Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Readiness and planning for more wind power: municipalities as key actors implementing national strategies

Thellbro, Camilla; Bjärstig, Therese; Svensson, Johan; Neumann, Wiebke; Zachrisson, Anna


In the global context of rapidly developing wind-power technology, local governments have to balance local interests with larger scale targets when implementing national and international strategies. An implication of a new Swedish national strategy for wind-power development is considerable intrusion into natural resource-rich northern landscapes, where municipalities already strive to manage diverse surface demanding and legally valued land-use interests. Municipalities will thus play a key role in wind-power development. Results of our survey suggest that most municipalities have functioning wind-power plans, linked to their municipal comprehensive planning (MCP). However, so far, relatively few wind-power farms have been established, and municipalities have rarely used their right to veto, suggesting that most have not yet experienced significant problems linked to wind-power development. The municipalities rely on their right to veto, and only a third highlighted planning as a tool for handling the increasing demand for wind-power developments. Legislative changes regarding the right to veto and the status of MCP could affect local self-government considerably. Wind-power development could have major consequences for local landscapes and governments, and a municipal-wide policy regarding future wind-power development and MCP as a mediating tool must be secured to balance local interests with national ambitions.


Local self-government; Veto; Municipal comprehensive planning; Mediating tool; Wind-power development; Sweden

Published in

Cleaner Energy Systems
2022, volume: 3, article number: 100040

Authors' information

Thellbro, Camilla
Umeå University
Bjärstig, Therese
Umeå University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Zachrisson, Anna
Umeå University

UKÄ Subject classification

Public Administration Studies

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)