Category: Renewable Energy and the Public

Towards a Broader Framing of. Social Science Research

Above all, this volume suggests the limitations of a narrow framing of social science research into public engagement with renewable energy. A literature that to date has been rather dominated by research into residents’ acceptance or resist­ance to developer-led, large-scale onshore wind farms (Devine-Wright, 2005) is revealed in this book to be much broader in […]

Two Roles Played by Social Science

Firstly, social scientists can systematically monitor and evaluate engagement activities, including participatory or deliberative mechanisms; seeking to identify whether objectives were met and goals realized, and making recommendations for future practice (see, for example, the chapters in this volume by Ashworth, Upham, Pasqualetti and Improta). Robust, independent evaluative research is beneficial for three reasons: (1) […]


Patrick Devine-Wright Renewable energy is a vital element of national strategies to respond to the threat of climate change, as well as to address concerns over energy security. Social science has a vitally important contribution to make in the transition towards increased use of renewable energy, with two clear ways of informing policies and practices […]

(Dis)empowering and (dis)engaging public(s)

In debates around public acceptance of energy infrastructure, formal processes for engagement have been positioned as integral to siting and planning (Haggett, 2009). In attempting to provide understanding of public engagement with low carbon technologies in local contexts, then, how such processes are conceived can be seen as being of high significance. Our participants perceived […]

The Study

The research materials on which this analysis is based are drawn from a larger qualitative study which involved meeting with 53 interviewees (some interviews involved more than one person) on two occasions (total interviews, n=82) as well as visual methodologies within two case study sites (Aberthaw in South Wales and Hinkley Point in southwest England); […]

Setting the Scene

A significant number of prior empirical studies have examined the perspectives of citizens in localities that host major infrastructure developments. The focus of such work has of course varied, but encompassed within this body of empirical research are works that have examined sites for energy developments, with nuclear energy and wind power receiving particular attention. […]