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Young citizens' knowledge and perceptions of bioenergy and future policy implications


  • Halder, Pradipta
  • Pietarinen, Janne
  • Havu-Nuutinen, Sari
  • Pelkonen, Paavo


In the past few years extensive discussions on bioenergy has been both positive and negative. In Europe, the image of bioenergy appears to be low with lack of broad public support. Previous studies show that younger people are unsure about many issues surrounding renewable energy. The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge and perceptions of bioenergy among pupils in North Karelia, Finland. Data drawn from 495 ninth grade students indicate that the majority of them lack in-depth knowledge about different renewable energy sources, including bioenergy. Only a small percentage has a 'high' level of knowledge about bioenergy and the majority indicates critical perceptions of it. Statistically significant gender differences are not apparent. Girls appear to be more knowledgeable than boys. Results also show a clear 'urban' and 'rural' difference in perceptions of bioenergy. Perceptions of urban respondents being more positive than that of their rural counterparts. Developing collaboration between future bioenergy policies and bioenergy education for younger citizens is necessary for their engagement in critical debates on bioenergy.

Suggested Citation

  • Halder, Pradipta & Pietarinen, Janne & Havu-Nuutinen, Sari & Pelkonen, Paavo, 2010. "Young citizens' knowledge and perceptions of bioenergy and future policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 3058-3066, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:6:p:3058-3066

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Zyadin, Anas & Puhakka, Antero & Ahponen, Pirkkoliisa & Cronberg, Tarja & Pelkonen, Paavo, 2012. "School students' knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes toward renewable energy in Jordan," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 78-85.
    5. Hassan, Md. Kamrul & Pelkonen, Paavo & Pappinen, Ari, 2014. "Rural households’ knowledge and perceptions of renewables with special attention on bioenergy resources development – Results from a field study in Bangladesh," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 454-464.
    6. Halder, Pradipta, 2014. "Perceptions of energy production from forest biomass among school students in Finland: Directions for the future bioenergy policies," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 372-377.
    7. Chanthawong, Anuman & Dhakal, Shobhakar, 2016. "Stakeholders' perceptions on challenges and opportunities for biodiesel and bioethanol policy development in Thailand," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 189-206.
    8. Gallardo, Adrián H. & Matsuzaki, Tomose & Aoki, Hisashi, 2014. "Geological storage of nuclear wastes: Insights following the Fukushima crisis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 391-400.
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    10. Cacciatore, Michael A. & Scheufele, Dietram A. & Shaw, Bret R., 2012. "Labeling renewable energies: How the language surrounding biofuels can influence its public acceptance," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 673-682.
    11. Ntona, Eirini & Arabatzis, Garyfallos & Kyriakopoulos, Grigorios L., 2015. "Energy saving: Views and attitudes of students in secondary education," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-15.
    12. Yazdanpanah, Masoud & Komendantova, Nadejda & Ardestani, Roshanak Shafiei, 2015. "Governance of energy transition in Iran: Investigating public acceptance and willingness to use renewable energy sources through socio-psychological model," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 565-573.
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    16. Halder, Pradipta & Pietarinen, Janne & Havu-Nuutinen, Sari & Pöllänen, Sinikka & Pelkonen, Paavo, 2016. "The Theory of Planned Behavior model and students' intentions to use bioenergy: A cross-cultural perspective," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 627-635.
    17. Karytsas, Spyridon & Theodoropoulou, Helen, 2014. "Socioeconomic and demographic factors that influence publics' awareness on the different forms of renewable energy sources," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 480-485.
    18. Röder, Mirjam, 2016. "More than food or fuel. Stakeholder perceptions of anaerobic digestion and land use; a case study from the United Kingdom," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 73-81.
    19. Bakhtiyari, Ziba & Yazdanpanah, Masoud & Forouzani, Masoumeh & Kazemi, Navab, 2017. "Intention of agricultural professionals toward biofuels in Iran: Implications for energy security, society, and policy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 341-349.
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    21. Halder, Pradipta & Havu-Nuutinen, Sari & Pietarinen, Janne & Pelkonen, Paavo, 2011. "Bio-energy and youth: Analyzing the role of school, home, and media from the future policy perspectives," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(4), pages 1233-1240, April.
    22. Balta-Ozkan, Nazmiye & Watson, Tom & Mocca, Elisabetta, 2015. "Spatially uneven development and low carbon transitions: Insights from urban and regional planning," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 500-510.
    23. Qu, Mei & Ahponen, Pirkkoliisa & Tahvanainen, Liisa & Gritten, David & Mola-Yudego, Blas & Pelkonen, Paavo, 2011. "Chinese university students’ knowledge and attitudes regarding forest bio-energy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(8), pages 3649-3657.

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