Sustainable development and renewable energies: perceptions and powers in island communities

Geoff Whittam, Kathryn A. Burnett*, Mike Danson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentation


This paper examines the development of renewable energy schemes in the islands of the north west of Scotland, and in particular explores the impacts of different forms of community, cooperative, corporate and private ownership and investment on the distribution of benefits to local people. Using asset management approaches to analyse how alternative ownership patterns of land and resources and of renewable energy initiatives may affect local communities, it seeks to identify the advantages and costs of pursuing different models of development based on these contrasting forms of ownership. Attention is also paid to how local communities engage with these debates and decisions by analysing the public discourse on proposed renewable schemes, with reference to digital broadcast, print, and new media forms. The paper therefore addresses three key issues: which renewables projects are chosen and how are they structured and managed; what revenue flows are generated and how are these distributed; and finally, in relation to the above, some comment on how ‘public’ perceptions are both constructed and managed across media forms in relation to renewable energy and island communities in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2012
EventInvesting in Small Island Recovery: Archipelagic Approaches to Sustainable Living - Unst, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Apr 201222 Apr 2012


ConferenceInvesting in Small Island Recovery
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • renewable energy
  • island studies
  • community
  • remote and rural areas
  • discourse
  • rural development
  • sustainablity
  • land use
  • Scotland


Dive into the research topics of 'Sustainable development and renewable energies: perceptions and powers in island communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this