Managing Conflicts with Local Communities over the Introduction of Renewable Energy: The Solar-Rush Experience in Japan | Land Portal
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Date of publication: 
September 2020
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© 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

A worldwide introduction of renewable energy has been required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Concomitantly, this has caused conflict between renewable energy development and local communities over landscape changes. This study aims to clarify the factors of conflict and find a way of conflict management. A case study on Japan is used, where a solar rush occurred due to the feed-in tariff (FIT) system. We analyze the public reasons to worry about renewable energy and the spatial characteristics of its locations. A socio-spatial approach is used by first utilizing a qualitative survey based on questionnaires and interviews with the local governments to understand the awareness regarding the issues, and then utilizing a quantitative survey on the location changes to solar power by using GIS. The results suggest that there were links between local governments’ concerns and the location of solar power concentration. These results show that conflicts over renewable energy are not unavoidable and may be managed by local governments that can act as intermediaries with sufficient knowledge of the local communities.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
Akita, Noriko Ohe, Yasuo Araki, Shoko Yokohari, Makoto Terada, Toru Bolthouse, Jay

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