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The Emotional Dimensions of Energy Projects: Anger, Fear, Joy and Pride About the First Hydrogen Fuel Station in the Netherlands


Citizens’ emotional responses to energy technology projects influence the success of the technology’s implementation. Contrary to popular belief, these emotions can have a systematic base. Bringing together insights from appraisal theory and from technology acceptance studies, this study develops and tests hypotheses regarding antecedents of anger, fear, joy, and pride about a local hydrogen fuel station (HFS). A questionnaire study was conducted among 271 citizens living near the first publicly accessible HFS in the Netherlands, around the time of its implementation. The results show that anger is significantly explained by (from stronger to weaker effects) perceived procedural and distributive unfairness, and fear by distributive unfairness, perceived safety, procedural unfairness, gender, and prior awareness. Joy is significantly explained by perceived environmental outcomes and perceived usefulness, and pride by prior awareness, perceived risks, trust in industry, and perceived usefulness. The study concludes that these predictors are understandable practical and moral considerations, which can and should be taken into account when developing and executing a project.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Netherlands

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