Acceptability of a sustianable energy transition

Acceptability of a sustianable energy transition

Acceptability of a sustianable energy transition
Keep warm and save energy this winter

The ‘acceptability of a sustainable energy transition’ project aims to study which factors affect public support for a sustainable energy transition, including the acceptability of energy sources, sustainable energy technologies, energy infrastructures (including smart grids, and energy policies.

Public acceptability

We will study the role of individual factors (such as values, familiarity, knowledge) and contextual factors (including characteristics of energy sources, technologies, infrastructure, policies), as well as the role of fairness, justice, and compensation strategies.

Research gaps

Various studies have been conducted to better understand household energy consumption. Research has mostly produced knowledge of everyday energy-related behaviours.

Some important research gaps in the literature can be identified.

  1. First, given its high impact on total (fossil) energy demand, it is important to have a better understanding of drivers and impediments of household energy investments, including investments in sustainable energy systems for the home (e.g., solar panels), building renovation, insulation, home energy management systems, as well as fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles.
  2. Second, research on how different types of behaviours (e.g., everyday energyconsuming behaviour, investments, and policy acceptability) are linked and how broader lifestyle effects can be realised is still emerging.
    1. A key question in this respect is whether and to what extent rebound and spillover effects may occur, and particularly how positive spillover can be promoted (Truelove, Carrico, Weber, Raimi, & Vandenbergh, 2014). For example, how can we prevent that energy saving actions lead to a “rebound” effect (e.g., increased driving when switching to a more fuel efficient car, or use financial savings of energy saving measures to go on a holiday by plane)?
    2. Will engagement in energy saving actions provide a license to refrain from other energy-saving actions (i.e., “negative spillover”), and if so, under which conditions is this most likely to be the case?
    3. More importantly, under which conditions is “positive spillover” more likely, in which case people are more likely to engage in many different energy-saving actions over and again, which is needed to realise a truly sustainable energy transition? Understanding energy use behaviour
  3. Third, it is important to better understand the ways in which general factors such as values may affect many different behaviours at once, and under which conditions they are more likely to do so.
    1. Research suggests that so-called self-transcendence values that reflect concern with others, nature and the environment may be an important factor in this respect.
    2. Yet, people do not seem to consistently act upon these values, as reflected in a so-called value-behaviour gap.
    3. Hence, understanding which factors cause the value-behaviour gap conditions, and which factors induce people to act more consistently upon their self-transcendence values may improve the chances of influencing many behaviours through single types of intervention rather than only seeking to influence behaviours one at a time.

Link to the paper

Involved researcher(s)


Green Deal

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