The aim of this thesis is to investigate how local participation and local ownership enhances social acceptance of wind energy. In Norway many planned wind energy projects are put down due to increased resistance among local populations. Denmark, on the other hand, has successfully implemented wind energy for decades. The historical context and resource supply is different from Norway and may explain their higher success rate with wind energy. However, although acknowledging that government policies are an important aspect in the development and diffusion of wind energy, this thesis looks at the social aspects and how social factors influence the process. The case study presented in this thesis is Samsø; an island in Denmark that has become 100 percent renewable in only ten years due mostly to wind energy onshore and offshore. This thesis analyses how this has been possible focusing on social capital, the involvement of local people in the decision-making process and the organisation of ownership. The overall theoretical view is innovation with the aim to better understand what factors that might enhance the development, diffusion and implementation of wind energy in Norway. Within the STS field this thesis is an attempt to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between technology and society and what factors that enhance the society’s acceptance of wind energy.
Key words: wind energy, social acceptance, local participation, local ownership, social capital, diffusion of innovation.