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Exploring and Contextualizing Public Opposition to Renewable Electricity in the United States

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  • Benjamin K. Sovacool

    () (Energy Governance Program, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, 469C Bukit Timah Road, 259772, Singapore)

Abstract

This article explores public opposition to renewable power technologies in the United States. It begins by discussing the genesis of environmental ethics, or how some Americans have come to place importance on the protection of the environment and preservation of species, ecosystems, and the biosphere. As result, renewable power systems have become challenged on ethical and environmental grounds and are occasionally opposed by local communities and environmentalists. The article finds that, however, such concern may be misplaced. Renewable electricity resources have many environmental benefits compared to power stations fueled by coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium. Opposition towards renewable resources can at times obscure the true costs and risks associated with electricity use and entrench potential racial and class-based inequalities within the current energy system.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin K. Sovacool, 2009. "Exploring and Contextualizing Public Opposition to Renewable Electricity in the United States," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(3), pages 1-20, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:1:y:2009:i:3:p:702-721:d:5796
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wustenhagen, Rolf & Wolsink, Maarten & Burer, Mary Jean, 2007. "Social acceptance of renewable energy innovation: An introduction to the concept," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2683-2691, May.
    2. Charles Warren & Carolyn Lumsden & Simone O'Dowd & Richard Birnie, 2005. "'Green On Green': Public perceptions of wind power in Scotland and Ireland," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 853-875.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simona Bigerna & Paolo Polinori, 2015. "Assessing the Determinants of Renewable Electricity Acceptance Integrating Meta-Analysis Regression and a Local Comprehensive Survey," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(9), pages 1-24, August.
    2. Enevoldsen, Peter & Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2016. "Examining the social acceptance of wind energy: Practical guidelines for onshore wind project development in France," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 178-184.
    3. Mahmure Övül Arıoğlu Akan & Ayşe Ayçim Selam & Seniye Ümit Oktay Fırat & Merve Er Kara & Semih Özel, 2015. "A Comparative Analysis of Renewable Energy Use and Policies: Global and Turkish Perspectives," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(12), pages 1-29, December.
    4. Moragues-Faus, Ana M. & Ortiz-Miranda, Dionisio, 2010. "Local mobilisation against windfarm developments in Spanish rural areas: New actors in the regulation arena," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4232-4240, August.
    5. Carlisle, Juliet E. & Kane, Stephanie L. & Solan, David & Bowman, Madelaine & Joe, Jeffrey C., 2015. "Public attitudes regarding large-scale solar energy development in the U.S," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 835-847.
    6. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Lakshmi Ratan, Pushkala, 2012. "Conceptualizing the acceptance of wind and solar electricity," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(7), pages 5268-5279.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:12:p:16379-16407:d:60413 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    renewable electricity; renewable power; public opposition;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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