This paper is about understanding the role and importance of public responses to offshore wind power. it builds on a framework for understanding social acceptance and opposition to onshore turbines, and reviews the emerging research on offshore wind. While less is known about how people will respond to offshore than onshore wind, there is now an emerging body of research. From this literature, several common factors which influence responses have emerged and are discussed here: the (continued) role of visual impact; place attachment to the local area; lack of tangible benefits; relationships with developers and outsiders; and the role of the planning and decision-making systems. The paper argues that, as with onshore developments, the public should be included in decision-making about offshore wind farms, and that they have a key role which should not be underestimated. The paper concludes with some thoughts about the means to involve people and how effected communities might be effectively acknowledged, identified and engaged. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.