A positive shift in the public acceptability of a low-carbon energy project after implementation: The case of a hydrogen fuel station

Nicole Huijts (Corresponding author), Gerdien de Vries, Eric J.E. Molin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Public acceptability of low-carbon energy projects is often measured with one-off polls. This implies that opinion-shifts over time are not always taken into consideration by decision makers relying on these polls. Observations have given the impression that public acceptability of energy projects increases after implementation. However, this positive shift over time has not yet been systematically studied and is not yet understood very well. This paper aims to fill this gap. Based on two psychological mechanisms, loss aversion and cognitive dissonance reduction, we hypothesize that specifically people who live in proximity of a risky low-carbon technology—a hydrogen fuel station (HFS) in this case—evaluate this technology as more positive after its implementation than before. We conducted a survey among Dutch citizen living nearby a HFS and indeed found a positive shift in the overall evaluation of HFS after implementation. We also found that the benefits weighed stronger and the risks weaker after the implementation. This shift did not occur for citizens living further away from the HFS. The perceived risks and benefits did not significantly change after implementation, neither for citizens living in proximity, nor for citizens living further away. The societal implications of the findings are discussed.
LanguageEnglish
Pages2220
Number of pages14
JournalSustainability
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

Hydrogen fuels
hydrogen
energy
Carbon
carbon
citizen
cognitive dissonance
decision maker
station
project
public
evaluation

Keywords

  • public acceptability
  • risk perception
  • loss aversion
  • cognitive dissonance reduction
  • hydrogen

Cite this

@article{48b09d505308434c84f0b697555ce0fb,
title = "A positive shift in the public acceptability of a low-carbon energy project after implementation: The case of a hydrogen fuel station",
abstract = "Public acceptability of low-carbon energy projects is often measured with one-off polls. This implies that opinion-shifts over time are not always taken into consideration by decision makers relying on these polls. Observations have given the impression that public acceptability of energy projects increases after implementation. However, this positive shift over time has not yet been systematically studied and is not yet understood very well. This paper aims to fill this gap. Based on two psychological mechanisms, loss aversion and cognitive dissonance reduction, we hypothesize that specifically people who live in proximity of a risky low-carbon technology—a hydrogen fuel station (HFS) in this case—evaluate this technology as more positive after its implementation than before. We conducted a survey among Dutch citizen living nearby a HFS and indeed found a positive shift in the overall evaluation of HFS after implementation. We also found that the benefits weighed stronger and the risks weaker after the implementation. This shift did not occur for citizens living further away from the HFS. The perceived risks and benefits did not significantly change after implementation, neither for citizens living in proximity, nor for citizens living further away. The societal implications of the findings are discussed.",
keywords = "public acceptability, risk perception, loss aversion, cognitive dissonance reduction, hydrogen",
author = "Nicole Huijts and {de Vries}, Gerdien and Molin, {Eric J.E.}",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "12",
doi = "10.3390/su11082220",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
pages = "2220",
journal = "Sustainability",
issn = "2071-1050",
publisher = "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)",
number = "8",

}

A positive shift in the public acceptability of a low-carbon energy project after implementation : The case of a hydrogen fuel station. / Huijts, Nicole (Corresponding author); de Vries, Gerdien; Molin, Eric J.E.

In: Sustainability, Vol. 11, No. 8, 12.04.2019, p. 2220.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - A positive shift in the public acceptability of a low-carbon energy project after implementation

T2 - Sustainability

AU - Huijts,Nicole

AU - de Vries,Gerdien

AU - Molin,Eric J.E.

PY - 2019/4/12

Y1 - 2019/4/12

N2 - Public acceptability of low-carbon energy projects is often measured with one-off polls. This implies that opinion-shifts over time are not always taken into consideration by decision makers relying on these polls. Observations have given the impression that public acceptability of energy projects increases after implementation. However, this positive shift over time has not yet been systematically studied and is not yet understood very well. This paper aims to fill this gap. Based on two psychological mechanisms, loss aversion and cognitive dissonance reduction, we hypothesize that specifically people who live in proximity of a risky low-carbon technology—a hydrogen fuel station (HFS) in this case—evaluate this technology as more positive after its implementation than before. We conducted a survey among Dutch citizen living nearby a HFS and indeed found a positive shift in the overall evaluation of HFS after implementation. We also found that the benefits weighed stronger and the risks weaker after the implementation. This shift did not occur for citizens living further away from the HFS. The perceived risks and benefits did not significantly change after implementation, neither for citizens living in proximity, nor for citizens living further away. The societal implications of the findings are discussed.

AB - Public acceptability of low-carbon energy projects is often measured with one-off polls. This implies that opinion-shifts over time are not always taken into consideration by decision makers relying on these polls. Observations have given the impression that public acceptability of energy projects increases after implementation. However, this positive shift over time has not yet been systematically studied and is not yet understood very well. This paper aims to fill this gap. Based on two psychological mechanisms, loss aversion and cognitive dissonance reduction, we hypothesize that specifically people who live in proximity of a risky low-carbon technology—a hydrogen fuel station (HFS) in this case—evaluate this technology as more positive after its implementation than before. We conducted a survey among Dutch citizen living nearby a HFS and indeed found a positive shift in the overall evaluation of HFS after implementation. We also found that the benefits weighed stronger and the risks weaker after the implementation. This shift did not occur for citizens living further away from the HFS. The perceived risks and benefits did not significantly change after implementation, neither for citizens living in proximity, nor for citizens living further away. The societal implications of the findings are discussed.

KW - public acceptability

KW - risk perception

KW - loss aversion

KW - cognitive dissonance reduction

KW - hydrogen

U2 - 10.3390/su11082220

DO - 10.3390/su11082220

M3 - Article

VL - 11

SP - 2220

JO - Sustainability

JF - Sustainability

SN - 2071-1050

IS - 8

ER -