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Repower to the people: The scope for repowering to increase the scale of community shareholding in commercial onshore wind assets in Great Britain

Philpott, Adam; Windemer, Rebecca

Repower to the people: The scope for repowering to increase the scale of community shareholding in commercial onshore wind assets in Great Britain Thumbnail


Authors

Adam Philpott



Abstract

Internationally, commercial onshore wind farms are starting to reach the end of their operational or consent life, posing a new and mounting challenge with potentially dramatic permutations for the sector. Replacing existing turbines with new infrastructure through repowering has the potential to significantly increase the installed capacity of existing onshore wind sites without also increasing the footprint of development. However, local community opinions will form an important aspect of such end-of-life decision making. Traditionally, community benefit funds have been used to provide financial payments to host communities, but this is not always what is sought by a local community. The repowering of wind sites presents a distinct moment to reconsider and renegotiate how a local community benefits from hosting wind infrastructure. Herein lies an opportunity for the community to partner with commercial developers to obtain shared ownership of repowering projects, potentially through the support of existing community energy organisations. This paper draws upon semi-structured interviews with commercial developers, community energy practitioners and intermediary bodies in Great Britain to critically evaluate, for the first time, the scope for repowering to increase the scale of community shareholding in commercial onshore wind assets. The findings reveal support for shared ownership in principle with various rationales for this support, but many challenges are identified in practice. Recommendations are provided regarding how planning systems and government policy could evolve to facilitate shared ownership during repowering.

Citation

Philpott, A., & Windemer, R. (2022). Repower to the people: The scope for repowering to increase the scale of community shareholding in commercial onshore wind assets in Great Britain. Energy Research and Social Science, 92(October 2022), 102763. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2022.102763

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 3, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 17, 2022
Publication Date Oct 1, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 17, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 18, 2022
Journal Energy Research and Social Science
Print ISSN 2214-6296
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 92
Issue October 2022
Pages 102763
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2022.102763
Keywords Onshore wind Repowering Energy justice Community energy Shared ownership Community shareholding
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/9863550
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629622002663

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