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18.07.2018

New book examines ways of ensuring social acceptance of renewable energy

The picture shows the residual flow section below the catchment of an historic small hydroelectric power station in Romandy.

The NRP 71 project “Acceptance of renewable energy” examined the determining factors behind the social acceptance of renewable energies. The results are now available in book form.

As part of the National Research Programme “Managing Energy Consumption” (NRP 71), researchers from the University of Bern, eawag, Interface Politikstudien GmbH and EPFL examined the determining factors behind the social acceptance of renewable energies. The results of these studies are now available in book form.

Six aspects were covered: the increasing importance of renewable energies for Swiss energy policy, the cantonal differences in the distribution of renewable energies and the instruments for promoting them. Also analysed were inhibiting factors for the distribution of renewable energies as well as the acceptance of the population both at national level and also at regional level.

The surveys and the statistical evaluations show that renewable energies and measures to promote them are generally well accepted by the population, but resistance quickly arises when it comes to implementation. It is also a similar case for the political elites, but here the opinions regarding the choice of support instruments differ greatly. Three case studies have been used to illustrate which factors may be responsible for the success or also failure of wind and small hydropower plants. It was revealed that local participation is very important for the acceptance and therefore the possibilities of implementation of a renewable energies project. Other success factors are the appearance of local entrepreneurs (people from the economy, civil society and politics who support the project), local economic advantages (increased local revenue from running the plants) and positive experiences with comparable plants in the vicinity.

The book “Akzeptanz erneuerbarer Energie” can be ordered for CHF 28.00 from Chantal Strotz

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