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Key criteria for sustainable wind energy planning - lessons from an institutional perspective on the impact assessment literature.

Thygesen, Janne; Agarwal, Abhishek


Janne Thygesen

Abhishek Agarwal


An increasing number of researchers stress the importance of national planning institutions' role with respect to promoting an 'effective' decision-making process in terms of bringing about sustainable energy. Impact assessment (IA) procedures are seen as having strong potential in supporting environmentally conscious energy production. This article discusses criteria for sustainable wind power planning and compares the centralised planning systems for wind energy in two countries 'Norway and Scotland' as illustrating cases. We ask the following: What key criteria should be present to secure sustainable wind energy planning, and what are the critical institutional conditions to fulfil these criteria? A review of relevant IA literature reveals four key criteria for promoting sustainable wind planning: (i) clear and integrated political priorities, (ii) stakeholder involvement, (iii) strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and (iv) stringent permission and assessment requirements. We also determined that critical institutional conditions exist that effectively promote sustainable energy production: (a) coordinated energy policy institutions, (b) legitimate planning procedures, (c) that SEAs are followed in the decision-making process and (d) statutory planning regulations.


THYGESEN, J. and AGARWAL, A. 2014. Key criteria for sustainable wind energy planning: lessons from an institutional perspective on the impact assessment literature. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews [online], 39, pages 1012-1023. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 19, 2014
Online Publication Date Aug 9, 2014
Publication Date Nov 30, 2014
Deposit Date Sep 9, 2014
Publicly Available Date Sep 9, 2014
Journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Print ISSN 1364-0321
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Pages 1012-1023
Keywords Renewable energy; Sustainability; Planning; Environment
Public URL


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