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Comparing recent views of public attitude on wind energy, photovoltaic and small hydro applications

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  • Kaldellis, J.K.
  • Kapsali, M.
  • Kaldelli, El.
  • Katsanou, Ev.

Abstract

As renewable energy projects have gradually been introduced in various forms and in many places around the world, public skepticism on these developments has emerged and siting decisions have, in several cases, been determined by intense conflicts and debate. In this context, the present study focuses on the assessment of the levels of public acceptability for existing and new renewable energy projects, namely wind farms, small hydro and photovoltaics (PVs), in a representative region of Southern Greece. A point of particular interest in this survey is the adverse environmental conditions and poor air quality existing in the area under investigation, resulting from the long-term operation of a lignite-based thermal power station. A postal, three-part survey has been conducted based on a representative sample of local inhabitants. According to the results obtained, high levels of acceptability for existing and new projects have been encountered for all technologies examined. Interestingly, better results concerned PV applications, with the positive trend towards new projects being illustrated by the high percentage of about 85%. Similarly, wind and hydro energy applications demonstrate high acceptability of the order of 80%. Furthermore, local habitants' experience on already operating renewable energy projects in the region has also designated their “tolerance” on the main environmental impacts of these technologies (visual, noise, land occupation etc.). However, this survey also reveals a specific minority of people that are opposed to renewable energy applications, either disregarding any environmental, social and financial benefits or just weighing benefits less heavily than the reasons of opposition.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaldellis, J.K. & Kapsali, M. & Kaldelli, El. & Katsanou, Ev., 2013. "Comparing recent views of public attitude on wind energy, photovoltaic and small hydro applications," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 197-208.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:52:y:2013:i:c:p:197-208
    DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2012.10.045
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