I thank the U.S. Embassy, Mexico City, for travel support and David Connell and Sigrid Emrich of the embassy for arranging for me to visit Oaxaca; Charles Warren of Saint Andrews University for his encouragement and travel support to Scotland; Richard Cowell and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on a draft manuscript, and Helen McDade, John Muir Trust, Scotland for providing insights and maps.
SOCIAL BARRIERS TO RENEWABLE ENERGY LANDSCAPES*
Article first published online: 25 MAY 2011
© 2011 by the American Geographical Society of New York
Volume 101, Issue 2, pages 201–223, April 2011
How to Cite
PASQUALETTI, M. J. (2011), SOCIAL BARRIERS TO RENEWABLE ENERGY LANDSCAPES. Geographical Review, 101: 201–223. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2011.00087.x
- Issue published online: 25 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 25 MAY 2011
- renewable energy;
After many years of slow progress, we find that worldwide environmental, political, and economic pressures are providing greater purchase for the accelerated development of renewable energy. Although many people would consider this quickening pace good news, the transition from conventional resources has encountered public resistance. In this article I examine the nature of challenges to the development of geothermal, wind, and solar energy projects in three places: the United States, Scotland, and Mexico. The common thread in the public reservations about renewable energy is landscape change and the consequent disruption such change produces to established ways of life for those who are nearby. It also suggests the importance of rebalancing the emphasis of renewable energy programs away from the traditional technical focus that dominates development planning. The more suitable and expedient approach would be to consider the challenges of development as predominantly social matters with technical components, rather than the other way around. To accept this view is to unlock the door to a renewable energy future.