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Public beliefs about high-voltage powerlines in Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom: A comparative survey

Abstract

As countries worldwide, and particularly in Europe, move to increase deployment of low carbon energy
sources, significant investments in new transmission networks are planned. However, past cases of public
opposition – both to power line siting and large-scale renewable energy projects – indicate the importance
of understanding public beliefs and acceptance, and using such knowledge to inform policy making and
planning. This study conducted a comparative analysis of public beliefs across three European countries
(UK, Norway and Sweden) drawing on representative samples of adults in each context (total n = 5107).
Findings show significant differences between countries, notably lower levels of acceptance and trust in
the UK, but also similarities, for example that local residents are considered to have little involvement in
planning- and decision-making processes. The results indicate two important principles: that acceptance
can be empirically distinguished from support, and that general acceptance of energy projects is higher
than local acceptance. Potential geographical, socio-historical and political explanations for the results
are proposed and future research needs recommended.
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Electricity grids
Networks
Public beliefs
Public acceptance
National comparisons

Category

Academic article

Client

  • Other / Statnett SF
  • Other / STATNETT SF
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 207774

Language

English

Author(s)

  • Øystein Aas
  • Patrick Devine-Wright
  • Torvald Tangeland
  • Susana Batel
  • Audun Ruud

Affiliation

  • Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
  • University of Exeter
  • OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University
  • ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
  • SINTEF Energy Research / Termisk energi

Year

2014

Published in

Energy Research & Social Science

ISSN

2214-6296

Publisher

Elsevier

Volume

2

Page(s)

30 - 37

View this publication at Cristin