Beyond a checklist for acceptance: understanding the dynamic process of community acceptance

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Community acceptance is considered a prerequisite for successful energy transitions and the uptake of renewable energy technologies (RET). While policy and research often focus on acceptance as an outcome, the process of acceptance remains a black box, especially in uncontested RET implementation contexts. We study the dynamic process of community acceptance where (1) different actor groups can have (2) different roles and (3) different active and passive responses towards (4) different objects of acceptance within the RET project implementation. Results show that community acceptance occurs over time and goes beyond citizen or resident acceptance alone. By unpacking different dimensions of acceptance, we show that even in uncontested cases, acceptance is ambiguous and includes various responses toward various objects. Furthermore, we see that roles can influence and interact dynamically with responses and that preferences for roles are heterogeneous. To move beyond acceptance as a merely coincidental outcome, but a widely embraced and intentional process, this process should meet the participatory needs of different actors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-846
Number of pages16
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Community acceptance
  • Energy transition
  • Participation
  • Renewable energy technologies
  • Social acceptance


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