This article explores the relationship between general attitudes toward wind energy, local acceptance of specific wind projects and respective intentions to act on those attitudes in Switzerland. Its primary instrument of data collection was a survey experiment with 919 citizens in five Swiss rural municipalities with potential wind sites. The survey presented descriptions of several potential wind projects. Participants rated their acceptance and intention to act for each wind project, as well as their general attitude toward wind energy. Results showed that general attitude is a strong predictor of local acceptance but is rated significantly higher than local acceptance. When matched with the effects of three procedural and distributive justice measures on local acceptance, the results of the study seem to support the concept of ‘Qualified Support’: local acceptance by participants with a moderate or positive general attitude is dependent on the associated local benefits, while local acceptance by participants with a negative attitude is not. Interestingly, the study also finds that general attitude and local acceptance both had only minimal effects on respective intentions to act. Thus, researchers should be aware of cognitive and behavioral aspects of local acceptance and seek to better distinguish between these two dimensions.
Determining the local acceptance of wind energy projects in Switzerland: The importance of general attitudes and project characteristics
Title: Determining the local acceptance of wind energy projects in Switzerland: The importance of general attitudes and project characteristics
December 01, 2014
Journal: Energy Research & Social Science
Walter, G. (2014). Determining the local acceptance of wind energy projects in Switzerland: The importance of general attitudes and project characteristics. Energy Research & Social Science, 4, 78-88.