People like renewable energies...

The picture shows Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen at the 2018 annual conference of AEE SUISSE.

...but not the necessary measures.

Based on the conference theme “Confidence in the energy future”, Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen focused on the questions of why confidence is so important in particular for renewable energy policy and whether arguments and campaigns are able to establish this confidence.

The survey of 2,800 people – 1,000 people each time in three rounds – before the referendum on the new energy law revealed that measures and projects in the area of renewable energy seem short-term and, from the perspective of the population, expensive, while there is little belief in the effectiveness of the measures. To compensate for this unfavourable cost-benefit ratio requires fundamental confidence that this policy is correct and feasible.

It was also revealed that although the campaign was unable to fundamentally change the preference patterns of the population, it still proved possible to contribute to a certain tolerance of costs in the run-up to the vote. However, it is more critical for the success of corresponding campaigns to have a broad political coalition which “vouches” for a bill and is therefore essential for the confidence of a majority.

These findings of the Institute of Political Science at the University of Bern on the social preference patterns and on achieving acceptance for concrete measures are significant in order to be able to successfully take further necessary steps on the way towards establishing a new energy system.

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