Community Ownership Boosts Support for Renewables

Date: 16 May 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A new article in the journal Energy Policy supports the notion that local ownership is key to overcoming local resistance to renewable energy.  The article summarizes a survey conducted of two towns in Germany, both with local wind projects, but only one that was locally owned.  The results are summarized in this chart:

Guess which town has the locally owned project? 

If you guessed Zschadraß, you win.  With local ownership of the wind project, 45% of residents had a positive view toward more wind energy.  In the town with an absentee-owned project (Nossen), only 16% of residents had a positive view of expanding wind power; a majority had a negative view.

Ownership matters, and U.S. renewable energy policy typically makes local ownership more difficult.

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John Farrell
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John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.