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Factors influencing the public intention to use renewable energy technologies in South Korea: Effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident

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  • Park, Eunil
  • Ohm, Jay Y.

Abstract

The Fukushima accident has influenced public attitudes toward energy sources and technologies, including not only nuclear energy, but also other energy sources. Therefore, it is worth investigating how the accident influenced public perceptions of renewable energy and its technologies, between the time before the accident and after the accident. This study aims to explore the effects of the Fukushima accident on the public perceptions of renewable energy technologies in South Korea, the closest nation to Japan. This study found that there were notable differences of public perceptions, including public attitudes, perceived benefits, trust, intention to use, knowledge and risks between before and after the earthquake. In addition, the perceived cost of renewable energy technologies was the primary determinant of the intention to use the technologies before the accident, whereas public attitudes toward the technologies became the main antecedents of the intention after the accident. After the accident, we found that there is a multi-dimensional matrix of perceived trust-benefits (with risks)-attitude-intention to use, in explaining the public acceptance of renewable energy technologies. Moreover, we found significant roles of the perceived trust, benefits and risks in the research model. Based on the empirical findings, both implications and suggestions are presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Park, Eunil & Ohm, Jay Y., 2014. "Factors influencing the public intention to use renewable energy technologies in South Korea: Effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 198-211.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:65:y:2014:i:c:p:198-211
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.10.037
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    Keywords

    Fukushima; Renewable energy; Nuclear energy;

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