Understanding community benefit payments from renewable energy development

Sandy Kerr, Kate R. Johnson, Stephanie Weir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)
170 Downloads (Pure)


It is increasingly common for renewable energy projects to make financial, or in kind, payments to local communities. These arrangements are variously described as ‘benefits payments’ or ‘compensation schemes’. Similar approaches are now being recommended for other forms of development with potential to engender opposition from local communities (e.g. nuclear power and fracking). While such payments are common, the level of payment, the institutional frameworks involved, and the nature of discourse, varies greatly. Existing literature has sought to record, rather than explain, the diversity of arrangements. To a large extent this diversity is rooted in the power dynamic between developer and community. Three UK case studies are used to highlight the diversity of arrangements, meanings, and power balances, within benefits arrangements. Finally, a typology is developed to illustrate the spectrum of potential arrangements. This typology gives insight into why various arrangements emerge in response to their specific contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-211
JournalEnergy Policy
Early online date28 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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