Nearshore Wind Resistance on Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island
Not Another NIMBY Story
The Danish island Samsø is world-famous as Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island. 21 wind turbines supply the island’s electricity. Today, public hostility toward a projected nearshore wind farm off the island’s preserved northern coast is growing. This paper takes its main theoretical cue from Gomart and Hajer’s (2003) call to open up political questions to empirical inquiry and to pay attention to the material settings in which political questions unfold. The paper seeks to make sense of the islanders’ unexpected opposition to a new wind farm, and it does so through a critique of the unexperimental and depoliticizing attitude – found in the empirical case as well as in some academic scholarship – of the NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) logic. Replacing the NIMBY logic of closing down deliberation with an empirical and ‘cosmopolitical’ (Stengers, 2005) approach to open up the space of politics to close investigation, the paper focuses on the empirical settings which give the controversy its specific shape and asks how the projected wind farm is interrogated, negotiated and recast as it travels through the socio-material politics of the wind controversy.