Social Acceptability of Wind Power

The amount of electricity produced by wind power has increased globally as well as in Europe during the last decades. Although wind power is generally seen as an acceptable way to produce energy, local projects have faced an increasing amount of objection also in Finland. Local resistance influences individual projects as well as the transformation of the whole energy industry towards achieving the set climate goals. In 2017, Akordi created a set of workshops to increase the social acceptability of wind power production.

In 2017, Akordi initiated a project with purpose of providing skills for the wind power sector and the people who are dealing with wind power on how to anticipate and manage conflicts. Participants also learned how to build social acceptability and create so-called social license for their own activity. At the same time the aim was to improve social legitimacy of wind power as single, well managed and socially acceptable wind power projects can strengthen the positive attitude towards the whole field.

Project consisted of three parts:

  1. ”Acceptability workshop” was a series of workshops in which participants addressed the challenges of the wind power sector and developed new procedures,
  2. Developing social license barometer for wind power field: trials of the tool and learning from the trials,
  3. IEA Wind (Task 28 Social Acceptance of Wind Energy Projects) – international co-operation in which Akordi participated as a delegate of Finland. The purpose of the IEA Wind Task is to enhance and stimulate co-operation between wind power development projects and to offer the best available knowledge to the member countries.

The series of workshops worked as a platform for learning and seeking answers for the questions related to acceptability. The workshops that were designed and facilitated by Akordi covered relevant questions concerning wind power based on actors’ own experiences and needs combined with the newest research knowledge. In the workshops, actors innovated new methods to enhance stakeholder collaboration and ways to improve and observe acceptability.

Akordi produced content and material for the workshops based on the newest research knowledge and international best practices with the experience and knowledge of its own international networks (IEA Wind Task 28 ja Consensus Building Institute Global Network). WISEpower-project´s WeEngage-tool that was developed together with the Wind Power Association was also used as a basis for the workshops. Along with the workshops, enterprises were offered support to improve their own procedures towards better acceptability.