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Explaining regional acceptance of the German energy transition by including trust in stakeholders and perception of fairness as socio-institutional factors

: Gölz, S.; Wedderhoff, O.


Energy research & social science 43 (2018), pp.96-108
ISSN: 2214-6296
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()

In this paper we pursue the hypothesis that acceptance of the energy transition is not merely determined by technology acceptance but also by the perception of socio-institutional stakeholders and the perception of fairness. We test an acceptance model which includes the following main predictors: attitudes towards the risks of the energy transition and attitudes towards the technology options such as wind power, photovoltaic systems or transmission lines. Additional influences are assumed to arise from the perception of regional added values and the trust in various socio-institutional stakeholders. Furthermore, we expect fairness to be a mediating variable for acceptance. In this paper we test the model empirically with a representative German sample (N = 2009) in a structural equation model (SEM) for the acceptance of onshore wind power. Moreover, we analyse whether differences in the factors are related to the German regions North, East, West and South since we assume regional landscapes, renewable energy sources and socio-political contexts to be important for acceptance. Results show evidence that perception of stakeholders and fairness is important for the regional acceptance. In addition, results show that, among the four regions, different factors are relevant for acceptance. Results are discussed and conclusions for governance are drawn.