An exploration of the range in public perceptions of small-scale and large-scale wind power developments in Nova Scotia, Canada
MetadataShow full item record
Hostility towards wind energy developments is prevalent in Nova Scotia in recent years, and has culminated in the formation of wind-opposition groups, such as the Friends of Jeddore and the Friends of South Canoe. These two groups are against the development of industrial-scale wind energy developments near their communities. This research explores the differences in public perceptions of large- and small-scale wind- energy developments in Nova Scotia, as seen through online news articles. A conceptual content analysis was conducted of 128 articles from 12 on-line-news sources from January 2013 to January 2014. The data show that there is a discernible difference in volume and types of public commentary about large-scale and small-scale wind energy developments, with comments about small-scale developments being overall more positive than those regarding both large-scale and unspecified-scale developments. The data suggest that the public perceptions of small- and large-scale wind energy are different enough that communities who are opposed to large-scale developments may be supportive of small-scale developments. However, consideration of other factors is also necessary in the face of new developments. Specifically, consideration of levels of public engagement and ownership of new projects, and being able to answer to citizens’ environmental concerns are especially important. Other emergent ideas include NIMBYism, the politicization of wind energy, and differences among real and perceived risks and benefits of wind developments and how they affect behaviour.