Operation Concrete: Perceptions of Energy Infrastructure in the Alps

The transition to net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 has increased the urgency to develop renewable energies like hydro-, wind and solar power. In the Alps, the development of renewable energy infrastructure often finds itself in conflict with the desire – expressed by nature conservationists – to maintain pristine landscapes. This conflict finds its roots in a dichotomy between nature and culture, where the advocates of nature hold that an unspoilt natural environment should be protected to the greatest extent possible against any change introduced by man. To deal with this quandary, it is essential that social negotiation processes be set in place.

The project deals with all stakeholders. However, the aim is not to examine social acceptance levels or attitudes, but rather the public’s modes of perception of renewable energies. Listening skills are key in this. The research objective is thus to test whether there exists the collective listening experience needed to differentiate between subjective individual perceptions and attitudes to energy infrastructures. These tests lay the basis for a new type of discussion, and thus the reassessment and renegotiation of renewable energy infrastructure.

Annina Boogen