Energies 2014, 7(3), 1555-1575; doi:10.3390/en7031555

Differences in Public Perceptions of Geothermal Energy Technology in Australia

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Received: 26 November 2013; in revised form: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geothermal Energy: Delivering on the Global Potential)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: In Australia, geothermal energy technology is still considered an emerging technology for energy generation. Like other emerging energy technologies, how the public perceive the technology and under what conditions they are likely to accept or oppose the technology, remains relatively unknown. In response, this exploratory research utilised online focus groups to identify: (1) the extent of agreement with geothermal technology before and after information, including media reports focusing on a range of the technology’s attributes; and (2) how the characteristics of individuals with different levels of agreement vary. After information, within the sample of 101 participants, fewer reported being unsure, the minority disagreed and the majority agreed. Overall, the preference was for projects to be located away from communities. Participants that disagreed or were unsure, were more likely to report lower subjective knowledge of the technology, lower perceived benefits and higher risks, and were less likely to believe people in their community would have the opportunity to participate in consultation. These characteristics suggest there are advances to be made by analyzing what contributes to different levels of acceptance. The findings also suggest that the location of projects will be an important consideration and that the conditions of acceptance are likely to vary amongst community members.
Keywords: geothermal; societal acceptance; energy technology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Carr-Cornish, S.; Romanach, L. Differences in Public Perceptions of Geothermal Energy Technology in Australia. Energies 2014, 7, 1555-1575.

AMA Style

Carr-Cornish S, Romanach L. Differences in Public Perceptions of Geothermal Energy Technology in Australia. Energies. 2014; 7(3):1555-1575.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Carr-Cornish, Simone; Romanach, Lygia. 2014. "Differences in Public Perceptions of Geothermal Energy Technology in Australia." Energies 7, no. 3: 1555-1575.

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