Compensation Mechanisms and Local Acceptance of Wind Energy Projects - A Qualitative Case Study

PhD defence

Marie Leer Jørgensen


Three Danish compensation schemes were introduced in the 2008 Renewable Energy Act to address local opposition to wind energy projects in Denmark. The three schemes are 1) the property value-loss scheme, 2) the co-ownership scheme and 3) the green scheme. The three schemes provide compensation to hosting communities and local citizens with the purpose to redress imbalances in distribution of benefits and burdens and this way promote local acceptance. Based on a qualitative case study of three onshore wind projects and the application of the schemes in this context, the dissertation explores the success of compensation schemes in achieving the intended aim from local citizens’ perspective. The analysis provides valuable insight into a plethora of concerns, which roughly can be grouped as 1) inappropriateness, 2) unfairness in distribution and size, 3) mistrust and unfairness procedures. The key conclusion asserts that the three schemes, whether regarded separately or together, do not succeed in promoting perceptions of distributive fairness and local acceptance of the siting of wind projects. Yet, compensation mechanisms may have the potential to promote reconciliation with the situation or local acceptance ex post to some local citizens in the institutional context of today, under certain circumstances. The study provides new knowledge on the effect of the three Danish schemes in real life, and contributes to an understanding of compensation mechanisms, including opportunities and pitfalls for the use of compensation mechanisms as policy tools.


Helle Tegner Anker, Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO), University of Copenhagen


Jesper Lassen, Professor MSO, Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO), University of Copenhagen (Deceased)

Assessment Committee

Chair: Christian Gamborg, Associate Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO), University of Copenhagen

Maria Pettersson, Professor, Luleå University of Technology

Claire Haggett, Senior lecturer, University of Edinburgh