27 Jan 2022
27 Jan 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Acceptance of wind energy – Theoretical concepts, empirical drivers and some open questions

Michael Ruddat Michael Ruddat
  • University of Stuttgart, ZIRIUS – Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies, Seidenstr. 36, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany

Abstract. The further development of wind energy is of major importance for the success of the energy system transformation in Germany and elsewhere. This transition process is not an easy task. For example, the yearly installed capacity of wind energy onshore in Germany is declining since 2017. Only relatively few new wind turbines were constructed especially in 2019. Problems are for example minimum distance requirements (e. g. residential areas, air safety), the high complexity of planning processes and local protests. Social science research has now dealt with the topic of wind energy acceptance for quite some time. On the one hand, the specific kind of acceptance (e.g. local acceptance) has been subject to scientific discourse. On the other hand, different empirical drivers (e. g. perceived distributional or procedural fairness, trust in relevant actors of the transformation process, risk/benefit perceptions, participation) have been of special interest. This review deals with central theoretical concepts as well as qualitative and quantitative empirical findings of social science research concerning the acceptance of wind energy in Germany and elsewhere. Although there has been already a lot of valuable scientific work done, there are still some open questions left.

Michael Ruddat

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Invited Review Report on wes-2021-118', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Michael Ruddat, 02 Mar 2022
      • RC6: 'Reply on AC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2021-118', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Feb 2022
    • RC3: 'Reply on RC2', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Feb 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Michael Ruddat, 02 Mar 2022
      • RC4: 'Reply on AC2', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Mar 2022
  • RC5: 'Comment on wes-2021-118', Anonymous Referee #3, 09 Mar 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC5', Michael Ruddat, 12 Mar 2022

Michael Ruddat

Michael Ruddat


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Short summary
This is a review article concerning the main factors influencing acceptance of wind energy. Research has shown that risk and benefit perceptions, the fair distribution of these riks and benefits, participation in the decision-making process, trust in relevant actors like for example local authorities and the managemnt of for example visual impacts of wind turbines can have effects on the acceptance of wind projects. Open questions remain concerning for example what is a fair distribution.