This study determines subsidies for local acceptance of renewable energy projects.•
The impact of profit-sharing on the profitability of such projects is assessed.•
A subsidy of USD 13,815/household is needed for a baseline photovoltaic project.•
A subsidy of USD 27,587/household is needed for a baseline wind power project.•
Profitability of small-scale projects is more affected by profit-sharing schemes.
While renewable energy is an eco-friendly source of electricity, it can be difficult to garner local acceptance when securing sites for renewable energy projects. Local acceptance is an important factor in determining the success of these projects. To elicit local acceptance, governments can consider profit-sharing, in which project developers pay a subsidy to the locals to compensate for the inconvenience of a renewable energy facility. The purpose of this study is to analyze local acceptance levels for photovoltaic and wind power projects in Korea and to evaluate the impact of profit-sharing on the profitability of such projects. Contingent valuation is used to estimate willingness to accept for a baseline renewable energy project. A choice experiment is conducted to estimate a marginal willingness to accept for project attributes. These are combined to simulate the total willingness to accept needed to gain local acceptance. Total willingness to accept for baseline photovoltaic and wind power projects are, respectively, USD 13,815 and USD 27,587 per household for 5 years. Internal rate of return is employed to assess the profitability of such projects. This rate without profit-sharing ranges from 4.49% to 9.50%. Meanwhile, the rate with profit-sharing ranges from −1.67% to 7.64%.