Multi-method Approach to Identify Acceptance-Relevant Characteristics of Renewable Energy Infrastructure
Despite the general positive attitude towards renewables, protests against renewable energy infrastructure continues in Germany. The study aims to explore acceptance-relevant aspects of renewable energy sources and their infrastructure to gain a better understanding for argumentation lines of protesters and supports of renewables. The research followed a two-step procedure, beginning with an extensive focus group study. In the focus groups, participants discussed which aspects of renewables they perceived as problematic or advantageous. Based on the results, an ACA (adaptive conjoint analysis) study was designed as an online study, which 109 people fully completed. The most important attributes which resulted from the study were those that represented direct impact on nature and humans. The studies confirmed current research on energy-related infrastructure, which stress the importance of communicating about possible local impacts on the environment and residents. Methodologically, the study exemplified a user-centered research design based on bottom-up principles, in which qualitative analyses were used to determine attributes relevant to laypersons.
KeywordsSocial acceptance Renewables Mixed-method approach Focus group Conjoint study
Thanks to Valerie Scharmer, Jonas Hemsen and Anika Linzenich for research support. This work was funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments (project “Urban Future Outline” (UFO)).
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