TU Ilmenau seeks interview partners for survey on wind power project

Windräder auf Rapsfeld mit Wiese im Vordergrundfotolia/visdia

The Technische Universität Ilmenau is looking for citizens from the Thuringian municipality of Großschwabhausen and neighbouring municipalities who would like to express their opinion on a wind power project planned in the district of Weimarer Land for a scientific study. In a first step, the Ilmenau communication scientists had already analysed the previous public discussion on the wind power project and brought surprising findings to light. The interviews are conducted by telephone and last about 15 minutes. Contact for interested citizens of the Großschwabhausen region:Email jens.wolling@tu-ilmenau.de | 03677 69-4654.

At the beginning of the scientific study on the public discussion in the context of the wind power project Großschwabhausen, the Group for Empirical Media Research and Political Communication at the TU Ilmenau had examined two sources: Media coverage and the discussion in an online forum to which the initiators of the project, the citizens of Großschwabhausen and neighbouring villages, had invited. The head of the group, Prof. Jens Wolling, was surprised by the result: "So far, it is mainly the opponents of the wind power project who have had their say in the media. This is unusual, because journalists normally try to hear both sides. The actual special feature of the project, namely that the turbines are to be realised by energy cooperatives run by citizens, has so far only been mentioned in passing or not at all in the media."

In contrast, the Ilmenau scientists determined during the analysis of the online forum that the citizens had formulated their questions very objectively and that there was great interest among many of them to learn more about the project. Prof. Jens Wolling had not expected such an open atmosphere at the online event: "After the one-sided reporting in the media and the unanimous positioning of the municipal council against the project, I expected a heated atmosphere. However, the mood among the population is apparently not as uniform as the municipal council resolution suggests."

The wind power project in Großschwabhausen is particularly interesting from a scientific point of view because it was initiated as a joint project by several citizens' energy cooperatives, that is, by the people from the region themselves. The Ilmenau scientists are asking themselves whether and how the initiators of the project succeed in communicating to the citizens in the region in a comprehensible way what is different about this project from typical investor projects.

In order to find out the opinion of the population, the Ilmenau scientists will conduct interviews with the residents of the affected villages in the coming weeks. Prof. Wolling and his team are interested in whether people still need information and what expectations they associate with the project: "We want to find out about people's concerns and fears as well as their positive expectations and wishes. That's why we're interested in hearing from anyone who wants to express their views on the wind power project, regardless of how they feel about it."

Anyone available for a telephone interview should contact us by email (jens.wolling@tu-ilmenau.de) or telephone (03677 69-4654) to arrange an appointment.


Prof. Jens Wolling
Head of Empirical Media Research and Political Communication
+49 3677 69-4654