The impact of community split on the acceptance of wind turbines

Itay Fischhendler, Lior Herman*, Alexandra Barr, Gillad Rosen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public acceptance is critical to the successful implementation of renewable energy policy. Most of the literature on public acceptance within the community framework has focused on the tension between neighboring communities or the conflict between state planning processes and the needs of local communities. The community, in these cases, is often categorized as a unified and homogeneous unit of measurement. This emphasis on aggregate numbers at the regional and national levels rather than the community level conceals the inequalities that are likely to lurk beneath the surface and therefore hinder the renewable transformation. In an effort to understand the nuances of renewable energy conflict within a community and its effect on public acceptance, this article examines the acceptance of the establishment of renewable energy projects on a kibbutz and a moshav – two cooperative forms of rural settlement in Israel. Our findings suggest that policymakers interested in promoting renewable energy should also pay attention to inner community dynamics in order to foster bridge building initiatives and community cohesiveness. If the priority is to maintain the cohesion of an existing community, policymakers should first seek fairness and respect social acceptance. In both cases, religion was found to act as a strong pacifying factor shaping both community cohesion and community acceptance. In addition, it was found that a deep split within the community renders the introduction of monetary incentives inconsequential.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalSolar Energy
Volume220
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the excellent research assistance of Shachar Yaari and Omer Kahana. We are also grateful for the generous support of the Israeli Ministry of Energy (Grant 217-11-039) and the University of California Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies (travel grant).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 International Solar Energy Society

Keywords

  • Community
  • Conflict
  • Israel
  • Kibbutz
  • Renewable energy

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