Multi-stakeholder collaboration in wind power planning
Sammanfattning: Wind power industry is rapidly growing in Sweden. The country has decided that by year 2020, the share of renewable energy will be 50 % of total renewable energy supplied in the country (Vindval, 2013). Wind energy is perceived by many as the future of renewable energy especially in northern Europe. However, wind power projects have encountered many obstacles from various stakeholders that includes environmental organizations, local opposition and bureaucratic challenges from local government. This is because wind power projects alter nature and competes with human interest. Wind power development projects are prone to these challenges since they involve the erection of tall windmills across wide-open landscapes that are deemed controversial and unacceptable to local community. Since these interest groups perceive and use landscape in very different ways and for numerous purposes, they can directly or indirectly influence wind power projects. However, several critics aimed at wind power projects have witnessed the shortcomings in collaborating with these stakeholders. This has led to authoritative rejection of project implementation, permit applications and strong community opposition that consequently and significantly increase costs. This in addition, delays the project, and in the process destroys wind power industry reputation. There is general indication that a weak stakeholder management process in the planning phases can cause problems to the project or worse, in many cases lead to project failure and abandonment by the developer companies. The aim of this research project is to explain conditions in the multi-collaboration in wind power planning. The thesis describes the motivations for the developer company to engage in multiple collaboration with other stakeholders in the wind power planning. The thesis applies stakeholder theory to explain the interdependencies among various stakeholders with different objectives. In this research, the developer company Svevind was placed at the center of network and in most parts of this thesis is described as convener to define its central role in initiating stakeholder networks throughout the planning processes. Theoretical framework of theories and models that explains push factors triggering a developer company to engage in multiple collaboration was developed and used to make clear understanding of the project. The push factors are thought to be stakeholder influence/pressure, company’s strategic management and legitimacy of the company, these factors mostly forces the company to initiate multiple networks to balance its own objectives with stakeholders’ needs. The results from the project indicate that developer company engages in multiple collaboration due to the wind power planning system in Sweden that it self involves various institutions, and bureaucratic hierarchies. The need for complying with codes and acts of the institution together with developer’s need to gain social license to operate to maintain reputation and legitimacy in the region, leads to engagement in multiple networks with various stakeholders. In this wind power project, a number of actors have participated, and this study explains how these collaborations are initiated and sustained. The results were analyzed based on theories only to find that some networks are created not only due to the company’s need to harmonize its objectives but with need to comply with rules and acts developed by the government institutions.
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