ESRI Research Bulletin

Market-based policies, citizen attitudes and education positively affect green energy innovation acceptance in Ireland and Europe

ESRI Research Bulletin Articles provide short summaries of work published by ESRI researchers and overviews of thematic areas covered by ESRI programmes of research. Bulletin Articles are designed to be easily accessible to a wide readership. A reference or references to the full publication is included at the start of each Bulletin article.

April 13, 2022
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The social acceptability of green energy innovations and policies has become increasingly important to policy-makers in Ireland and abroad. Renewable and sustainable energy projects often face difficulty gaining public acceptance and environmental taxes have been slow to rise at least in part because they face public opposition. It is yet not fully understood what factors determine households’ willingness to accept such green energy-enabling innovations; this hinders efforts to decarbonize the energy sector and tackle climate change. 

This research provides the first large-scale and comprehensive international examination of factors that potentially influence households’ decisions to: i) support government plans to increase renewable energy and implement environmental tax measures, and ii) adopt green energy technologies (such as residential solar panels and electric vehicles). Key factors that are examined include households’ social class and education levels, their attitudes about environmental and socio-political issues, as well as the current energy policies that are implemented within their countries.