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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Lien social et Politiques
Page(s) 96 - 96
Title of proceedings Lien social et Politiques
DOI 10.7202/1061878ar

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


The development of wind farm projects in Switzerland is subject to many conflicts, particularly regarding installation locations. This article explores how the concept of “renewable energy transition” can be used to build a mediation between antagonistic social profiles who participate in the realization and the spatial design of energy projects. By questioning the processes whereby social representations were reframed within two wind energy projects in Canton of Vaud, this analysis highlights the cognitive mechanisms utilized by the various stakeholders involved. The results of our analysis show the effects and-scale changes on the evolution of “renewable energy transition” content. As a polysemous expression, “renewable energy transition” content can thus be invested with plural, remarkably labile social, territorial and institutional representations, depending on the varied strategic influences to which it is subjected. Thus, the cognitive frameworks of wind-turbining proponents and those of their local opponents are challenged in the interpretative content of the anticipated project impacts (financial, landscape, etc.) as well as in the prioritization of territorial stakes related to the (non-)implementation of the project. The interference of national environmental NGOs' in the local controversy generates a particularly major reframing, both for local opponents and for wind developers. Indeed, the implementation of renewable energies across the territory is subjected to the respect of biodiversity and landscape protection requirements induced by the global environmental movement.