Greener cities and territories: Brief notes on socio-economic acceptance to renewable energy sources
Over the last two decades the use of renewable energy sources has rapidly increased due to energy safety and/or economic issues (i.e. dependence from energy producer countries, energy price volatility). Also, at international level, recent EU and US regulations have helped the adoption of renewable energies across countries and the re-shaping of the energy sector. No doubts that this scenario has favoured the development of greener cities and economies. Nonetheless, it has caused several challenges on the landscape. The installation of large scale solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, for example, implies, among other things, land use change against the production of agricultural commodities. Similarly, the establishment of wind farms affects land use change and impacts wildlife preservation and aesthetic views.
The existence of these landscape changes poses several questions on the sustainability of cities and territories. The present paper discusses the existence of socio-economic dilemmas in view of renewable energy projects for the growth of greener cities and territories. To respond to the research question above, this work aims at investigating: i. How the use of renewable energies (e.g. wind and solar PVs energy) affects social acceptance across consumers and the economy of a territory; and ii. What implications exist at policy level to close the gap between effective and perceived use of renewable energy sources.