Social construction of risk in non-conventional renewable energy: Risk perception as a function of ecosystem services in La Araucanía, Chile

Journal Article

Title: Social construction of risk in non-conventional renewable energy: Risk perception as a function of ecosystem services in La Araucanía, Chile
Publication Date:
May 01, 2019
Journal: Ecological Economics
Volume: 159
Pages: 261-270
Publisher: Elsevier
Receptor:

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Cordoves-Sánchez, M.; Vallejos-Romero, A. (2019). Social construction of risk in non-conventional renewable energy: Risk perception as a function of ecosystem services in La Araucanía, Chile. Ecological Economics, 159, 261-270.
Abstract: 

The growth of renewable energy has been raised as a strategy to respond to the global demand to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, this type of energy infrastructure has faced local opposition that could be explained by the perceived risk associated with new energy technologies. Our research aims to understand how risk is socially constructed in relation to non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE) projects in Chile, considering ecosystem services (ES) as central. This research was carried out through a qualitative methodological framework, which involved the application of semi-structured interviews. The information was analysed based on a qualitative strategy of categorisation, combining the inductive and a-priori approaches to the definition of themes. Our results reveal that ecosystem services are a practical tool that can be applied in the social perception of risk to improve the management processes associated with NCRE projects. We provide an understanding of ES's role within the social amplification of risk theoretical framework. Our findings suggest that conflicts around NCRE projects would be linked to a reduction of an ES provision. These results contribute to understanding the function of ES in risk perception associated with the balance between supply and demand.

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