By 2035 Denmark’s energy consumption must be green. A lot more sustainable energy plants must be implemented towards 2030. The Danish Parliaments’ new energy deal is getting praised for being ambitious, and now it’s time for it to be realized. That will only happen if the Danish citizens are considered as a part the process.
We need to speed things up
A great number of municipalities have been forced to halter their plans to establish sustainable energy plants due to local resistance. Following the new energy deal it doesn’t come down to whether or not a municipality or a region are going to implement wind- or solar projects, but rather how many and where they must be placed. This forces the municipalities into action and into dialogue with local stakeholders and citizens. Which can be both hard and conflict ridden.
Now the speculation is whether the citizens opinion of for instance more onshore wind turbines is changing, due to the war in Ukraine and the lack of energy supply having made us all realize how much of a pressure that is on our personal finances. Maybe that has made us more lenient than before the supply crisis.
We highly doubt it. It would probably be wiser not to set much store by that expectation.
Many municipalities will experience resistance, or said with a good old-fashioned acronym, the NIMBY effect (Not In My Back Yard), because even though everyone wants to further the green transition, it creates worry when ex. Solar panels or wind turbines are being implemented locally.
Early and responsive engagement paves the way for concrete local green solutions
Good citizens engagement is planning a process. It’s all about an early, thorough and transparent process where all affected parties are included. And where worry and resistance is welcomed at the table in order to find concrete solutions that broadly benefits the local community.
In the Parliaments new deal on, a greener and safer Denmark, the strengthening of local support of raising wind and solar plants has been highlighted. In the Danish Board of Technology, we have three proposals on how we can work towards this goal locally
- The first phase The Municipality invites local stakeholders to collaborate on local opportunities on establishing greener solutions. Thereafter a draft is drawn up describing and substantiating this based on analyses of the technical an economic possibility. Many Municipalities have already gone through this process during the so called DK2020 climate plans.
- The second phase A wide variety of the local citizens discuss the pros and cons based on the first phase. They create their own proposals and pass them on to the local politicians.
- The Third phase The citizen-qualified material is presented – a catalogue of the citizens proposed solutions – to be discussed by the relevant local policy officials. The politicians are better equipped to be the deciding factor, when it comes the local green solutions.