Participation and wind energy, a review of the Scottish and Andalusian strategy through content analysis
Albaladejo Vargas, Sara
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The shift from government to governance and the inclusion of new actors in the domain of renewable energy has been regarded to have the potential to create an active civil society, especially in the countryside, in a move away from a centralised state to small autonomous clusters. Renewable energy lends itself better for wider public involvement and even ownership than traditional fossil fuel power plants, as it can allow for smaller development and doesn't need the degree of centralisation for diffusion in the same way as carbon fuels. In a sense, Energy, a traditionally state matter, has been brought to a more popular ground due to the decentralised nature of the wind resources and wind power. However, this does not necessarily mean that citizens are now in control of wind power. They are, however, closer to the generation of energy. The interesting question to ask now is, how do institutional authorities accommodate to this shift? I have explored this theme focusing on the regions of Scotland and Andalusia (southern Spain), and attempted to analyse their most recent (public publication on summer 2014) executive strategy for Renewable Energy development until 2020. Mobilising the literature on public participation and wind energy and environmental policy, I have identified issues that arise in the process of institutionalisation of participation. On these issues, I have built a methodological framework to assess to what extent Scotland and Andalusia have recognized and integrated these issues, and how they have responded.