Wind energy projects exist within, and not separate from, communities. Wind energy deployment may raise considerable concerns in local communities about possible impacts such as noise, landscape and visual disturbance, local economic impacts and land use issues. It is very important to explain to communities and to local authority all environmental and economic impacts and benefits of the project.
Here are several common recomendattions and facts for investors/develper of the projects. What is optimum to provide should be decided by investor/developer on a case by case basis:
1Be as open and transparent as possible
From the start, investor need to tell people what the project is about, what the possible implications/outcomes are and why it is important for them to participate.
Investor need to respond quickly and openly to requests for information and clarification as well as making yourself available for one to one meetings when possible.
2Providing detailed information on local benefits such as municipal charges, leases, rates, taxes or financial/economic development contribution.
Local impacts and benefits should be identified and presented in detail. Community gain should be identified and communicated clearly. Innovative community gain models should be considered e.g. leveraging Government incentives for energy efficiency or renewable technology. The revenues accruing to local authorities in development fees and taxes should be itemised and only allocated to local budgets and projects.
3 Communicating on the assessment of potential effects (environmental, visual, noise,…) compared to environmental impacts/benefits/advantages/disadvantages of other solutions for satisfying local or national energy requirements in the future.
4Enabling access to the wind farms for husbandry and livestock owners
Experience demonstrates the possible coexistence of husbandry with wind farms. Husbandry might get good acces road to their lands near the wind farms. Livestock owners in the area can still graze animals within the wind farm area. They may therefore prefer to have a wind farm instead of another economic activity on the site.
5Considering different kinds of benefit schemes: community funds, benefits in kind, local ownership, local employment
Community buy-in is influenced by the destination of the financial revenues from wind farms: community funds providing indirect community benefits, equitable benefit schemes, and electricity price reductions can help create a basis for community acceptance.
6Maximising the tourism potential of de development of the wind farm
A wind farm can constitute a popular tourist destination, enhancing the local tourism sector. A wind farm can be harmoniously integrated within the local natural and built environment and constitute a popular tourist destination, enhancing the local tourism sector.
7Developing other RE projects around the wind farm
Developing the complementarity of wind energy with other renewable energy industries in the same area is an interesting idea, as it can foster the creation of local jobs and secure the stability of the power supply.
8 Organising events around wind energy
Global Wind Day occurs on June 15th each year and developers can take the opportunity to open their projects to the public, host organised events for schools, the local community or for residents close to a proposed project.