The Danish Model for Citizen Engagement in the Renewable Energy Transition (DART)

The project with the full title 'The Danish Model for Citizen Engagement in the Renewable Energy Transition' (DART) is co-financed by the Innovation Fund's Grand Solutions program with DKK 7.5 million.

In order to avoid climate changes, the Danish Government has decided to quadruple the production of renewable energy by 2030. While a vast majority of the Danish population support the renewable energy transition, municipalities and developers still experience substantial skepticism and widespread concern from local citizens and interest groups when wind turbines, solar parks and PtX plants are to be implemented in local sites and communities.

The skepticism and concern often turn into local resistance and concrete conflicts, leading to a number of challenges: 1) On a global scale, time-consuming conflicts risk decelerating the green transition towards decarbonized societies, resulting in destructive implications not only for the environment; 2) on a national scale, the conflicts constitute a key barrier for the realization of the 70by30 climate target and the political ambition of making Denmark a frontrunner within the renewable energy sectors; 3) on a corporate scale, the conflicts lead to costly delays for private investors, developers, and end users, with implications for market growth and job creation; 4) on a public scale, municipal politicians have postponed and even closed down planned renewable energy projects in order to avoid unpopular decisions, which is a costly affair for the municipality; and 5) on a civil society scale, conflicts and disagreements often harm social ties between neighbours and citizens, sometimes even tearing local communities apart.

While these challenges have spurred industry and policy makers to perceive citizens living close to renewable energy parks as barriers that risk slowing down the green transition, the DART project takes an alternative approach, which proposes that protesters, by interfering with industrial and political interests, engage in a broader debate about societal change and enact new forms of participatory politics. Thus, the project perceives local resistance not as anti-government or anti-industry, but as venue for citizens to engage in public debates and perform democratic citizenship.

With this approach, the purpose is to design a model for engaging citizens and interest groups in the establishment and operation of renewable energy parks. The model will operate on three levels: On micro level, describe barriers and drivers for citizen engagement and develop best practices and tools which will enhance the capacity of stakeholders to include citizens early in the development of renewable energy parks; On meso level, develop structures and procedures for cross-cutting collaboration between all actors in the value chain which will provide a solid foundation for establishing productive relations; On macro level, develop recommendations for national policies and regulations which will improve levels of citizen engagement.  

The project runs from 2023 to 2026 and is an extension of an already initiated project in the national MissionGreenFuel partnership on the involvement of local communities in the energy field.

Researchers

Name Title Image
Search in Name Search in Title
Beatriz Martinez Romera Associate Professor Billede af Beatriz Martinez Romera

Funding

Innovation Fund Denmark


The Danish Model for Citizen Engagement in the Renewable Energy Transition (DART) has received a three year funding from Innovation Fund Denmark.

Project: The Danish Model for Citizen Engagement in the Renewable Energy Transition (DART)
(Grant number: XXXX)

Period: 2023 - 2026

Contact

Beatriz Martinez RomeraPI Associate Professor
Beatriz Martinez Romera

South Campus, Building 6A.4.09
DK 2300 Copenhagen S
Phone: +45 35 32 31 80
beatriz.martinez.romera@jur.ku.dk

External members:

Name Title E-mail
Simon Westergaard Lex Associate Professor, Ph.D.

simon.lex@anthro.ku.dk

Lars Tønder Professor MSO

lt@ifs.ku.dk