Engaging citizens in renewable energy projects

Sharing lessons learnt and ways ahead from Denmark, South Africa and internationally

27 August, 2019 13:00 - 27 August, 2019 16:00
DIIS ∙ Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark

Renewable energies are a key component in global efforts to address climate change. Around the world, companies and governments are developing wind and solar projects, as well as other renewable energy schemes at an increasing pace. However, while greenhouse gas mitigation is a strong driver for these investments, large-scale renewable energy projects do not automatically benefit everyone, and are not necessarily welcomed by all. In a number of countries – including Denmark – large-scale wind- and solar power schemes face opposition by citizens who feel they do not benefit from them or dislike their local impacts.

This raises important questions: How can renewable energies be developed in a way that is democratically inclusive and economically fair, and what can companies, governments and civil society do to ensure this?

The seminar will address these questions by sharing and discussing international experiences on the involvement and engagement of citizens and communities in wind power projects, with a particular emphasis on experiences from Denmark and South Africa. Denmark has a long history of wind power development, and South Africa is currently implementing the worldwide largest renewable energy procurement programme which includes over 30 large-scale wind projects. The seminar will take a constructive approach to identify pitfalls and successful approaches and bring together speakers from Denmark and South Africa.

A video of the seminar and following debate can be watched here.

The seminar is based on the TENTRANS projects, a joint project where UNEP DTU Partnership is collaborating with DTU Wind, the Danish Institute for International Studies, University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, Wind Denmark (DWIA) and the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) in looking at how large scale renewable energy projects can  foster broader developmental objectives. Read more about the TENTRANS project here.

Speakers include

  • Gunnar Boye Olesen, Political Coordinator, Vedvarende Energi, Denmark
  • David Rudolph, Researcher, DTU Wind Energy, Technical University of Denmark
  • Holle Wlokas, Researcher, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Kristian Borch, Senior Researcher, DTU Management, Technical University of Denmark
  • Private sector representatives (TBC)


Mikkel Funder

Community engagement in renewable energy projects: What is it? (e.g. main phases of engagement, different regulating contexts):
Gunnar Boye Olesen

Experiences and trends in community engagement in Europe: a look at what has worked in Scotland, Ireland and Denmark:
David Rudolph

Community engagement experiences in South Africa – experiences from the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme:
Holle Wlokas

Tea & Coffee break

The Danish framework and citizens responses: how engagement can work:
Kristian Borch

Perspectives from the private sector (TBC)

Q&A session

Chair: Tom Cronin, DTU

Practical information

The seminar will be in English and live streamed on diis.dk.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please use the online registration form no later than Monday 26 August 2019 at 10.00. Live stream does not require registration.

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DIIS ∙ Danish Institute for International Studies
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Signup date: 26/08/2019

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