Wind Turbines, Public Acceptance, and Electoral Outcomes

In a new article in the Swiss Political Science Review, Resul Umit, together with Lena Maria Schaffer, explores potential causes of opposition to wind turbines and its electoral effects.

Despite a widespread public support for wind energy in general, wind turbine proposals attract a considerable amount of public opposition. At a time of political commitments to building more wind turbines for climate risk mitigation, we study the potential causes of this opposition and its electoral effects. Our analysis draws on a survey experiment in Switzerland, where the number of wind turbines will grow from a couple of dozens to many hundreds in the next three decades. We find that exposure to wind turbines increases public acceptance, but this affect does not translate into electoral turnout or vote choice. Moreover, locality or politicisation does not seem to have an effect at all—neither on acceptance nor on electoral outcomes. Our results suggest that voters do not reward or punish political parties for their positions on wind energy, even when turbines might soon be rising in their local area.

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Resul Umit and Lena Maria Schaffer
Wind turbines, Public acceptance, and Electoral Outcomes

Swiss Political Science Review
DOI: 10.1111/spsr.12521

Published May 18, 2022 3:15 PM - Last modified May 18, 2022 3:15 PM