Out of Sight but Not out of Mind? Public Perceptions of Wave Energy

Journal Article

Title: Out of Sight but Not out of Mind? Public Perceptions of Wave Energy
Publication Date:
June 01, 2011
Journal: Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Volume: 13
Issue: 2
Pages: 139-157
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Bailey, I.; West, J.; Whitehead, I. (2011). Out of Sight but Not out of Mind? Public Perceptions of Wave Energy. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 13(2), 139-157.
Abstract: 

Public concern about the visual and environmental impacts of renewable energy projects has been a major factor behind the stalling or rejection of many planning applications for on-shore renewables developments. Siting renewables facilities in off-shore locations would appear to reduce this tension but, as yet, limited research has been conducted on public attitudes to marine renewables—particularly tidal and wave power— to establish how genuinely ‘out of sight and out of mind’ such developments are in the public mind. This paper presents a quantitative study of public opinions on a test site for wave energy currently under construction near the coast of the Southwest UK. The findings suggest general public support for wave energy as an economically beneficial method of power generation with few adverse side-effects. The merits of quantitative and qualitative research on public attitudes towards renewable-energy technologies are then discussed and concepts of risk and reward perception are used to explore the possible future dynamics of public attitudes towards ‘future’ renewables technologies like wave energy. We conclude with reflections on risk and reward perceptions as a heuristic device for defining future directions for research on public attitudes towards different renewable-energy technologies.

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