An Empirical Analysis of Local Opposition to New Transmission Lines Across the EU-27

Jed Cohen, Klaus Moeltner, Johannes Reichl, Michael Schmidthaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The current European Union vision for a low carbon electricity system requires a large-scale expansion of overhead transmission lines to integrate renewable energy sources and ensure a secure electricity supply for the future. Recently, new installations of overhead transmission lines across Europe have been stymied by local opposition, which causes long delays in project completion and occasional cancellations. This study presents and analyzes data from an unprecedented survey on the social acceptance of transmission lines that was conducted in the EU-27. We find that auxiliary information regarding the positive effects of a grid development project can have a substantial impact in decreasing the opposition of local stakeholders. In particular, emphasizing any long-term carbon reduction potential or economic benefit of a particular project will, on average, decrease the likelihood that a local resident is strongly opposed to the project by 10-11%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-82
Number of pages24
JournalEnergy Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Electricity grid
  • European Union
  • Local opposition
  • Social acceptance
  • Transmission lines


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