This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project.
A new article in the journal Energy Policy supports the notion that local ownership is key to overcoming local resistance to renewable energy. The article summarizes a survey conducted of two towns in Germany, both with local wind projects, but only one that was locally owned. The results are summarized in this chart:
Guess which town has the locally owned project?
If you guessed Zschadraß, you win. With local ownership of the wind project, 45% of residents had a positive view toward more wind energy. In the town with an absentee-owned project (Nossen), only 16% of residents had a positive view of expanding wind power; a majority had a negative view.
Ownership matters, an important consideration given the increasing local resistance to wind power projects and the way in which U.S. renewable energy policy typically makes local ownership more difficult. For more on the value of ownership, see How Community Ownership Can Save Wind Power.