Sohlmann, Helena | The Netherlands
Helena Solman is a doctoral candidate at the department of Environmental Policy at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Before starting her PhD, she did her studies in Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning, and worked for Amsterdam Metropolitan Region Food Council.
Helena’s research focuses on public engagement with wind energy. In particular, she is interested in how publics can have an active role in wind energy projects, from the moment in which wind turbines are designed, up until they are decommissioned. Central to this focus, is public engagement with both landscapes and technologies for wind energy. Helena’s research is also linked to a European project on wind energy called UPWARDS, focused on wind turbine innovation: https://www.upwards-wind.eu/.
Project at IAS:STS: Public engagement with wind energy: co-production of wind energy technologies and landscapes from the stage of design up until decommissioning
Wind energy is a central pillar of the European renewable energy transition, but proposed and existing wind energy projects often face opposition because of a range of well-documented concerns, including landscape conservation, noise pollution and bird strikes. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that the way these projects are governed also affects (and potentially strengthens) this resistance. Of particular concern is the effectiveness of invited stakeholder participation as a planning tool for gaining acceptance and mitigating resistance to wind energy projects. Building on wider academic critique of invited participation, this study explores a range of emerging, alternative modes of public engagement with wind energy. Doing so, this study investigates how wind energy technologies and landscapes are co-produced across different stages of wind turbine lifecycle. These stages are: design, planning and long-term management. At each stage, different kinds of expertise are present as well as various forms and degrees of public engagement are observed.
Solman, H., Smits. M., (2019) Literature review on social and environmental issues and acceptance of wind turbines. Deliverable 7.1 for the UPWARDS project, funded under Horizon 2020 https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/horizon-2020/projects/h2020-energy/wind-energy/upwards