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An Empirical Analysis of Local Opposition to New Transmission Lines Across the EU-27

The current European Union vision for a low carbon electricity system requires a large-scale expansion of overhead transmission lines to integrate renewable energy sources and ensure a secure electricity supply for the future. Recently, new installations of overhead transmission lines across Europe have been stymied by local opposition, which causes long delays in project completion and occasional cancellations. This study presents and analyzes data from an unprecedented survey on the social acceptance of transmission lines that was conducted in the EU-27. We find that auxiliary information regarding the positive effects of a grid development project can have a substantial impact in decreasing the opposition of local stakeholders. In particular, emphasizing any long-term carbon reduction potential or economic benefit of a particular project will, on average, decrease the likelihood that a local resident is strongly opposed to the project by 10-11%.

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Energy Specializations: Electricity – Generation Technologies; Nuclear Power – Other; Electricity – Markets and Prices ; Electricity – Local Distribution; Electricity – Transmission and Network Management; Electricity – Generation Technologies

JEL Codes:
Q2 -
Q49 - Energy: Other
D42 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: Monopoly
D44 - Auctions

Keywords: Social acceptance, Local opposition, Transmission lines, Electricity grid, European Union

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.3.jcoh

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Published in Volume 37, Number 3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.