Power to the People: community‐led wind energy – obstacles and opportunities in a South Wales Valley
Community Development Journal, 36, 96-110.
External community development practitioners often find themselves in a difficult negotiating position between beneficiary communities and donor agencies. Taking the role of analysing and assessing community needs with residents can lead to constructive ideas and decisions. These, however, are not always met with co‐operation from higher level decision‐makers. The power that a community has over its project is dependent to a large extent on the channel created between them and funding sources. Where a community group initiates an idea and leads a project, sourcing funding directly, there is greater potential for residents to maintain control of their ideas. Nevertheless, there are obstacles facing community‐led projects that an established agency is well set up to deal with. Looking more closely at these issues in the context of planning a community‐led wind farm, the paper suggests some recommendations as to how an external agency may help to support community ideas without importing its own agenda and control into the community.
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