This project is aimed at better understanding the ways in which community engagement in wind energy can be improved through combined measures focussed on i) public participation in decision-making, ii) direct investment and co-ownership in projects by the public and iii) enhancing current practice by developers in establishing community benefits schemes.
Community benefit schemes and co-ownership are two financial structures being used by wind farm developers in Ireland to engage community groups. We will ask community groups their preferences between different project engagement / investment options. We will explore the viability and benefits of implementation of innovative financial structures in an Irish context. We will engage with the Irish financial community to see what innovative forms of low cost / tax efficient structures could be made available to Irish community groups.
Rather than a one-size-fits-all methodology, the results will provide a framework for engagement in Ireland to promote the 'social licence' to build, own and operate wind energy projects from the communities in which they are located. The project is being developed from a unique partnership between leading researchers in these fields and a major wind energy developer, FuturEnergy Ireland.
An analysis of the factors affecting Irish citizens’ willingness to invest in wind energy projects
Empowering onshore wind energy: A national choice experiment on financial benefits and citizen participation
Preliminary findings from a community survey presented at the SEAI National Energy Research and Policy Conference 2022: Societal Transformation.
Can community-owned wind farms help achieve economic freedom? RTE Brainstorm July 2022.
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)
Dr. Bernadette Power, Dr. Geraldine Ryan, Dr. John Eakins, Dr Ellen O’ Connor and Dr. Gordon Sirr Cork University Business School/Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork