Worldviews as Predictors of Wind and Solar Energy Support in Austria: Bridging Social Acceptance and Risk Perception Research
With increasing demand for renewable energy, research focusing on social acceptance of production facilities has firmly established itself over the past decades. While the influence of worldviews on individuals’ perceptions and behaviour has received widespread scholarly attention regarding a variety of related issues, social acceptance of renewable energy technologies (RET) has not been one of them. The study presented here addresses this shortcoming in the literature by examining the impact of various constructs, including worldviews, with respect to individuals’ acceptance of RET in their vicinity. The study builds on a representative sample of Austrian citizens. Our findings suggest that RET belief is most strongly associated with acceptance regarding the construction of RET in participants’ community. Further, we find that the more strongly participants feel about a variety of motives that generally support the use of renewable energies, the more accepting they are of local RET power plants. Regarding the effect of worldviews, we find that individuals who value the common good and equality are more supportive of RET in their vicinity. Our discussion focuses on the theoretical implications with particular attention to the results regarding the effect of worldviews.
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