Deliberative speak at the turbine face: community engagement, wind farms, and renewable energy transitions, in Australia
In late 2007, a new Australian federal government committed to significantly boosting Australia's energy consumption from renewable energy by 2020. With wind farms the most viable technology for such expansion, nothing however was suggested of how to address intense social conflict surrounding wind farm location; a situation provoked by inadequate community involvement in state government approval processes for wind farms. In seeking to redress that democratic deficit, in 2006, the prior federal government proposed a strong participatory National Code for Wind Farms. State governments rejected the proposal as a constraint to wind power and claimed adequate community engagement. In overviewing the debate, we find in favour of the federal government's position, refer to European participatory policy lessons, and find the National Code heavily featuring 'deliberative speak' in an approach suggesting placation of communities instead of its purported one of consensus-building. That informs some tentative suggestions of how to better engender a more socially viable and constructive approach for wind farm, and more broadly, renewable, energy transitions in Australia.
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Copyright 2008 Taylor & Francis. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.