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Assessing the Social Acceptance of Key Technologies for the German Energy Transition


Background: The widespread use of sustainable energy technologies is a key element in the transformation of the energy system from fossil-based to zero-carbon. In line with this, technology acceptance is of great importance as resistance from the public can slow down or hinder the construction of energy technology projects. The current study assesses the social acceptance of three energy technologies relevant for the German energy transition: stationary battery storage, biofuel production plants and hydrogen fuel station. Methods: An online survey was conducted to examine the public’s general and local acceptance of energy technologies. Explored factors included general and local acceptance, public concerns, trust in relevant stakeholders and attitudes towards financial support. Results: The results indicate that general acceptance for all technologies is slightly higher than local acceptance. In addition, we discuss which public concerns exist with regard to the respective technologies and how they are more strongly associated with local than general acceptance. Further, we show that trust in stakeholders and attitudes towards fnancial support is relatively high across the technologies discussed. Conclusions: Taken together, the study provides evidence for the existence of a “general–local” gap, despite measuring general and local acceptance at the same level of specifcity using a public sample. In addition, the collected data can provide stakeholders with an overview of worries that might need to be addressed when planning to implement a certain energy project.

Funding source: Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. The authors would like to thank the Helmholtz Association initiative ‘Energy System 2050’ for financial support. Our special thanks go to the researchers of the initiative, who have supported the work in several ways. This work also contributes to the research performed at CELEST (Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage Ulm-Karlsruhe). This work was partially funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany’s Excellence Strategy—EXC 2154—Project number 390874152 and the European Union’s—H2020-LC-GD-2020 / H2020-LC-GD-2020-6 project stoRIES Grant Agreement No. 101036910. Content does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed herein lies entirely with the authors
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Germany

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