A comparison of public preferences for different low-carbon energy technologies: Support for CCS, nuclear and wind energy in the United Kingdom

Working Paper
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Yu, H. 
Reiner, D. 
Chen, H. 
Mi, Z. 

Using a representative national survey in the United Kingdom, we investigated public attitudes towards different low-carbon technologies (carbon capture and storage (CCS), wind and nuclear power) and the factors influencing public support. Overall, we found that respondents were far more likely to support wind energy as their preferred means of mitigating climate change. Older people and those of a higher social grade are more supportive of nuclear power, while age and social grade do not significantly affect support for wind energy. Supporters of the Conservative Party were more likely to oppose wind power. Neither attitudes towards climate change nor environmental attitudes were found to influence public support for wind power or nuclear. Trust in information from environmental groups was associated with greater support for wind energy but lower support for nuclear power. Perceived cost and objective knowledge significantly influenced public support for all three technology types, that is, higher perceived costs and the poorer objective knowledge lead to lower public support. However, self-assessed knowledge did not influence public support. Many factors, including most of the tested demographic factors, did not affect support for any of the three technologies.

Public preferences, Low carbon, Energy technologies, CCS, Wind, Nuclear
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