE Web. Renewable energy policy and politics: a handbook for decision making. Full Record Book:. Abstract At a time when renewable energy attracts varying degrees of political support and mixed success in policy implementation, clear information on why and how to promote renewable energy markets is much needed, for decision-makers in particular.

This book meets that need. The reason for exploiting renewable energy sources should not be because they are cheap, or because fossil fuels are running out. The crucial reasons are: saving the environment, developing new industries and establishing more secure sources of energy. This book outlines how renewable energies can be promoted at a political level, encouraging the expansion of current markets and the establishment of new industries. Critical pathways are made clear, and key stakeholders are identified and described. Acknowledging the importance of the media and the interaction between public and private bodies, this book sets out the rules of the game, the stakes and the strategies for success.

Publication Date: Feb 15, Our common goal is to facilitate community energy CE project development as part of a transition to renewable energy sources and create an understanding among stakeholders. However, community benefits are flexible schemes that could perform a useful function by providing the hosting community with a residual opportunity to effectively re-localise benefits and re open the debate about the their expectations and values. The eligibility of projects for the creation and enhancement of parks and open spaces, or of marine and coastal improvements in the Burbo Bank Extension Community Fund could, for instance, be interpreted as an implicit response to the concerns expressed by Hoylake Village Life.

From this perspective perhaps there is a window to frame community benefits as an alternative, although partial, mechanism for long term, ad hoc participation and recursive dialogue, beyond mere acceptance.

Renewable Energy Policy and Politics A handbook for decision making

There is no doubt that the conceptual nature of public participation in environmental decision-making is complex and ambiguous. Although individuals have the right to participate in decisions affecting their world, there is a clear tension between the procedural right to participate and be consulted and the extent to which individual rationalities and values are able to shape public decisions.

This article has offered a reflection on how this tension might affect the conceptual nature of participation and the models of engagement in environmental decision-making. The notion of participation as deliberative public dialogue and influence clashes fundamentally with a model of public acceptance, whereby participants are simply asked to accept and validate decisions already made. However, putting an emphasis on issues of framing the nature of participation as acceptance is a useful perspective to recast the way in which lawyers think about these issues.

From this perspective, the case of wind energy infrastructure provides some useful insight into the often implicit prominence of models of engagement based on acceptance. Limits on engagement can be taken for granted in the decision as to whether to grant development consent or not. But the limited opportunities for participation in mitigation measures and community benefits presented in the article might be read as taking an acceptance model of participation still further. However, it has been argued that there is more in the mitigation element of planning law and community benefits than mechanisms to serve an acceptance rationale of public engagement.

As they, respectively, have the significant potential to catalyse participation as collaborative problem-solving and constitute an alternative forum for deliberative public dialogue, they might turn from being an expression of the problem to being the beginning of the solution. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

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Google Scholar. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. Lee and others, ibid. The Planning Wales Act c 4 which received Royal Assent on 6 July will not be discussed here as the projects I am concerned with received consent in under the Planning Act A Clear Economic Plan.

See also s 78 Energy Act c. For Wales, consenting powers were subsequently transferred to the Welsh Ministers to align with the Planning Wales Act Depending on what we mean by acceptance, it is conceivable that a public acceptance model might be deliberative. However, my model of acceptance lacks of deliberative character. Fischer n Building on this analysis, Pieraccini n 46 and Steele n In the UK, opposition to onshore wind energy infrastructure has moved some of the developments offshore, but some of the issues remain. However, the question of whether compensation is strictly mitigation is complicated.

On mitigation as planning obligation, s Town and Country Planning Act DECC n 11 [2.

Renewable Energy Policy and Politics: A handbook for decision-making

I do not discuss financial compensation here, but see Rydin, Lee and Simon Lock n 7. Schedule 6 of the Infrastructure Act provides members of the community the right to buy stakes in local renewable electricity generation facilities. This potentially raises the question of whether these schemes will cease being voluntary benefits.

DECC Guidance n 8. See also Welsh Practice Guidance, ibid [ On planning conditions, Town and Country Planning Act , s On planning obligations, n These tests vary slightly. DECC Guidance n [15].

The distinction is however not clear cut as the mechanisms can coexist and overlap, leaving some discretion. Both framings are problematic.

DECC Guidance n See also Welsh Assembly Government n See also Bell and others n Non-Technical Summary March [1. Owens and Cowell n For a critique of aggregation of preferences, Sagoff n This policy shift on onshore wind energy is accompanied by the government commitment to end new subsidies for onshore wind farms by legislating the closure of the Renewables Obligation across Great Britain for new onshore wind generating stations.

Black, Part II n 25 37 arguing that advocating for greater participation is a point of departure rather than a conclusion. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals. Issue Section:. Download all figures. View Metrics. Email alerts New issue alert.

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