Acceptance of renewable energy


The energy turnaround constitutes a major driver for renewable energy projects. Increasing the share of renewable energy is regarded as indispensable for solving the energy supply problem. This reorientation poses various challenges at both the technical and the political level. In order to make change happen, projects and innovative policy instruments have to be accepted in the political arena as well as by the population.




New book examines ways of ensuring social acceptance of renewable energyNew book examines ways of ensuring social acceptance of renewable energy 10:00:00 PM
People like renewable energies...People like renewable energies... 10:00:00 PM
In the area of conflict between new technologies and acceptanceIn the area of conflict between new technologies and acceptance 10:00:00 PM

Project description (ongoing research project)

The starting point of the project is the assumption that effective policy change needs to be realised through projects at the regional or local level. It is not enough to identify technical solutions – we also need to learn more about how these instruments can be implemented politically. This is particularly important and difficult in a participatory context like Switzerland. Against this background, the concept of "social acceptance" of renewable energy projects takes centre stage.


The project focuses on three main areas:

  1. Illustration of the evolution and challenges to be faced when introducing electricity alternatives in Switzerland. Analysis of energy policy decisions during the last twenty years regarding renewable electricity production at the national and cantonal levels.
  2. Examination of the sociopolitical and market acceptance of renewable electricity projects by the political elite and relevant market players through a comparative policy analysis at the cantonal and local levels.
  3. Based on an experimental survey concept, study of community acceptance of policies and instrument mixes, i.e. citizens’ preferences and behaviour, as well as other context factors at the individual level that impact the realisation of alternative electricity projects and the energy turnaround.


The project will offer insights into the efficiency, effectiveness and acceptance of past, existing, new and even potential future instrument mixes for renewable electricity promotion. It will therefore provide an empirical and theoretical basis for assessments. It will also facilitate complex but structured policy recommendations for enhancing acceptance, overcoming the conflict between promotion of renewables and environmental protection, and finally will show how acceptance could foster the implementation of new policy instruments for promoting renewable electricity.

Original title

Future energy policy: the acceptance of alternative electricity supply

Project leaders

  • Prof. Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Bern
  • Prof. Karin Ingold, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Bern
  • Prof. Philippe Thalmann, Laboratoire d'économie urbaine et de l'environnement, EPF Lausanne