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Managing sustainable development conflicts: the impact of stakeholders in small-scale hydropower schemes

Managing sustainable development conflicts: the impact of stakeholders in small-scale hydropower schemes
Managing sustainable development conflicts: the impact of stakeholders in small-scale hydropower schemes
The growing importance of the environment and its management has simultaneously emphasized the benefits of hydroelectric power and its environmental costs. In a changing policy climate, giving importance to renewable energy development and environmental protection, conflict potential between stakeholders is considerable. Navigation of conflict determines the scheme constructed, making sustainable hydropower a function of human choice. To meet the needs of practitioners, greater understanding of stakeholder conflict is needed. This paper presents an approach to illustrate the challenges that face small-scale hydropower development as perceived by the stakeholders involved, and how they influence decision-making. Using Gordleton Mill, Hampshire (UK), as a case study; soft systems methodology, a systems modeling approach, was adopted. Through individual interviews, a range of problems were identified and conceptually modeled. Stakeholder bias towards favoring economic appraisal over intangible social and environmental aspects was identified; costs appeared more influential than profit. Conceptual evaluation of the requirements to meet a stakeholder-approved solution suggested a complex linear systems approach; considerably different from the real-life situation. The stakeholders introduced bias to problem definition; transferring self-perceived issues onto the project owner. Application of soft systems methodology caused a shift in project goals, away from further investigation, towards consideration of project suitability. The challenge of sustainable hydropower is global, with a need to balance environmental, economic, and social concerns. It is clear that in this type of conflict, an individual can significantly influence outcomes; highlighting the need for more structured approaches to deal with stakeholder conflicts in sustainable hydropower development.
1432-1009
1208-1223
Watkin, L.
dcf6054a-870e-45a4-83b0-429e0be43d30
Kemp, P.S.
9e33fba6-cccf-4eb5-965b-b70e72b11cd7
Williams, I.D.
c9d674ac-ee69-4937-ab43-17e716266e22
Harwood, I.A.
8f945742-3e33-445e-9665-0f613f35fc5b
Watkin, L.
dcf6054a-870e-45a4-83b0-429e0be43d30
Kemp, P.S.
9e33fba6-cccf-4eb5-965b-b70e72b11cd7
Williams, I.D.
c9d674ac-ee69-4937-ab43-17e716266e22
Harwood, I.A.
8f945742-3e33-445e-9665-0f613f35fc5b

Watkin, L., Kemp, P.S., Williams, I.D. and Harwood, I.A. (2012) Managing sustainable development conflicts: the impact of stakeholders in small-scale hydropower schemes. Environmental Management, 49 (6), 1208-1223.

Record type: Article

Abstract

The growing importance of the environment and its management has simultaneously emphasized the benefits of hydroelectric power and its environmental costs. In a changing policy climate, giving importance to renewable energy development and environmental protection, conflict potential between stakeholders is considerable. Navigation of conflict determines the scheme constructed, making sustainable hydropower a function of human choice. To meet the needs of practitioners, greater understanding of stakeholder conflict is needed. This paper presents an approach to illustrate the challenges that face small-scale hydropower development as perceived by the stakeholders involved, and how they influence decision-making. Using Gordleton Mill, Hampshire (UK), as a case study; soft systems methodology, a systems modeling approach, was adopted. Through individual interviews, a range of problems were identified and conceptually modeled. Stakeholder bias towards favoring economic appraisal over intangible social and environmental aspects was identified; costs appeared more influential than profit. Conceptual evaluation of the requirements to meet a stakeholder-approved solution suggested a complex linear systems approach; considerably different from the real-life situation. The stakeholders introduced bias to problem definition; transferring self-perceived issues onto the project owner. Application of soft systems methodology caused a shift in project goals, away from further investigation, towards consideration of project suitability. The challenge of sustainable hydropower is global, with a need to balance environmental, economic, and social concerns. It is clear that in this type of conflict, an individual can significantly influence outcomes; highlighting the need for more structured approaches to deal with stakeholder conflicts in sustainable hydropower development.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2012
Organisations: Centre for Environmental Science, Southampton Business School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 335148
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/335148
ISSN: 1432-1009
PURE UUID: c355d68b-430f-4409-a929-9e4abfeca25f
ORCID for P.S. Kemp: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4470-0589
ORCID for I.D. Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0121-1219
ORCID for I.A. Harwood: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8647-2169

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Mar 2012 15:35
Last modified: 24 Sep 2019 00:50

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