Transforming the UK energy systems: public values, attitudes and acceptability

Significant transformations in the way the UK supplies, manages and consumes its energy will be essential if current climate change targets are to be achieved. Public acceptance and attitudes will play an important factor in implementing changes to the energy system and could provide significant difficulties as well as opportunities for the delivery of change.

Whilst there is already research on public opinion about particular ways of producing energy (wind, solar etc) and on different aspects of energy consumption, less is known about perceptions of a whole energy system change (i.e. the combined range of future transformations in energy demand and supply currently under consideration.)

The aim of this research project is to provide an insight into these issues and build on knowledge and understanding of public attitudes, values and acceptability in order to inform policy and produce research evidence for future energy scenarios.

Combining leading expertise in psychology, science, technology, geography and engineering, the project will utilise a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, from discussion groups to surveys, to examine public perception, paying particular attention to where the public agrees or contests the underlying reasons for proposed change.