Analysis of Rural Livelihood and Energy Consumption on China’s Grasslands: A Case Study of Inner Mongolia, China

First name: 
Last name: 
Class Year: 
Eli Fenichel
Essay Abstract: 
In 2009, Massachusetts set ambitious GHG reduction and wind power development targets, but commercial scale wind projects have faced significant opposition in the state for the last decade. Based on the success of local ownership of wind projects in Europe, and their documented economic and social advantages, I argue that community wind can serve as an alternative approach in helping the state reach its environmental goals. Using three case studies of Massachusetts community wind—Fairhaven Wind LLC, the Berkshire Wind Power Project, and the Princeton Wind Project—this study identifies the three most significant barriers these projects faced as lack of financial support, complex permitting and approval processes, and litigation. With these challenges in mind, the study looks to successful policies in states such as Connecticut and Vermont to determine the necessary conditions for community wind development. Recommendations include the implementation of state-level feed-in tariffs, one-stop shop permitting, and participatory planning methods.