Faculty Speaker Series - Birgitte Olsen

26 Mar 2015

Faculty Speaker Series - Birgitte Olsen

8:45am - 10:00am

Cornell Seminar

Cornell Library Seminar Room

​​“Local Acceptance of Wind Energy Projects”


Birgitte Egelund Olsen, Law Department, Aarhus University, Denmark



Surveys show that public attitudes towards renewable energy are highly positive, particularly in all the major renewable energy producing countries. However, individual renewable energy projects do not always win the support of the public, and a common feature, especially of large-scale renewable energy infrastructure projects such as wind farms, is that they often give rise to strong local opposition. In many countries, renewable energy projects are increasingly confronted with local opposition that extends the project development period, raises costs and in some cases even brings otherwise viable projects to a halt.


The legal and regulatory framework for renewable energy projects may have significant implications as regards local acceptance. This is particularly relevant as regards planning and environmental assessment procedures where public participation is an important element. The design of such procedures, their level of complexity as well as the role (or performance) of the authorities may determine e.g. the level of trust in public regulation and decision-making. Furthermore, the regulatory framework may include proactive policy measures specifically aimed at increasing local acceptance.


This presentation will examine the need for incentives to enhance local acceptance of wind energy projects, especially on-shore but also in coastal areas. Different financial instruments will be introduced focusing on local ownership initiatives and models to compensate for loss of value to real property due to wind turbines. The presentation will take a starting point in Danish experiences.​


This lecture is open to VLS faculty, students, and staff. Light refreshments will be served.

Questions? Concerns? Contact Courtney Collins at ccollins@vermontlaw.edu