Facing growing concerns over energy independence, climate change, and local economic development, state governments have mandated wind energy development by utility companies. As a result, wind farms and wind farm proposals now dot the national landscape, bringing with them a host of benefits, challenges, and concerns for local communities and policy makers.
Wind development has become a particularly contentious issue in many communities as they weigh the pros and cons of wind energy for their area. In some places, this leads to the formation of vocal, yet highly polarized opposition and support groups, which tend to exclude neutral, undecided, or cautiously opinionated individuals. There is often little exchange of ideas that could help communities develop consensus around their feelings toward wind energy development as a whole.
For the last seven years, the Windvisual Project has responded to the need for greater community deliberation about wind energy planning. Our main objective has been to engage community organizations, local political bodies and wind energy professionals in creating wind energy policy and projects that are reflective of local values.
This research has been funded through two National Science Foundation grants (#SES 0724672 and #SES 1027294) to Roopali Phadke at Macalester College.
- Reports detailing the results from four symposia on the visual and social impacts of wind development around the nation.
- A guide to conducting a wind energy symposium using our research guidelines.
- Ten case studies of local controversies around wind development.
- Maps depicting the state of wind energy development and opposition in the U.S.
- An analysis of the application of Visual Impact Assessments to wind development.
- Various creative responses in support or protest of wind energy.
- A bibliography of resources for further information.
For questions, please contact the project investigator, Roopali Phadke: firstname.lastname@example.org.