How to increase renewables, whilst maintaining community support?

5 July 2023

We know we need to increase renewable energy capacity to address the climate crisis but how can we do this while maintaining public support? Public support for renewable energy is at an all-time high, yet why does this support often disappear the moment a planning application is submitted?

Research suggests it’s because:

  • Communities feel they are not sufficiently involved in decisions and the trade-offs between different options
  • People’s emotional attachment to their place and feelings for their local landscape are not taken into account
  • Communities don’t benefit enough from hosting projects

In other words, most people understand the need to scale up renewable energy to phase out fossil fuels. At the same time, they want to meaningfully influence how and where this happens, and these expectations are not being fulfilled by current approaches. More nuanced public engagement is vital if we’re to increase renewable energy deployment.

CSE is rolling out a new bottom-up community engagement approach called Future Energy Landscapes (FEL). The Future Energy Landscapes approach is a way of involving local communities in how and where renewable energy gets developed around them, the types and scales of renewable energy which might be acceptable to them, the landscape impacts they’d accept and how they might benefit. It’s proven to harness the support we know is out there and can be used by local communities and local authorities to convene debate, influence policy and spin off possible projects.

Access our free resources, and register your interest for future low cost training here.

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