Land use conflicts in the energy transition: Dutch dilemmas


The transition from fossil to renewable energy needs changes in land use. The development of renewable energy sources introduce extra and sometimes new externalities, such as shadows and noise on landscape. There are governments who are experiencing difficulties when developing renewable energy sources especially when existing land owners (and others) start anticipating on those externalities. Therewith, land use conflicts have become a major issue for governments in meeting renewable energy policy objectives. This paper explores the way how three dilemmas: tiers of government dilemma, mode of governance dilemma and norm-setting dilemma are approached by public authorities using policy documents, interviews, literature research and examples of the Dutch energy transition.

When tensions become conflicts: wind turbine policy implementation and development in the Netherlands


Governments all over the world experience institutional conflicts in transforming their fossil-based energy system into a more renewable one. Between national, regional, and local tiers of government tensions rise on meeting renewable energy objectives. Under the institutional arrangement of subsidiarity, decisions on renewable energy policy objectives are taken on the international level, while the implementation of policy increasingly becomes a local responsibility. In this paper, we use an institutional framework to analyze the tensions in interactions between tiers of governments on four cases of Dutch wind energy policy implementation. The analysis offers insights into how tensions emerge in top-down wind energy policy implementation in the Netherlands. Within the four cases, tensions between government tiers are found, serving to constrain local tiers of government to implement local policy and object to top-down development. The results indicate that local issues aren’t sufficiently addressed in higher-tier government policies.

It’s not all about the money—landowner motivation and high voltage grid development


The transition to a renewable energy future requires the extensive expansion of current high voltage grids. Due to the amount of land needed for expansion, issues related to land use have led to increased grid development opposition among landowners which in turn leads to significant project planning and budget overruns. Yet knowledge about why landowners support or object to high voltage grid development is limited. In this study, we use a theory on pluralism to uncover and categorize the multiplicity of motivations of 200 individual landowners in the Netherlands. Our results indicate that only a small number of landowners who oppose grid development focus on individual monetary gain through compensation for limits on their land use. Furthermore, most landowners find the fair and equal distribution of both the advantages and disadvantages of such limits more important than individual financial compensation.