The review of factors affecting infrastructure siting in local areas for the Department of Energy and Climate Change is now available on the Placewise website DECC_Infrastructure_PlacewiseLtd

Implications for policy

  • Siting nationally significant infrastructure in local areas is not just a local issue.
  • All citizens are affected by infrastructure siting – as voters, taxpayers, members of interest groups or local residents – there is therefore potential benefit from giving them the opportunity to input into infrastructure planning and deployment.
  •  Involving publics in national policy making is both possible and potentially beneficial, when carefully conducted (Pidgeon et al., 2014). This could help to address a national-local ‘gap’ in public attitudes (Batel & Devine-Wright, 2014)
  • A national level debate, as has been undertaken in Germany, could explore how energy futures could be implemented in specific places in ways that take emotional attachments into account (Devine-Wright, 2009), do not sacrifice them for national or global interests (Ellis et al., 2007), and achieve distributional justice of impacts (Cowell et al., 2012).
  • Policy is more likely to be successful if it acknowledges that energy infrastructure is a complex, interdependent system with many elements.
  • A systemic approach is important as policy goals are more likely to be achieved if all elements (especially those that are problematic or under researched) are addressed, not just certain elements (e.g. only providing community benefit provision).
  • Putting a systemic approach into practice (to encourage legitimacy and learning) requires a review of processes, practices, and actors involved in infrastructure siting.
  • Support institutions that can play ‘bridging’ or capacity building roles between national and local levels for the development of sustainable energy systems (Hawkey et al., 2013)
  • Involve municipalities in infrastructure development.