Public reactions towards wind energy instalments. Case study: Romania and the Netherlands

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Abstract

Wind energy experienced an exponential development in the past two decades, forming a main source of energy today, but also a frequently encountered issue of debate due to the increased proximity of wind turbines to citizens’ residence, especially in the case of the Western part of the European Union. Although the benefits of renewable sources of energy represent a compulsory effort towards ensuring sustainable energy strategies for the future, due to the increased pressure of balancing climate change, limitation of traditional energy resources and economic competition, the expansion of wind parks has caused strong reactions of local communities in many regions leading to the reorganization of public exposure strategies of many companies in the field. This research intends to offer a sample of public perceptions of wind turbines depending on several influence factors, based on the answers of 64 Dutch citizens and 40 Romanian respondents. Through the implementation of the Delphi method based on questionnaires and interviews, an overview of perceptions towards placement of wind turbines in the two analyzed countries has been offered, providing significant answers to the influence factors of public reactions for or against wind turbines. The main results of the research revealed the importance of financial benefits in increasing public acceptance of wind farms, as well as several subjective factors, such as the visual impact of wind turbines and onshore or offshore placement, that contribute to a positive or negative behavior of citizens towards it.

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