An array of deficits: unpacking NIMBY discourses in wind energy developer's conceptualizations of their local opponents

Kate Burningham, Julie Barnett, Gordon Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)
226 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

UK energy policy contains ambitious goals for increased deployment of renewable energy technologies (RETs), but concern remains about the potential of local opposition to obstruct proposed developments. Despite emerging academic consensus that characterizing opposition to RET siting as NIMBYism is problematic, the discourse remains strong in popular debate. This article responds to calls for sociological research on both ascriptions of NIMBYism and the use of deficit models. Through an analysis of interviews with key actors in the renewable energy industry, we explore the ways in which a discourse of NIMBYism is evident in their descriptions of local wind farm opponents. We conceptualize this discourse as embodying an array of deficit models of the public and public knowledge. This is significant not only because developers' constructions of publics inform their modes of engagement with them, but also because they may influence public responses themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-260
Number of pages15
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Volume28
Issue number3
Early online date15 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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