Citizen participation in fossil-fuel free energy development : A case study of the Samsø Renewable Energy Island (Denmark)

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Linköpings universitet/Tema Miljöförändring

Sammanfattning: In the upcoming years there will be a growing need for sustainable energy transitions in a local as well as global context, making it necessary to gain a better understanding of factors influencing their success. In this context, citizen participation is considered an important tool in achieving sustainable energy transitions, as the active participation of the local population may help in lowering obstacles, such as resistance against planned projects. This case study focuses on the role citizen participation plays in the fossil-fuel free energy development on the Danish island Samsø, often referred to as Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island. A qualitative case study approach, centered around expert interviews with stakeholders and relevant policy papers, was adopted. Among other things, a focus on dialogue in participation could be observed, and emerging forms of participation were identified. Citizen participation on Samsø seems to be impacted by its situation as an island and seems relevant especially in legitimatizing the transition and providing relevant resources, however some drawbacks, such as higher difficulties in reaching agreements, could also be observed. For future projects, the findings seem to suggest the need for citizen participation, together with a need for some sort of formal planning and the acknowledgment that ever-changing external and internal conditions, together with the specific local conditions, may impact the way in which participation can and should be implemented.

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