Drivers of public attitudes towards small wind turbines in the UK

Cerian Tatchley, Heather Paton, Emma Robertson, Jeroen Minderman, Nicholas David Hanley, Kirsty Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Small Wind Turbines (SWTs) are a growing micro-generation industry with over 870,000 installed units worldwide. No research has focussed on public attitudes towards SWTs, despite evidence the perception of such attitudes are key to planning outcomes and can be a barrier to installations. Here we present the results of a UK wide mail survey investigating public attitudes towards SWTs. Just over half of our respondents, who were predominantly older, white males, felt that SWTs were acceptable across a range of settings, with those on road signs being most accepted and least accepted in hedgerows and gardens. Concern about climate change positively influenced how respondents felt about SWTs. Respondent comments highlight visual impacts and perceptions of the efficiency of this technology are particularly important to this sector of the UK public. Taking this into careful consideration, alongside avoiding locating SWTs in contentious settings such as hedgerows and gardens where possible, may help to minimise public opposition to proposed installations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0152033
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2016


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