How Communities Can Increase the Social Acceptance of Onshore Wind Energy among Their Residents: A Case Study on the City of Lichtenau

Maurice Stöver

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this study is to understand how rural communities can actively increase the social acceptance of onshore wind energy among their residents. Community energy has been an important driver of the energy transformation in Germany in recent decades (Morris, 2019), and still has enormous potential for further development of renewable energy sources. Communities often have areas available for the establishment of wind turbines and will, therefore, continue to play a crucial role in the energy transformation. Especially when the government is failing, it is up to the communities to think out of the box and go ways like the city of Lichtenau that has been chosen as a research object for this case study. It is not just about building wind turbines but establishing the whole matter of wind energy in such a positive way that social acceptance reaches high levels. With its role model character, the city of Lichtenau presented an excellent opportunity to investigate the phenomenon of social acceptance of wind energy.
This study is following an explanatory, abductive approach carried out in the form of a case study design. A qualitative study is conducted, consisting of a three-day field trip with expert interviews and observation, the collection of secondary data through multiple sources, and a systematic literature review. Through theoretical and empirical analysis of the findings followed by a comparison of primary and secondary data, in relation to the concepts and frameworks of the reviewed literature, the results of the analysis help to elaborate on the research question “How can communities increase the social acceptance of onshore wind energy among their residents?”. To definitively answer the “how” of the research question, it would be necessary to elaborate a more concrete framework out of the findings this study presents.

EducationsKandidatuddannelse i Innovation and Entrepreneurship, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages67
SupervisorsTrine Pallesen