Windmolens: draait alles om geld?
Onderzoek naar factoren die van invloed zijn op de ontwikkeling en het functioneren van een windfonds

  • W. (Wim) Huibregts BSc. BEng

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

The Dutch Energy Agreement (SER, 2013) contains agreements for onshore wind energy generation. The ambition level of 6,000 megawatts of onshore wind energy in 2020 will not be achieved without applying additional measures and this is caused by limited public support (Schoots, Hekkenberg & Hammingh, 2016). A new phenomenon in the Netherlands aimed at increasing public support is a wind fund. A wind fund is a fund through which assets derived from the exploitation of wind turbines are managed to financially support local goals and activities, in order to create public acceptation of the windfarm. An interesting case is the wind fund of the Dutch Krammer wind farm that is managed by the foundation "Windmolens Anna Jacobapolder" which was originally called "Windmolens NEE" (translated as No Windmills). At the Krammer windfarm, eight out of ten complaints were withdrawn by the Council of State after the wind fund was established (decision 201503226/1 / R6). However, setting up a wind fund cannot guarantee social acceptance of the associated wind farm. This study investigates the factors that influence the development and functioning of a wind fund. The aim of this research is to give wind energy project developers insight into these factors. Using this insight, project developers at future wind farms have an increased chance of successfully setting up a wind fund that contributes to the social acceptance of the intended wind farm. The central question of this thesis is: Which factors influence the development and functioning of a wind fund? Wind farms arise from planning in a social context. Actors and institutions involved in planning are constantly changing. Evolutionary Governance Theory (EGT) (Beunen, Van Assche, & Duineveld, 2014) distinguishes three different dependencies in which actors and institutions influence one another. In the context of path dependence, it is important for the development of the wind fund on which history the development builds on. In the context of interdependence, the development of the wind fund depends on the mutual relationships between the various elements of governance (Beunen, Van Assche, & Duineveld, 2014). In the context of goal dependence, future visions contained in policy, planning or legislation influence the configuration of actors and institutions (Beunen, Van Assche, & Duineveld, 2014). This study is based on research on: 1) a literature study focusing on wind funds, 2) a case study, researching windfarm Krammer and its associated wind funds, 3) the results of the literature study and the case study were analysed from the perspectives of path dependence, goal dependence and interdependence, 4) conclusions were drawn and recommendations made based on the analysis. For the literature study, sources from the United Kingdom were mainly used because of the fact that the development and functioning of wind funds have not previously been investigated in the Netherlands. Because wind funds develop and function in a specific context, qualitative research has been selected. The Krammer windfarm case was chosen because it is already past the development phase and the fund shows to have contributed to the social acceptance of the windfarm. The literature study showed that the success of the wind fund depends on the perception of local residents of the distributive and procedural justice. Distributive and procedural justice are formed by the various experiences that the local residents have. The expectations and experiences of local residents are highly dependent on the context in which the development of the wind farm takes place. Local residents and project developers use a different terminology for the purpose of a wind fund, respectively "compensation" or "financial contribution". If its goal is worded differently, a wind fund may have a negative effect on the procedural justice observed by local residents. Local residents are less likely to accept a wind farm if they do not benefit directly. The procedural and distributive justice perceived by local residents can be influenced by the project developer in both a positive and a negative sense.
Date of Award28 Feb 2020
Original languageDutch
SupervisorRaoul Beunen (Examiner)

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