Community perceptions of renewable energies in Portugal: Impacts on environment, landscape and local development


This article aims to contribute to the debate on energy transitions in Europe, by focusing on community perceptions in a southern European country marked by a significant development of renewable energy in recent years, Portugal. Three main dimensions of community perceptions of the impact, both positive and negative, of renewables are addressed: environmental, landscape and socioeconomic. The article is based on case studies of communities living in the vicinities of three wind farms and a solar power plant. The results show that not only community perceptions are heterogeneous but also that, in order to better understand the factors for social acceptance, it is crucial to examine perceptions not just at the planning stage but also once the energy infrastructures are constructed and functioning.