We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

The solution that might have been : resolving social conflict in deliberations about future electricity grid development.

Tobiasson, W. and Jamasb, T. (2016) 'The solution that might have been : resolving social conflict in deliberations about future electricity grid development.', Energy research and social science., 17 . pp. 94-101.


Increasingly, local opposition to new electricity grid developments cause lengthy delays and places financial and practical strain on the projects. The structure of the electricity industry is in transition due to the emergence of smaller but more numerous generation facilities. Also, the wider society and local communities increasingly engage with energy and environmental issues. At the same time, the traditional decision making frameworks and processes are proving less effective in solving the present time conflicts between local communities and other stakeholders. This paper proposes an economic approach to resolve such conflicts. We discuss how compensation, benefit sharing, and property rights can have a role in reducing community opposition to grid development. However, we argue that these methods need to be part of an overarching policy towards conflict resolution in grid development. We then propose that such impacts can be addressed within a ‘weak’ versus ‘strong’ sustainability framework. Finally, we suggest that the concepts of ‘collective negotiation’ and ‘menu of options’ in regulatory economics can be adapted to operationalise the suggested sustainability-based approach to arrive at more efficient and socially desirable outcomes. The proposed framework can lead to the identification of socially acceptable outcomes that could otherwise have gone undetected.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© 2016 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:29 April 2016
Date deposited:13 May 2016
Date of first online publication:09 May 2016
Date first made open access:09 May 2017

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar