Compensating communities to reduce resistance to energy infrastructure development

February 1, 2018
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Ireland has ambitious plans to reduce the level of greenhouse gases emitted from electricity generation by increasing the amount of power that is generated from renewable technologies. Doing so will require a significant expansion of wind farms, and an accompanying expansion of the electricity transmission network (the “grid”). Previous analyses that we have conducted have shown that Irish residents are generally favourably disposed towards further development of renewable generation technologies; however, in practice, planners and policy makers are frequently met with objections from local communities to specific siting proposals. Community resistance to electricity infrastructure development can result in unhappy residents, frustrated planners, and project delays. In this research we consider a range of procedures that could be adopted in order to involve local communities in these projects. Such procedures may potentially reduce resistance amongst local communities.