At the core of the Earning Local Support Academy (ELSA) are a new mindset, a new set of skills and the opportunity to create a successful, inclusive and sustainable future for everybody. ELSA does that through a process called Smart Engagement which delivers Smart Projects: projects that are financially successful, technically sound, environmentally compatible and socially supported. Projects that are wanted by all stakeholders.
Renewable energy is quickly becoming part of our lives and the landscape we live in. This means many lives are directly being impacted by renewable energy developments and more and more will be in the future. In a growing number of cases these developments get rejected by the host communities, by the people who will have to live with the development. The reason for this is often miscommunication and a lack of proper engagement. ELSA will provide the tools and support to build a bridge between the developer and the members of the host community.
Many developers see early community engagement as a risk mitigation tool to prevent opposition later, so as to protect their larger investment. However, the process required to earn local support, when conducted properly, offers much more than just ‘pain management’. It offers a range of benefits for both the community and the developer.