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Increasing the Social Acceptance of Wind Energy: Horizon2020 project WinWind feeds policy processes across Europe

21 January 2019 00:00

In its Clean Energy Package, the EU Commission emphasises the role of local and citizen energy communities as drivers for the energy transition, and the enhancement of a socially inclusive and environmentally sound market uptake of renewable energy. As a perquisite and in parallel however, it is crucial to increase the social acceptance of renewable energy sources (RES).

Since November 2017, the H2020 project WinWind aims to contribute to this larger goal in the wind sector, focussing on regions with a comparatively low market uptake of wind energy in Germany, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland and Spain. Fostering a continued dialogue via regional thematic workshops, the project has managed to engage local stakeholders, including wind energy opponents. The workshops are informed by local experiences and good practices from other regions, as well as the extensive research into social, economic and environmental characteristics influencing the market deployment of wind energy, undertaken in the first months of the project.

The need for the inclusive stakeholder engagement, is proven by the high recognition received at both political level as well as from the relevant stakeholders in all six project countries, and the demand for the expertise gained so far, which already feeds policy processes in Latvia and Spain:

  • WinWind partners from the Latvian Environmental Investment Fund, have joined a working group of the Ministry for Regional Development and Environmental Protection of Latvia with the aim, to facilitate the development of the RES sector in Latvia. The results will feed new regulatory processes and planning documents in the Ministry of Regional Development and Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry of Economics.  
  • In Spain, project partner ECORYS was invited to share experiences gained in the frame of the public consultation process for the approval of the new Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition in the Balearic Islands, and to feed the discussion about the potential impact of new energy systems in the archipelago.

In its second half, the project's work will more and more engage policy makers from the local to the European level with the aim to ultimately prepare a set of policy recommendations on socially inclusive and environmentally sound market uptake of wind energy.

The project also aims to transfer good practice solutions within local, regional, and national contexts. As a first step towards a complete transfer guide, a good practice portfolio with cases from all project counties, was just released.


About the project:

Wind power plays an important role for mastering the energy transition. Aside from market, policy, technical, and geographic factors, a lack of social acceptance has also begun to slow down the development of wind power.

WinWind is a project under the EU H2020 research and innovation programme, that aims to enhance the socially inclusive and environmentally sound market uptake of wind energy by increasing its social acceptance in 'wind energy scarce regions' (WESR). The specific objectives are: screening, analysing, discussing, replicating, testing and disseminating feasible solutions for increasing social acceptance and thereby the uptake of wind energy. The project considers from a multidisciplinary perspective cases of WESR in Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Norway and Poland. These selected countries represent a variety of realities ranging from large (but with WESR) to very scarce wind energy penetration. Each country hosts a Stakeholder Desk taking-up the operational tasks of the project. The desks consist of the local project partners and selected stakeholders and market actors (e.g. developers, investors, community energy groups, associations, local/regional authorities, policy-makers, and NGOs)


For a selection of downloadable photos, please visit our Flickr album.


Julia Kittel

Officer, Communications and Member Relations
ICLEI Europe, Leopoldring 3, 79098, Freiburg, Germany