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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

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