Wind turbines should bring broader benefits alongside eco-friendly electricity, suggested energy secretary Ed Davey.
Communities that hosted onshore wind farms could benefit from reduced electricity bills and investment in local infrastructure, he said.
Mr Davey's comments follow increasing evidence of a rural backlash against wind turbines.
Ministers believe appropriately sited onshore wind has a role to play in renewable energy creation.
But they want a big improvement in how developers engage with local communities, new ways of ensuring a sense of local ownership and more obvious local economic benefits.
The government has launched a call for evidence aimed at ensuring that communities secure financial, social and environmental benefit from hosting onshore wind farms.
The community benefits consultation is seeking new information on:
* Barriers to community engagement and how to address these;
* How wind farms could deliver wider environmental and social benefits to communities e.g. by providing grants for playgrounds;
* Best practice in local consultation by developers;
* Ways to maximise participation by local businesses in the economic supply chain for wind projects; and
* Innovative ways to reward host communities, such as offsetting electricity bills.
The government will also seek the latest information on the cost of onshore wind to confirm whether subsidies from April 2014 have been set at the correct level.
Mr Davey said: "Onshore wind has an important role to play in a diverse energy mix that is secure, low carbon and affordable.
"We know that two-thirds of people support the growth of onshore wind. But far too often, host communities have seen the wind farms but not the windfall.
"We are sensitive to the controversy around onshore wind and we want to ensure that people benefit from having wind farms sited near to them."
The call for evidence would look at ways to reward host communities and ensure that wider investment, employment and social benefits were felt locally, said Mr Davey.
Policies should be based on the best available evidence, so that consumers were not over-subsidising any one technology.
"That's why we are seeking new evidence on the cost of onshore wind," Mr Davey said.
The government believes appropriately sited onshore wind has a role to play, in energy creation.