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Preference Construction Processes for Renewable Energies: Assessing the Influence of Sustainability Information and Decision Support Methods

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  • Kiyotada Hayashi

    () (Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, 3-1-3 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan)

  • Hiroki Hondo

    () (Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, 79-7 Tokiwadai, Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama 240-8501, Japan)

  • Yue Moriizumi

    () (Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, 79-7 Tokiwadai, Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama 240-8501, Japan)

Abstract

Sustainability information and decision support can be two important driving forces for making sustainable transitions in society. However, not enough knowledge is available on the effectiveness of these two factors. Here, we conducted an experimental study to support the hypotheses that acquisition of sustainability information and use of decision support methods consistently construct preferences for renewable power generation technologies that use solar power, wind power, small-scale hydroelectric power, geothermal power, wood biomass, or biogas as energy sources. The sustainability information was prepared using a renewable energy-focused input-output model of Japan and contained life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, electricity generation costs, and job creation. We measured rank-ordered preferences in the following four steps in experimental workshops conducted for municipal officials: provision of (1) energy-source names; (2) sustainability information; (3) additional explanation of public value; and (4) knowledge and techniques about multi-attribute value functions. The degree of changes in preference orders was evaluated using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. The consistency of rank-ordered preferences among participants was determined by using the maximum eigenvalue for the coefficient matrix. The results show: (1) the individual preferences evolved drastically in response to the sustainability information and the decision support method; and (2) the rank-ordered preferences were more consistent during the preference construction processes. These results indicate that provision of sustainability information, coupled with decision support methods, is effective for decision making regarding renewable energies.

Suggested Citation

  • Kiyotada Hayashi & Hiroki Hondo & Yue Moriizumi, 2016. "Preference Construction Processes for Renewable Energies: Assessing the Influence of Sustainability Information and Decision Support Methods," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(11), pages 1-14, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:11:p:1114-:d:81845
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fischer, Gregory W., 1995. "Range Sensitivity of Attribute Weights in Multiattribute Value Models," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 252-266, June.
    2. Poyhonen, Mari & Hamalainen, Raimo P., 2001. "On the convergence of multiattribute weighting methods," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 129(3), pages 569-585, March.
    3. Gallego Carrera, Diana & Mack, Alexander, 2010. "Sustainability assessment of energy technologies via social indicators: Results of a survey among European energy experts," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 1030-1039, February.
    4. Matthias Finkbeiner & Erwin M. Schau & Annekatrin Lehmann & Marzia Traverso, 2010. "Towards Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(10), pages 1-14, October.
    5. Milch, Kerry F. & Weber, Elke U. & Appelt, Kirstin C. & Handgraaf, Michel J.J. & Krantz, David H., 2009. "From individual preference construction to group decisions: Framing effects and group processes," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 242-255, March.
    6. Payne, John W & Bettman, James R & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Measuring Constructed Preferences: Towards a Building Code," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 243-270, December.
    7. Bettman, James R & Luce, Mary Frances & Payne, John W, 1998. " Constructive Consumer Choice Processes," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 187-217, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:118:y:2018:i:c:p:390-403 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:eneeco:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:116-131 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    renewable energy sources; preference construction; multiple criteria decision analysis; life cycle assessment; sustainability assessment;

    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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