Postdoc ‘Embedding Social Responsibility in the Design of Offshore Wind Energy Systems’ (2013)

Flyer NWO-MVI programmaIn 2013 werkte ik part-time op een kortlopend onderzoeksproject (1 jaar), met als titel “Embedding social responsibility in the design of offshore wind energy systems.” Het was een project waarvoor prof. Rolf Kunneke subsidie had gekregen in het Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Innoveren programma van NWO.

Mijn bijdrage aan het project heeft geleid tot een vrij toegankelijk artikel in Science and Engineering Ethics, titled “Applying Value Sensitive Design (VSD) to Wind Turbines and Parks; An Exploration.” Dit is de samenvatting aan het begin van het artikel:

Research on community acceptance of wind energy projects focuses on either stakeholder motivations/attitudes, or their behavior during project implementation. This paper proposes a third research focus, namely the ‘objects’ which elicit certain behavioral responses and attitudes — the wind turbine and parks. More concretely, this paper explores Value Sensitive Design (VSD) as way to arrive at wind turbines and parks that better embed or reflect key values. After a critical discussion of the notion of acceptance versus acceptability and support, the paper discusses existing literature on ecology and aesthetics in relation to wind turbine/park design, which could serve as ‘building blocks’ of a more integral VSD approach of the topic. It also discusses the challenge of demarcating wind park projects as VSD projects. A further challenge is that VSD has been applied mainly at the level of technical artifacts, whereas wind parks can best be conceptualized as socio-technical system. This new application would therefore expand the current practice of VSD, and may as a consequence also lead to interesting new insights for the VSD community. The paper concludes that such an outcome-oriented approach of wind turbines and park is worth exploring further, as a supplement to rather than a replacement of the process-oriented approach that is promoted by the current literature on community acceptance of wind parks