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A mast is a mast is a mast…? Comparison of preferences for location-scenarios of electricity pylons and wind power plants using conjoint analysis

Barbara S. Zaunbrecher, Anika Linzenich and Martina Ziefle

Energy Policy, 2017, vol. 105, issue C, 429-439

Abstract: Although renewables are supported by the public in general, the rollout of the corresponding infrastructure (e.g. wind turbines, electricity pylons) is often met with protest. Similar results can also be found for other mast types (e.g. mobile phone base stations). However, it is not adequately understood if the protest reflects arguments against infrastructure in general or, rather, mast-specific acceptance patterns. By applying conjoint analyses, we undertook a comparison of siting preferences for electricity pylons and wind power plants. In line with previous studies in this field, distance to masts, location, perceived health hazards, and compensation payments were chosen as attributes which defined the scenarios. Overall, 149 respondents took part in the study. Results show both, mast-independent as well as mast- dependent siting preferences. Independent of the mast type, the most important criterion was alleged health concerns, and the least important characteristic was compensation payments. A closer analysis using choice simulation revealed that placing pylons in the forest is more accepted than the same scenario for wind power plants. The findings are discussed in light of a public communication strategy.

Keywords: Social acceptance; Siting preferences; Conjoint analysis; Infrastructure; Electricity pylons; Wind power plants (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:429-439