- Socio-political embedding of onshore wind power in the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia
- Technology Analysis & Strategic Management
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This paper compares the historical socio-political innovation journeys of onshore wind power in North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands, concentrating on the implementation (realisation) of wind energy projects and the market of project development. Attention is drawn to the level of implementation (where struggles between multiple interests and meanings become manifest) and to the ability of entrepreneurs to succesfully plan and develop projects. A historical new-institutionalist approach is adopted, in which actors, networks and their institutional environment are understood as mutually constitutive. We investigate how socio-political embedding has come about - the process through, which a new technology becomes embedded in existing and changing rules and routines of society. A conclusion is that socio-political embedding is crucial to the implementation achievements and market developments. The legitimacy of wind projects is not self-evident. Addressing socio-political embedding contributes to a better understanding of the development of this legitimacy. Not only researchers but also policy makers should address legitimacy as a central issue, not just an afterthought to the development and diffusion of new technologies. A policy and planning strategy that involves the institutionalisation of early participation of relevant stakeholders can enhance the legitimacy of both the process and outcome and contribute to social-political innovation needed to accomplish sustainable innovation journeys.
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