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Wind Energy and Adverse Visual-Impact Litigation: A Balance of Global and Local Interests?

In: Climate Law
Author: Natalie Jones1
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  • 1 PhD Candidate, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, nmj31@cam.ac.uk
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Wind energy is one of the world’s fastest growing forms of energy. It has many advantages over traditional forms of energy. However, visual impact is a disadvantage. Although planning applications for wind-farm developments are on the rise worldwide, the visual impact of potential developments repeatedly provokes opposition to new wind-farm projects. Litigation aimed at enjoining the construction of wind-energy facilities can slow wind-energy development and increase its cost. This article takes a comparative approach to such visual-impact litigation, looking at cases from Australia, New Zealand, and England in order to understand why planning cases are much more likely to succeed in some jurisdictions than others. I argue that in some jurisdictions decision-makers and courts are impliedly prioritizing the global, national, and local interests in favour of wind-farm development over the national and local interests in favour of landscape and visual-amenity protection.

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