Determinants of public opinion on renewable energy : the case of wave energy development in Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2n49t388x

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  • Renewable energy resources, such as wind, solar, and wave, have a number of advantages compared to traditional fossil fuels. Numerous studies attest to the physical potential for wave energy development in Oregon. In transitioning from conventional fossil fuel to alternative energy provision, citizen understanding of the global energy problems and their causes and solutions is believed to be the key for the development of renewable energy. Using a statewide mail survey of 1,200 Oregonians this dissertation provides some insight and understanding about the determinants of public opinion with regards to renewable energy, the role these determinants play in public opinion formulation, and their relative importance in citizen support of or opposition toward wave energy development in Oregon. Citizen environmental values and value orientations, ideology preferences, climate change awareness and energy policy beliefs, familiarity with the technology, energy knowledge, and sociodemographic characteristics are examined. Using multiple regression analyses, the results reveal that several determinants serve as statistically significant predictors of attitudes toward wave energy development. Some of the most important are: familiarity with the technology, agreement with the possibility of increasing energy supplies while protecting the environment, and awareness about rising global temperatures. Some policy and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed and suggestions for further research are proposed.
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