Public acceptability is at the heart of changing the energy system toward a more sustainable way of energy production and use. Without public acceptability and support for changes, a sustainable energy transition is unlikely to be viable. We argue that public acceptability is often addressed too late and should be incorporated into the planning process from the start. Moreover, engineers, policy makers, and project developers tend to misjudge the complexity and causes of public resistance, trying to find the magic bullet to "solve" the lack of public acceptability. Such attempts are likely to be ineffective, or even counterproductive, if they fail to address people's key concerns surrounding energy projects. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution: public acceptability is a dynamic process that depends on the context, the specific project at stake, and the parties involved.