Public engagement with energy system change

21 Public engagement
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Public acceptability represents one of the major challenges for delivery of energy policy, in the UK and internationally. The development of an effective basis for engaging publics is likely to be highly important in successful implementation of energy systems change towards sustainability. This article sets out three key arguments about public engagement with energy transitions derived from research into public attitudes and acceptability with regards to whole energy system change. The arguments are: 1) focusing on the values that underlay preferences as a basis for public engagement; 2) the importance of interrogating views on the problem, rather than simply responses to possible solutions for a pre-framed issue; and 3) the need to understand perspectives on the governance of change processes, as opposed to just the material changes and outcomes envisioned. Overall, the paper offers insight into how to better understand and approach public engagement with energy system change.



C. Butler, K. Parkhill, C. Demski, N. Pidgeon, A. Spence
DOI:  10.12910/EAI2015-017