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Journal Articles L'Espace Politique Year : 2020

The NIMBY is no longer enough! Study of the social acceptability of methanization projects

Le NIMBY ne suffit plus ! Étude de l’acceptabilité sociale des projets de méthanisation

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Sébastien Bourdin

Abstract

Renewable energy projects are far from being unanimously accepted at local level, while they are often supported by public opinion as a mean of combating climate change. Most of the time, the NIMBYist attitude is invocated as a factor explaining these local oppositions. However, we believe that social acceptability is a much more complex phenomenon. The objective of the study is therefore to identify the factors that explain the differences in terms of social acceptability. To do this, we rely on the case of the deployment of methanization in France, through the analysis of semi-directive interviews conducted with 49 project stakeholders. Our results suggest that NIMBYism is not the main factor explaining the difficulties of social acceptability in renewable energy projects. This principle only very rarely explains the behaviour of local residents (opposition and support) towards methanization units. Other much more important parameters come into play. For example, methanization units are more easily accepted when they are accompanied by an overall policy of territorial governance based on the creation of trust, a systematic integration of all stakeholders, including those who might be opposed to them. Relationship-based management at an early stage of the project considerably increases social acceptability. Our paper put forward the role of territorial governance but also of place-attachment as major parameters to explain a greater or lesser degree of local acceptability. Far from being perceived as a hindrance to a project, citizen opposition must be understood as an integral part of territorial governance, calling for the implementation of more participatory approaches.
Les projets d'énergies renouvelables sont loin de faire l'unanimité au niveau local alors qu'ils sont en général soutenus dans l'opinion publique comme moyens de lutter contre le changement climatique. L'attitude NIMBYiste est souvent relevée comme un facteur expliquant ces oppositions locales. Or, nous pensons qu'il existe d'autres déterminants plus importants et que l'acceptabilité sociale est un phénomène bien plus complexe. L'objectif de l'étude est donc d'identifier les facteurs expliquant les différences en termes d'acceptabilité sociale. Pour cela, nous nous appuyons sur le cas du déploiement de la méthanisation en France, au travers de l'analyse d'entretiens semi-directifs menés auprès de 49 parties prenantes de projets. Nous mettons en évidence le rôle de la gouvernance territoriale mais aussi de l'attachement au lieu comme paramètres majeurs permettant d'expliquer une plus ou moins grande acceptabilité locale. Loin d'être perçues comme freinant un projet, les oppositions citoyennes doivent être appréhendées comme faisant partie intégrante de la gouvernance territoriale, appelant la mise en place de démarches plus participatives. Mots clefs : NIMBY, acceptabilité sociale, attachement au lieu, méthanisation, débat public, gouvernance territoriale English title : The NIMBY is no longer enough! Study of the social acceptability of methanization projects Abstract : Renewable energy projects are far from being unanimously accepted at local level, while they are often supported by public opinion as a mean of combating climate change. Most of the time, the NIMBYist attitude is invocated as a factor explaining these local oppositions. However, we believe that social acceptability is a much more complex phenomenon. The objective of the study is therefore to identify the factors that explain the differences in terms of social acceptability. To do this, we rely on the case of the deployment of methanization in France, through the analysis of semi-directive interviews conducted with 49 project stakeholders. Our results suggest that NIMBYism is not the main factor explaining the
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Dates and versions

hal-02513370 , version 1 (20-03-2020)

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Sébastien Bourdin. Le NIMBY ne suffit plus ! Étude de l’acceptabilité sociale des projets de méthanisation. L'Espace Politique, 2020, 38, ⟨10.4000/espacepolitique.6619⟩. ⟨hal-02513370⟩
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