Offshore wind power in Sweden - A qualitative analysis of attitudes with particular focus on opponents

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The Swedish Parliament has voted for massive expansion of wind power within the next decade. As in
many other countries, the establishment of new wind farms has aroused local opposition. This paper
contributes to the literature using a qualitative methodology to analyse attitudes towards wind power.
In 2007, we carried out in-depth interviews with 40 stakeholders concerned with two planned nearshore
farms in Sweden; despite their location, the wind farms’ visual impact provoked strong negative
attitudes. However, we found no evidence of the NIMBY-syndrome; rather, those opposing the wind
farms question wind power more generally, especially vis-a-vis nuclear power. The analysis of attitudes
is based on three components: cognition, feeling and action tendency. The results show high
consistency between the feeling and cognitive components of attitudes: a negative feeling regarding
landscape impact, for example, is accompanied by a belief that wind power is inefficient and
unprofitable. However, in many cases the action tendency component is in dissonance with the other
two: opponents remain passive despite being against the establishment of new wind farms. These
passive opponents represent elements of uncertainty as they may suddenly, at a late stage, turn into
active opponents exerting an effect on the decision process.


  • Åsa Waldo
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi)


Sidor (från-till)692-702
TidskriftEnergy Policy
StatusPublished - 2012
Peer review utfördJa