The social license to operate in the onshore wind energy industry: a comparative case study of Scotland and South Africa

Stephens, Siân ORCID logoORCID: and Robinson, Bryan (2021) The social license to operate in the onshore wind energy industry: a comparative case study of Scotland and South Africa. Energy Policy, 148 (b) , 111981. ISSN 0301-4215 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111981)

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The operations of the onshore wind energy industry are seen by some to cause significant disruption to local communities and there is much debate regarding the extent of national and local support for onshore windfarms. Much like the more traditional energy industries such as mining and oil extraction, the onshore wind energy industry must seek a Social License to Operate (SLO) in order to ensure a long-term and sustainable investment. However, the attitudes of local and national communities to onshore wind farms can vary quite widely, which exposes operations to political and economic risks and raises questions regarding the conditions under which an SLO may be reliably obtained. The research presented here examines the role of government policy and ownership structure in the SLO of two operations in two very different national contexts; Scotland and South Africa. Findings from twenty-three qualitative interviews show that ownership structure is not a significant contributor to the community's support of the operation, and that government policy is an important facilitator of community approval. However, it is also shown that the mechanisms of this facilitation are heavily context dependent. The policy implications of this are discussed and recommendations for government and company policy are offered.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > International Management and Innovation > Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics group
Item ID: 31306
Notes on copyright: © 2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
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Depositing User: Sian Stephens
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2020 15:42
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 18:05

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