The WIMBY project is dedicated to increasing the use of wind power as a renewable energy source by addressing challenges that threaten its deployment, such as restrictive regulations and negative public perception.
Innovative models are used to assess wind power development impacts and potential conflicts and synergies, while guidelines are developed to increase public engagement. The project results are then translated into practical information for stakeholders to make informed decisions and shared via open-access repositories and social media.
In addition, the project will provide a Web-GIS interactive platform to enhance the accessibility and usability of the information and allow knowledge exchange from various stakeholders. The platform enables the early engagement of local stakeholders and citizens, involving them from the beginning of the project in the planning, implementation, and operating processes of wind farm deployment.
By facilitating societal engagement and support for wind power, the project aims to contribute to the decarbonisation strategy of the EU.
tenets of Transitional Justice in WIMBY
Identify the concern
Requiring an analysis of objective impact, distributional effects and repercussions
Justice as Recognition
Identify whom it affects
And how impact and repercussions are perceived subjectively by the groups
Identify remediation strategies
Through an interactive immersive 3D environment and a Web-GIS forum based empowerment process
The WIMBY project will analyse how wind power affects the different communities and ecosystems across Europe thanks to a series of interactive engagement tools. Through studies and data collection, the research will develop scenarios, guidelines and models that can be applied on a large scale.
The project is a multilevel study, where the team’s experience and existing studies are applied on four pilot cases. It will proceed as follows:
- Identify and assess the concerns and impacts from social, health, and environmental perspectives
- Existing data from NEWA (link) and Global Atlas of siting parameters GASP (link) and GASPOC (link) to allow computation of various technical, economic and human-relevant parameters (e.g. capacity factors, LCOE, noise etc.)
- Impact assessments related with land and sea use and with the affected ecosystems.
- Comparative risk assessments of impacts on society, health and sustainability.
- Identify who are the different actors affected
- Stakeholder mapping and MCSA, aimed at the identification of the different actors potentially benefitting from receiving incentives, social influences involved and situational socioeconomic dependencies between stakeholders. The results will be included in “prototype cases” to further explore in field studies within the four pilot sites regions, where observational studies will take place and the methodology will be refined and validated.
- Stakeholder engagement in pilot sites, where the approach will be tested through workshops and guidelines and recommendations will be derived to formulate suggestions.
- Identify trade-offs and synergies between impacts to create deployment strategies
- Holistic system analysis, taking into consideration not only high-level techno-economic details, but also the social and ecological factors determining to what extent and in which location the wind energy can be actually deployed, weighting criteria according to expert judgement as well as stakeholder preferences towards the optimal trade-off between cost implications and minimisation of impacts.
- Geospatial mapping and assessment through interactive tools co-created with stakeholders and developed as a whole platform where a WebGIS, an immersive 3D simulation tool and a discussion forum will be used as empowering tools for multi-stakeholder interaction.
- Collection of guidelines and best practices for policy makers at the regional, national, and European level, derived from the feedback on the multi-criteria stakeholder analysis (MCSA) and the WIMBY interactive tools and laying the foundation for future participatory engagement approaches.
- Apply Citizen Science and Social research methodologies to involve local stakeholders in decision-making processes
In WIMBY a tailored MCSA framework will focus on the active inclusion of citizens in all decision-making processes, offering opportunities to express needs and concerns. In parallel, they will also have a word in the definition of proper business models for financial participation, for example as energy community members. Satisfaction and acceptance questionnaires will ensure that the most important criteria, sub-criteria and parameters affecting their opinion are pointed out.
This is the reason why social science and humanities (SSH) are central to WIMBY. Their input is essential to:
- Translate research results into usable information for real-life applications.
- Investigate the acceptance of wind-power project.
- Formulate questions triggering foster positive exchange.
- Build on the skills, capacities, resources, and ideas of citizens.
- Collect feedback through appreciative inquiries.
- Properly adopt Citizen Science, collective deliberation, and co-creation approaches.
Evaluation of the impacts on the biodiversity (terrestrial and marine fauna), estimation of wind resources availability and their consequences on land and sea use.
Evaluation of how wind farms affect the local communities and addressing issues concerning governance, regulation, health, safety and landscape impacts.
Identification of the best areas for wind power farms deployment, while assessing through validated models how wind turbines impact on the local environment and identify methods to foster social acceptance.
Validation of modelling tools and development of guidelines to deliver clear overviews of the cumulative impacts of wind installations and facilitate the identification of future areas of deployment (local, regional, national and European level).
Implementation of a Web-GIS interactive forum where stakeholders and local communities can exchange information, ideas and inputs to support the planning of new wind turbines and wind parks.
Development of an immersive 3D environment that allows stakeholders to visualise and better understand the impacts and the trade-offs of wind energy development in their communities, in order to promote social awareness and early engagement of the citizens.
Development of a framework for wind farm planning. It will include guidelines for participatory processes based on the interaction and the opinions of the citizens exchanged on the Web-GIS forum, which will be directly accounted for in decision making. This process strengthens public awareness and knowledge, and participation procedures will be democratised.