Diverse responses of coastal communities to offshore wind farming development in Southern Spain
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Coastal communitiesLocal resourcesSeascapePerceptionsWind energyOffshore windSpain
Frolova,M.,Pérez-Pérez,B. & Herrero-Luque,D.(2022).Diverse responses of coastal communities to offshore wind farming development in Southern Spain. Moravian Geographical Reports,30(4) 324-339. [https://doi.org/10.2478/mgr-2022-0021]
SponsorshipMinistry of the Economy, Industry and Competitiveness and State Research Agency of Spain, and European Regional Development Fund CSO2017-86975-R CSO2017-86975-R
Despite having one of the fastest rates of wind power growth in Europe, offshore wind power development in Spain has been relatively slow. One of the factors affecting its deployment is strong local opposition. In this paper, we explore the main factors affecting local perceptions of offshore wind farms in the coastal regions of Southern Spain. We also compare local opinions of on-land and offshore farms, their impacts on local landscapes/seascapes, and their compatibility with local practices and values. To this end, a multi-phase research approach was applied, based on several stages of data collection and analysis and on surveys conducted between 2012 and 2022. Our study shows that the conflicts surrounding offshore wind farms are linked to the perception of the sea and the wind as important local resources and the perceived right of the coastal region to use these resources to generate wealth for their communities. The coastal communities’ values, perceptions, and practices regarding the sea have a fundamental influence on their opinions. Our research indicates that local people are more likely to accept offshore wind farms if they provide socioeconomic benefits for their communities and if joint use of marine resources can be guaranteed.