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What Drives People’s Opinions of Electricity Infrastructure? Empirical Evidence from Ireland

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  • Valentin Bertsch
  • Hyland, Marie
  • Mahony, Michael

Abstract

Across the EU, significant infrastructure investment is needed in both generation from renewable energy sources (RES) and the electricity transmission system to meet the European targets on emission reduction and RES expansion. Experiences show, however, that citizens may object to new energy infrastructure in their localities which may cause delays in achieving the targets. To avoid such delays, it is crucial to understand what drives people’s opinions. To explore people’s opinions of different electricity generation and transmission technologies in Ireland, we conducted a nationally-representative survey. Concerning the drivers, we explicitly distinguish between socio-demographics, socio-psychological/political beliefs, and contextual/local factors. Our results show that people generally have positive views of RES technologies. While this indicates that Irish citizens agree with the move towards cleaner electricity sources, we find a reluctance amongst people to have these technologies located close to their homes. As for the drivers, we find that the respondents’ socio-psychological and political beliefs are generally more important than most socio-demographics in driving their opinions and their tendency to oppose infrastructure development locally. This finding underlines the relevance for policy makers to understand which objectives people consider most important and how these judgements are related to their opinions of different energy technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Valentin Bertsch & Hyland, Marie & Mahony, Michael, 2016. "What Drives People’s Opinions of Electricity Infrastructure? Empirical Evidence from Ireland," Papers WP545, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp545
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Harold, Jason & Bertsch, Valentin & Lawrence, Thomas & Hall, Magie, 2018. "Drivers of people's preferences for spatial proximity to energy infrastructure technologies: a cross-country analysis," Papers WP583, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:120:y:2018:i:c:p:183-196 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:rensus:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:765-778 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:6:p:1509-:d:151680 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Slednev, Viktor & Bertsch, Valentin & Ruppert, Manuel & Fichtner, Wolf, 2017. "Highly resolved optimal renewable allocation planning in power systems under consideration of dynamic grid topology," MPRA Paper 79706, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:447-474 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:energy:v:163:y:2018:i:c:p:822-836 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:enepol:v:131:y:2019:i:c:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Valentin Bertsch & Valeria Di Cosmo, 2018. "Are Renewables Profitable in 2030? A Comparison between Wind and Solar across Europe," Working Papers 2018.28, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. Curtis, John & McCoy, Daire & Aravena Novielli, Claudia, 2017. "Determinants of residential heating system choice: an analysis of Irish households," Papers WP576, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    11. Lynch, Muireann A, 2017. "Re-evaluating Irish energy policy in light of brexit," Research Notes RN20170201, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    12. repec:esr:forcas:qec20172 is not listed on IDEAS

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