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Acceptance of biogas plants taking into account space and place

Geesche M. Dobers

Energy Policy, 2019, vol. 135, issue C

Abstract: As part of Germany's energy transition, enormous efforts are being made to transform the German energy supply to renewable energies. While much of the energy supply from renewables is wind and solar power, biogas contributes on third position a considerable share due to substantial state subsidies. The transformation to renewable energies leads to notable landscape changes that should be taken into consideration when studying the acceptance of renewable energy plants. We do this by adding spatial information to data from an online survey (N = 942) questioning the acceptance of biogas plants. The density of and proximity to existing biogas plants as well as the intensity of maize cultivation in the vicinity of respondents is integrated into the analysis together with more conventional influencing factors such as place attachment and attitudes. Results show that attitudes have the strongest explanatory power but spatial variables, particularly maize intensity, contribute significantly, too. Place attachment does not show reliable effects. The results demonstrate that spatial data can be useful in the analysis of survey data, for instance, in an environmental context. They also show that diversification of the raw materials used for fermentation in biogas plants might be an important factor in improving their acceptance.

Keywords: Acceptance; Biogas; Maize; GIS; Place attachment; Spatial data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.110987

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