Exploring opportunities of addressing conflicts between fisheries and offshore wind energy industry − from a stakeholder participation perspective
Chen, Yi Sin
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The increasing demand for renewable energy and the developing climate awareness has accelerated the growth of wind energy. Owing to the availability of resources and the technological advancement of cost-efficiency, it has promoted the rapid development of offshore wind energy. However, the development of offshore wind power and preexisting maritime industries and communities, that is, fishery, have created a conflict of marine space use and a clash of interest. The conflict between these two industries may lead to potential obstacles to the development of marine renewable energy. Previous studies have shown that the participation of stakeholders will not necessarily resolve conflicts of interest, but it could increase mutual trust among participants and reduce the difficulty of developing offshore wind energy. It can be said that fishery stakeholders participate in the offshore wind energy planning process plays an important role in the energy transition. This research presents the opportunities of the fisheries stakeholder involved in developing offshore wind farms in the UK and Taiwan, mainly focusing on the latter. The aim of this analysis is to ultimately reduce or prevent the conflict between the offshore wind industry and fishery in Taiwan by comparing a developed practice of stakeholder participation in the UK with the fledgling case in Taiwan. Through documents analysis and interviews with stakeholders, it is found in this research that the participation mechanisms could lead to the dominance of empirical data and technocrats, which is observed in the two cases, while the case in the UK provides more room for fishery stakeholders to involve. In addition, informal consultation, consistent data, and adequate representation of fishers could effectively raise the trust of fishery stakeholders, thereby decreasing conflicts.