BIOWIND – Increasing social acceptance for wind energy 

EU has ambitious goals with green transition, and we in South Ostrobothnia are also working towards reaching these goals. In the field of energy transition, there are multiple on-going wind power projects in our region. However, it is not always easy to fit windmills into people’s living environment, and we need tools and incentives for peaceful co-existing. This is what BIOWIND project is about.  

Consortium at the Sligo Workshop. Picture: Northern & Western Regional Assembly

BIOWIND – Increasing social acceptance of wind power in EU regions through environmental and community-based planning – is one of our newer projects. With partners from Greece, Latvia, Ireland, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, and Spain, we are looking to find solutions to engage with communities, address concerns transparently, and emphasize the broader benefits of renewable energy in combating climate change and promoting sustainable development. 

Visiting Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm Recreation Area. Picture: Päivi Tuisku

 This September, we gathered in Sligo, Ireland for a workshop to explore the environmental and socio-economic factors behind the resistance to wind power projects. Our workshop proved to be highly successful, featuring insightful speakers who shed light on various perspectives. We delved into the challenges and benefits of community energy production, heard valuable insights into the development of wind farms and community engagement as well as learned about Ireland’s national wind energy policy and progress in garnering positive community involvement. 

Highlights of the meeting included a visit to the local Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm Recreation Area, where the locals have been involved in the development of the multi-use of the area, that includes hiking trails, horse back riding, children play area and outdoors gym.  

Windmills at the Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm Recreation Area. Picture: Päivi Tuisku

BIOWIND project is financed from Interreg Europe programme. You can find more information on the BIOWIND project on the home page here.