Vindkraft och lokala förankringsprocesser : Perspektiv på deltagande, förståelse och acceptans

Sammanfattning: This study examines different meanings attached to and practices adopted during Swedish local consultation processes on offshore wind power projects. It analyses the role played by those processes in a democratic planning context, as well as the ways in which they are implemented. It also identifies overarching process models. The study is informed by theories on democracy, planning, participation, communication, and media. The empirical material comprises three case studies, each examining experiences of local consultation processes for wind power projects that led to differences in local reception. Methodologically, the study triangulates analyses of semi-structured interviews, documents and news articles.The results show that, in a Swedish context, the role of local consultation processes is to create legitimacy and trust in the process and planning decisions. The complex dynamics become evident in the different forms of participation, knowledge generation, and communication employed during the consultation. This is shown to be the result of various democratic and planning attitudes to locally-situated interests and knowledge, which in turn lead to differing views on local understanding for and acceptance of project proposals. The study develops three schematic models that correspond to different types of consultation processes. An important conclusion is that the content and form of local consultation processes depends on the agency of several actors on different scales. They are not simple pre-designed by project planners, but the result of a far more complex interaction between a host of local actors, including officials, local media, and local communities. The categorisation of different local consultation processes could contribute to awareness about the implications of various ways of working with large-scale projects from local perspectives.