Different pasts, contested presents and desired futures: local narratives and identities in the co-production of a shared wind energy ownership model

Lene Gjørtler Elkjær*, David Philipp Rudolph, Maja Horst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Previously, local actors have often had a stake in renewable energy projects through cooperative ownership and other variants of community energy configurations. However, the increase in project size and necessary investments as well as policy shifts towards auctions and “local energy” have made it difficult for communities to obtain a stake in such developments, while also increasing the potential for controversies. This article investigates the construction of a shared ownership model of a utility-scale wind farm by identifying three narratives presented by local actors and exposes how these narratives position them to shape the ownership configuration of the project to their advantage. We show how local actors’ stories construct the development in the local area as business as usual, tragic degradation or potentially an epic turn-around. These different constructions of the wind power project draw on different historical developments, construct different presents and envision different futures as a result of the proposed wind power project. Furthermore, we disentangle how these constructions and different perceptions of time employed by the actor groups legitimize different ownership structures and project configurations, thus co-producing the project and the trajectory of local development. We end by arguing that such narratives related to the (il)legitimacy of renewable energy projects are important for the ability to move the renewable energy transition forward in a just manner.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLocal Environment
Volume28
Issue12
Pages (from-to)1515-1533
Number of pages19
ISSN1354-9839
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Community energy
  • local energy
  • narrative
  • shared ownership
  • time

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