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Throughout the world, the threat of climate change is pressing governments to accelerate the deployment of technologies to generate low carbon electricity or heat. But this is frequently leading to controversy, as energy and planning policies are revised to support new energy sources or technologies (e.g. offshore wind, tidal, bioenergy or hydrogen energy) and communities face the prospect of unfamiliar, often large-scale energy technologies being sited near to their homes. Policy makers in many countries face tensions between 'streamlining' planning procedures, engaging with diverse publics to address what is commonly conceived as 'NIMBY' (not in my back yard) opposition, and the need to maintain democratic, participatory values in planning systems. This volume provides a timely, international review of research on public engagement, in contexts of diverse, innovative energy technologies. Public engagement is conceived broadly - as the interaction between how developers and other key actors engage with publics about energy technologies (including assumptions held about the methods used, such as the provision of financial benefits or the holding of deliberative events), and how individuals and groups engage with energy policies and projects (including indirectly through the media and directly through emotional and behavioural responses). The book's contributors are leading experts in the UK, Europe, North and South America and Australia drawn from a variety of relevant social science disciplinary perspectives. The book makes a significant contribution to our existing knowledge, as well as providing interested professionals, policymakers and members of the public with a timely overview of the critical issues involved in public engagement with low carbon energy technologies.
Patrick Devine-Wright researches social and psychological aspects of new energy infrastructure such as wind farms, drawing on the concepts of place attachment and place identity to explain 'NIMBY' responses. He holds a chair in Human Geography at the University of Exeter, UK.
Table of Contents
Figures, Tables and Boxes
Public Engagement with Renewable Energy: Introduction
Symmetries, expectations, dynamics and contexts: A framework for understanding public engagement with renewable energy projects
'Planning and persuasion': Public engagement in renewable energy decision-making
Beyond consensus? Agonism, republicanism and a low carbon future
Public roles and socio-technical configurations: Diversity in renewable energy deployment in the UK and its implications
From backyards to places: Public engagement and the emplacement of renewable energy technologies
Empirical studies of public engagement
Stakeholder and media representations of public engagement
Discourses on the implementation of wind power: Stakeholder views on public engagement
Governing the reconfiguration of energy in Greater London: Practical public engagement as 'delivery'
Envisioning public engagement with renewable energy: An empirical analysis of images within the UK national press 2006/2007
Nimbyism and community consultation in electricity transmission network planning
Case studies of public beliefs and responses:
Future energy scenarios
Turning the heat on: Public engagement in Australia's energy future
Solor energy and microgeneration
Shaping people's engagement with microgeneration technology: The case of solar photovoltaics in UK homes
Siting solar power in Arizona: A public value failure?
Socio-environmental research on energy sustainable communities: Participation experiences of two decades
Yes in my back yard: UK householders pioneering microgeneration technologies
Socio-environmental impacts of Brazil's first large-scale wind farm
Perceptions and preferences regarding offshore wind power in the United States: The leading edge of a new energy source for the Americas
The limits of upstream engagement in an emergent technology: Lay perceptions of hydrogen energy technologies
Public engagement with wind-hydrogen technology: A comparative study
Symbolic interpretations of wave energy in the UK: Surfers' perspectives
Heat and light: Understanding bioenergy siting controversy
Nuclear and renewable energy
From the material to the imagined: Public engagement with low carbon technologies in a nuclear community
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