Public acceptance of energy technologies is an important area of energy and social science research. However, few studies utilise large datasets which include spatial and temporal dimensions, as well as the demographic and attitudinal characteristics of survey respondents. In this paper, we analyse twenty-five waves of the UK Government’s Energy and Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker: a large, nationally representative dataset spanning six years (2012 – 2018). This enables unique insights into trends in public acceptance across time, space and social groups, covering eight energy sources. We find differing profiles in terms of who supports which types of energy, with a key division between support for renewable technologies on the one hand, and nuclear and fracking on the other. We also identify a growing gap between public and policymakers’ attitudes to energy technologies which we argue must be bridged to ensure a smooth rapid transition that is acceptable to all.
Energy Research & Social Science (accessed) 4th July 2019 read more »