Will Offshore Energy Face “Fair Winds and Following Seas”?: Understanding the Factors Influencing Offshore Wind Acceptance
Most offshore energy studies have focused on measuring or explaining people’s perceptions of, and reactions to, specific installations. However, there are two different types of acceptance: one surrounds the siting of projects while the other surrounds a more general acceptance of offshore energy. Understanding what drives this second type of acceptance is important as governments have implemented new financial incentives and policies to support renewable energy development; however, citizens and government officials may be increasingly opposed to some of these support mechanisms. Our paper fills a void in the literature by using regression approaches to better understand how people’s evaluations of the benefits and costs of offshore wind impact their level of general acceptance for offshore wind, while controlling for other factors (e.g., demographics). This analysis should help policy makers, and individuals attempting to educate the general public about renewable energy, to better understand the important factors influencing people’s support or opposition to offshore wind energy initiatives.