Engaging the public with low-carbon energy technologies: Results from a Scottish large group process.

Howell, Rhys, Shackley, Simon, Mabon, Leslie, Ashworth, Peta and Jeanneret, Talia (2014) Engaging the public with low-carbon energy technologies: Results from a Scottish large group process. Energy Policy, 66 . pp. 496-506. DOI 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.11.041.

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Abstract

Highlights:
• We report the results of a Scottish large group workshop on energy technologies.
• There is strong public support for renewable energy and mixed opinions towards CCS.
• The workshop was successful in initiating discussion around climate change and energy technologies.
• Issues of trust, uncertainty, costs, benefits, values and emotions all inform public perceptions.
• Need to take seriously the full range of factors that inform perceptions.

Abstract:
This paper presents the results of a large group process conducted in Edinburgh, Scotland investigating public perceptions of climate change and low-carbon energy technologies, specifically carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS). The quantitative and qualitative results reported show that the participants were broadly supportive of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and that there is an expressed preference for renewable energy technologies to be employed to achieve this. CCS was considered in detail during the research due to its climate mitigation potential; results show that the workshop participants were cautious about its deployment. The paper discusses a number of interrelated factors which appear to influence perceptions of CCS; factors such as the perceived costs and benefits of the technology, and people's personal values and trust in others all impacted upon participants’ attitudes towards the technology. The paper thus argues for the need to provide the public with broad-based, balanced and trustworthy information when discussing CCS, and to take seriously the full range of factors that influence public perceptions of low-carbon technologies.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Low-carbon energy; Carbon dioxide capture and storage; Public perceptions
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.11.041
ISSN: 0301-4215
Projects: ECO2
Date Deposited: 28 May 2014 08:27
Last Modified: 28 May 2014 08:27
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/24641

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