Special Issue "Social Acceptability of Alternative Energy Technology"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Economics and Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (23 April 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Brent S. Steel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Policy, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
Interests: environmental policy; natural resources; sustainability; clean energy policy; health policy; food policy
Prof. Dr. Christopher A. Simon
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Political Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9155, USA
Interests: clean energy policy; environmental policy; sustainability; public policy (general)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue “Social Acceptability of Alternative Energy Technology” will focus attention on the link between science, technology, politics, and society. As Manzella, et al. (2019: v) note, “The public has become a major actor in the techno-scientific debate.” We invite papers that reflect upon this new reality that shapes energy policy today and will likely continue to do well into the future. We invite papers that employ quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method analysis in both theory testing and development. Comparative methods are highly valued as well.

Prof. Dr. Brent S. Steel
Prof. Dr. Christopher A. Simon
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Energy
  • Social acceptability
  • Politics
  • Technology
  • Public opinion

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Attitudes on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a Mitigation Technology within the UNFCCC
Energies 2021, 14(3), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030629 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology for mitigating emissions from large point-source industries. In addition to the primary role of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, CCS forms the basis for two large-scale negative emissions technologies by coupling [...] Read more.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology for mitigating emissions from large point-source industries. In addition to the primary role of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, CCS forms the basis for two large-scale negative emissions technologies by coupling geologic CO2 storage with bioenergy (BECCS) and direct air carbon capture (DACCS). Despite its inclusion within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), CCS has been largely unsupported by UNFCCC delegates because of its association with fossil fuels. We evaluate data from surveys given since 2015 to UNFCCC delegates at the Conference of the Parties (COPs) to ascertain how attitudes about bioenergy, BECCS, and CCS may be changing within the UNFCCC. The results show a positive change in attitudes over time for both fossil CCS and BECCS. Using a unique data analysis method, we ascertain that, in some instances, popularity of BECCS increased due to an increased acceptance of CCS despite lower opinions of bioenergy. Business and research NGOs have the most positive views of CCS, and environmental NGOs the most negative views. Delegates that attend CCS side-events have more positive attitudes towards CCS than non-attendees. Developing countries have a larger need and a greater appetite for information on BECCS than developed countries, but a need for information exists in both. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Acceptability of Alternative Energy Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Attitude toward and Awareness of Renewable Energy Sources: Hungarian Experience and Special Features
Energies 2021, 14(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14010022 - 23 Dec 2020
Viewed by 518
Abstract
The current paper analyzes the awareness of renewable energy sources (RES), the relationship between self-reported and actual knowledge, and the correlation among the knowledge of renewable energy sources, the characteristic stereotypes, and the typical attitude of different social groups to energy, comparing them [...] Read more.
The current paper analyzes the awareness of renewable energy sources (RES), the relationship between self-reported and actual knowledge, and the correlation among the knowledge of renewable energy sources, the characteristic stereotypes, and the typical attitude of different social groups to energy, comparing them with international experience. A nationwide representative questionnaire-based survey was carried out involving 1002 people in Hungary in 2019. Better education, a higher income, an active white-collar profession, and a health- and environment-conscious approach to life (LOHAS (lifestyle of health and sustainability) segment) are definitely an advantage when it comes to knowledge of renewable energy sources. No significant relationship was detected in terms of age; however, in cluster formation, young people were typically found to be better informed. Overall, the actual knowledge of the Hungarian respondents is more favorable than the self-reported one, and the basic level of knowledge of energy sources in the case of wind and hydropower exceeds international experience. The social factors of better knowledge essentially correspond to the international trends; however, regarding firewood, solar, and wind energy, the average Hungarian has certain false stereotypes that can be considered typical. The assessment of convenience and that of environmental aspects are almost the same. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Acceptability of Alternative Energy Technology)
Open AccessArticle
Ratepayer Perspectives on Mid- to Large-Scale Solar Development on Long Island, NY: Lessons for Reducing Siting Conflict through Supported Development Types
Energies 2020, 13(21), 5628; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13215628 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 507
Abstract
The state of New York has ambitious mandates for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing renewable energy generation. Solar energy will play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the electric energy sector. Concerns over solar installations’ impacts to host communities [...] Read more.
The state of New York has ambitious mandates for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing renewable energy generation. Solar energy will play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the electric energy sector. Concerns over solar installations’ impacts to host communities and the environment have led to growing conflicts over solar energy siting on Long Island, in other parts of New York, and throughout the US. Understanding community members’ perspectives is critical for reducing conflict. Solar energy can be deployed more quickly and at lower cost if projects are structured to address the concerns and meet the needs of the community. This paper presents the results of a survey of residential utility ratepayers that examined their perceptions, preferences, and priorities concerning mid- to large-scale solar development on Long Island (250 kW and larger). The survey asked respondents to consider specific installation types, financial models, and other aspects of solar development. Results indicate that respondents were overwhelmingly supportive of mid- to large-scale solar development in their communities. The most highly supported development types were solar systems on rooftops and solar systems that are co-located with other land uses (mixed use) at a particular site, such as parking canopies, landfills, or integration with agriculture. The most highly supported financial models included privately funded projects by local developers and community solar projects. The largest concern about solar development expressed by respondents did not involve tree removal or visibility (as initially hypothesized to be the most significant considerations) but rather the fairness of the distribution of economic benefits associated with solar development. This paper provides concrete insight into particular models of solar development that may invoke less conflict and more community support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Acceptability of Alternative Energy Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Rural Public Acceptance of Wind and Solar Energy: A Case Study from Mersing, Malaysia
Energies 2020, 13(15), 3855; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13153855 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 730
Abstract
The sustainable development of the energy sector through the implementation of renewable energy (RE) technology has been a primary concern for the government of Malaysia since the 1990s. Developing RE technology in rural areas is also one of the most important energy strategies. [...] Read more.
The sustainable development of the energy sector through the implementation of renewable energy (RE) technology has been a primary concern for the government of Malaysia since the 1990s. Developing RE technology in rural areas is also one of the most important energy strategies. One of the most important requirements for the successful adoption of renewable energy technology is the public acceptance of this technology. This article examines the public acceptance of RE (wind and solar) technologies among rural residents in Mersing, Malaysia. This study is conducted in conjunction with the development of the hybrid wind–solar RE generation system for the Marine Ecosystem Research Centre (EKOMAR), which located in Mersing. To investigate the public acceptance of RE technologies, two surveys were conducted, before and after the installation of the hybrid wind–solar RE generation system. The findings revealed that RE innovations, such as wind and solar energy, were well known among 54.7% and 96.2% of the respondents, respectively, before and after the introduction of EKOMAR. The survey results showed that rural residents generally support RE technologies and EKOMAR RE projects. They were also in line that the use of RE should also be extended to other parts of Mersing, including wind and solar. These findings illustrate that EKOMAR has played a crucial role in educating local residents about RE, wind and solar energy in particular. Residents believe the government plays an important role, particularly in rural areas, in encouraging and enhancing RE technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Acceptability of Alternative Energy Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Public Preferences in a Shifting Energy Future: Comparing Public Views of Eight Energy Sources in North America’s Pacific Northwest
Energies 2020, 13(8), 1940; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13081940 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 999
Abstract
The U.S. and Canada continue to face major changes in energy production. Mounting awareness of the climate crisis has placed increasing importance on developing renewable energy sources, however, advances in fossil fuel extraction technology have opened vast domestic reserves of oil and natural [...] Read more.
The U.S. and Canada continue to face major changes in energy production. Mounting awareness of the climate crisis has placed increasing importance on developing renewable energy sources, however, advances in fossil fuel extraction technology have opened vast domestic reserves of oil and natural gas. Public preferences for energy policy play a role in determining energy futures, but researchers rarely simultaneously compare public views across multiple renewable and non-renewable energies or across country boundaries. Here, we used a 2019 online survey sample (n = 1500) to compare predictors of support for eight fuel sources for electricity generation in British Columbia, Canada, and Washington and Oregon, USA. Results indicate the highest support overall for renewables (wind, solar, wave/tidal energy, geothermal) and the lowest for fossil fuels (coal and natural gas), nuclear, and hydropower. Mixed-effects regression modeling indicates that views on climate and the balance between environment and economy were consistent predictors of support across most energy types, while political ideology was less consistent. Perceived local importance of both extractive and renewable energy industries were significant predictors of support for some, but not all, energy sources, as were education and gender. Overall, our research suggests that while divisions persist in public energy preferences for both renewable and non-renewable sources, there is the broadest support for renewable energy technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Acceptability of Alternative Energy Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Ideology and Value Determinants of Public Support for Energy Policies in the U.S.: A Focus on Western States
Energies 2020, 13(8), 1890; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13081890 - 13 Apr 2020
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Energy policy is often a contentious issue in the U.S. in the areas of infrastructure, conservation, and price discrimination. From the siting of new pipelines, conservation regulations, and variable pricing based on times and usage, many policies have been met by intense opposition [...] Read more.
Energy policy is often a contentious issue in the U.S. in the areas of infrastructure, conservation, and price discrimination. From the siting of new pipelines, conservation regulations, and variable pricing based on times and usage, many policies have been met by intense opposition as well as support from a variety of sources. In this context, this study examines individual-level attributes (e.g., political ideology, environmental values, and demographic characteristics) that lead to support for or opposition to infrastructure, conservation, and price discrimination policies. The identification of demographic and value correlates of energy policy preferences is important for the successful development of energy policies. Data from 2019 random household surveys in the U.S. western states of California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are used to examine the variation in views on a variety of energy policies. Multivariate analyses reveal that those with more liberal political ideology and people holding stronger pro-environmental values (as measured by the New Ecological Paradigm) were more likely to support conservation campaigns, energy efficiency, funding for renewable energy technology and price discrimination policies than those who held more conservative views. Several demographic variables also have a significant impact on support for or opposition to policies concerning infrastructure, conservation, and price discrimination. Younger people and people with higher levels of formal education are more likely to support voluntary energy conservation campaigns and increased funding for research into renewable energy technologies, and people with higher incomes are more supportive of requiring high-energy efficiency standards in new construction. Finally, state residency independently affected policy preferences with Idahoans’ views more consistent with political conservatives and those lower on the NEP than residents of the other three western states. These findings should be useful to policy makers as they work toward the development of energy policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Acceptability of Alternative Energy Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Barrier Analysis for the Deployment of Renewable-Based Mini-Grids in Myanmar Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
Energies 2020, 13(6), 1400; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061400 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
Energy access remains a challenge for many countries, as recognized by sustainable development goal 7 of the United Nations Development Programme. Although the Myanmar government has set a target of 100% electrification by 2030, less than half of the households are currently connected [...] Read more.
Energy access remains a challenge for many countries, as recognized by sustainable development goal 7 of the United Nations Development Programme. Although the Myanmar government has set a target of 100% electrification by 2030, less than half of the households are currently connected to the national grid. To expedite electrification, decentralized approaches should be considered. Mini-grids are an effective alternative that can fill the gap between a solar home system and the national grid; however, many of the existing mini-grids in Myanmar are powered by diesel generators. Diesel fuel is significantly more expensive in rural areas than in urban areas due to high transportation costs. Although mini-grids powered by solar photovoltaics and batteries are cost-competitive with diesel generators, the deployment of renewable energy-based mini-grids is slow. In this study, we analyzed the barriers to mini-grid deployment and prioritized the barriers. We conducted a questionnaire survey with stakeholders using the analytic hierarchy process to identify the prioritization of each barrier factor. The K-means clustering method was used to determine tendencies and showed that there was no single, dominant solution. Our results confirm the difficulty of mini-grid deployment and suggest multi-pronged approaches that go beyond economic considerations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Acceptability of Alternative Energy Technology)
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