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14 May 2018 | Massimo Bastiani, Virna Venerucci (Ecoazioni), Laura Gaetana Giuffrida (ENEA)

The art of getting everyone to the table

How the stakeholders for the Italian Desk in the WinWind project were selected.

 

How actors with different stakes perceive the deployment of wind power has proved to be one of the crucial dimensions for the variation in wind power capacity implementation[1]. Therefore the process of identifying the stakeholders of a project is a crucial point for its success and must occur before the detailed planning stage of the project begins. A stakeholder is typically an individual, a group or organization who is impacted by or may have an impact on the outcomes of a project. The WinWind stakeholder consultation process in Italy has been set-up to collect data, information and insights from a wide range of stakeholders to feed into the project, with the aim to put actions and recommendations  into context and to overcome the social acceptance barriers in wind energy deployment. For this purpose, a methodological approach has been identified and applied for the stakeholder selection.

 

STEP 1: Stakeholder Analysis and Preliminary Identification

 

The first step towards the composition of the Italian stakeholder desk was a stakeholder analysis off all potentially relevant actors, with a special focus on the WinWind target regions Lazio and Abruzzo. The stakeholder analysis identified the likely impacts of the action planned by the project as well as relevant stakeholder groups, and gathered data about how these groups are likely to be affected by the project outputs, as well as on how they could influence a  broader decision-making process. 

 

Based on this first analysis, the project’s partners researched, identified, and classified the interest groups, individuals, organisations, and institutions, as well as national or local authorities relevant for the establishment of the Italian National Desk. The goal of this brainstorming process was to analyse a variety of relevant issues and to try to address and connect them with specific stakeholder groups, led by the following questions:

 

  • What are the main authorities or institutions/organisations that have responsibilities or competences on the wind energy sector and at which territorial level?
  • Who has influence over the social acceptance of wind energy?
  • Which business stakeholders might potentially be affected by the construction of an onshore wind farm and which associations represent them?

 

STEP 2: Stakeholder Prioritization and Surveying

 

The stakeholder analysis and brainstorming process described, has enabled the partners to identify a preliminary “long list” of about 80 actors. In a second step the stakeholder were prioritized for participation in the desk according to the following criteria:

 

  • Preliminary assessment of their power/interest, and general classification
  • Elaboration of several indicators to analyse stakeholders' influence, e.g. expertise, knowledge, negotiation capacity, charisma, strategic value, resource control
  • Assessment of stakeholder strategies i.e. the level of potential interaction with the stakeholder.

 

All information was organized in a stakeholder analysis matrix, especially created for the WinWind project. To complete the analysis the Italian partners conducted an online survey concerning the role of wind energy in the process of decarbonization of the energy sector and the influence of social acceptance on its development and diffusion. The survey was addressed the most relevant stakeholders both at the regional and the local level, and aimed to obtain consensus from the respondents on their participation in the Italian desk. In last part of the survey, participants were asked to point out other relevant stakeholders to be involved. This ensured, that the selection also expanded beyond the project partners' knowledge of potentially relevant stakeholders.

 

STEP 3: Getting everyone to the table

 

Preliminary meetings were held in the four model and target regions involved in the project; Apulia, Sardinia, Tuscany and Lazio. This offered the opportunity to not only explore the degree of social acceptance and specific barriers but also helped to establish contacts with relevant local stakeholders. Finally a core group of 34 diverse stakeholders participated in the kick-off of the Stakeholder Desk in January 2018 in Rome.

 

The results obtained by the National Desk will be used as a basis for “Learning Laboratories” that serve to transfer good practices identified by the project; cases where barriers to social acceptance were overcome and and increasing awareness among Stakeholders was increased, contributing toward a better Wind energy diffusion.  

 


[1] Wolsink, Maarten (2009): Discourses on the implementation of wind power: Stakeholder views on public engagement.  In: Patrick Devine-Wright (Ed) (2009): Renewable Energy and the Public. From NIMBY to Participation: Earthscan

 

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